I’m sure there are people who genuinely enjoy handling raw ground beef. Alas, I’m not one of them. That’s where frozen burgers come in.
Question is, can they live up to a hand-pattied burger? Sure, pretty much anything tastes good when it’s cooked over charcoal and served with a side of macaroni salad, but, in a perfect world, burgers should taste like actual beef. Come on, frozen hamburger manufacturers. Don’t force us to quote an over-quoted commercial from the 1980s—give us big juicy burgers with big beef flavor.
But convenience doesn’t always mean compromising taste. We fired up the stove and prepared more than a dozen frozen burger patties and ate them sans bun to really get a feel for their flavor. There were a lot of acceptable burgers. There were a few really awful burgers. Below you’ll find the burgers we’d proudly bring to the barbecue.
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- Moran’s 100% Ground Beef Patties
That 27 percent fat content is doing these patties a lot of favors. They’re thick. They’re juicy. They’re beefy but with a nice, fatty flavor on the end. I absolutely loved these burgers. Sporked editor-in-chief Justine Sterling described them as “gourmet” tasting, so we were all pretty surprised to discover they were among the most affordable patties we tried. If you like a burger cooked medium (or even medium rare), these are thick enough to take the heat without just cooking all the way through.
Credit: Merc / Instacart
- Original Bubba Burger
Bubba is an old standby for a reason. These thick, beefy burgers are fat-rich, well-seasoned, and even have a sort of haphazard shape that’ll help you trick guests into thinking you made them by hand. They have a good, natural bloody sort of flavor—slap one of these on a squishy potato roll that’ll sop up all the juices and you’re in business.
Credit: Merc / Target
- Grass Run Farms 100% Grass Fed Natural Ground Beef Patties
Grass-fed beef can tend to have a denser texture, and that’s the case with these burgers from Grass Run Farms. They’re thick, lean, rich tasting, and have fantastic chew. I instantly fantasized about topping one of these with a load of Hellmann’s mayo and lots of fresh summer tomato. And, yes, most of my fantasies involve burgers.
Credit: Merc / Instacart
- Sam’s Choice 100% Angus Beef Burgers
If you have big ideas about how to correctly season a burger patty, these thick, juicy patties from Walmart are great blank slates. These are thick with a capital T (and maybe even an E at the end), and have lots of natural juiciness. Top these with lots of black pepper, maybe even some garlic powder, and a nice, thick slice of a salty cheese, like a sharp cheddar.
Credit: Merc / Walmart
- Ball Park Flame Grilled Beef Patty
Okay, picture it: You get home late from the bar. You didn’t feel like bribing your Uber driver to stop at McDonalds. You need a burger you absolutely can’t screw up. That’s where these full-cooked Ball Park burgers come in handy. Yes, they more closely resemble salisbury steak than real-deal hand-pattied burgers, but they taste good and salty and they’ll fill you up in a pinch. Don’t judge!
Credit: Merc / Amazon
Best of the Best
Best Beef Flavor
Best Grass Fed
Best with Cheese
Best Fully Cooked
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