Fire Up the Grill for the 5 Best Frozen Burgers

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 frozen burgers

Best of the Best

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

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

bubba burger

Best Beef Flavor

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

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

grass run farms burger patties

Best Grass Fed

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

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

sam's choice angus beef burgers

Best with Cheese

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

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

ball park flame grilled burger patties

Best Fully Cooked

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

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

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About the Author

Gwynedd Stuart

Gwynedd Stuart, Sporked’s managing editor, is an L.A.-based writer and editor who spends way, way too much time at the grocery store. She’s never met an Old El Paso taco or mozzarella stick she didn’t like.

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  • I had never even considered buying pre-pattied burgers, but your arguments are compelling. I’ll always favor my local butcher for any meat I purchase, but I can see many occasions when these would be handy if of acceptable quality.

    Reply
  • Did you try wahlburgers frozen or Philly gourmet (my favorite) ?

    Reply
  • I’m a butcher, and no offense, but if your go to for burgers is frozen, your not only lazy, you don’t really appreciate a great burger. The taste and mouth feel of a hand made patty can’t be replicated in frozen form, not to mention it is less expensive.

    Reply