Burgers are among the most preferred comfort foods because it is delicious, easy to cook, and nutritious.
Everybody loves them, from kids to adults, so it is not unusual for most of us to buy a lot and stock them in the fridge.
But how long do frozen hamburgers last? And are there ways to prolong the shelf life of a burger, and what are the things that may shorten them?
So here are some essential facts concerning storing everybody’s favorite food.
How Long Do Frozen Hamburgers Last?
Hamburgers are ground beef, so the shelf life of both is nearly the same. The difference, of course, is the preservatives companies add to the burgers.
And since frozen meat of whatever type can last longer in the freezer, one with preservatives will surely last even longer.
You can freeze ground beef indefinitely; the problem is that it will not taste that good if you freeze it for a long time.
The authority in meat products, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), suggests freezing your ground beef for no more than four months.
The reason is that the longer you freeze the ground beef, the more it loses its moisture, and the more it loses its flavor, it will become stale.
Ground beef frozen for more than four months will still be suitable for cooking but not that delicious.
The four-month rule is applicable if you want the best, most extended shelf life for your frozen ground beef, that is, without losing its flavor while keeping it safe for consumption.
But this is for raw ground beef, and since hamburgers contain preservatives in ideal condition, they can last up to six months.
But again, the assumption is that you put the burgers there in ideal condition and you preserved the patties in the right, proper way.
Once you put the burgers out of the freezer and allow them to thaw, they can only last for a few days; you need to cook them.
Why Does Knowing the Burger’s Shelf Life Matter?
Food safety is the paramount consideration in preserving food, and for this reason, knowing frozen food’s shelf life, be it hamburger or other meats, matters.
We love burgers but want them to be safe and delicious, so we must know when to consume the beef patty and when it is not.
Aside from it, however, freezing the hamburger longer than those suggested by USDA and other experts may eventually impact the taste of the food.
Even when safe to eat, burgers may be less salacious, being in the freezer for a very long time.
But even in the freezer, the patties can quickly spoil if you do not prepare, preserve and store them properly.
It is essential, therefore, to know the signs if the hamburger is still safe to eat or not.
How to Know If the Frozen Burger is Still Safe to Eat?
One way to know is to look at the color of the hamburger.
A hamburger patty stored in the freezer for a very long time can have freezer burn.
Freezer burn is when meat loses its moisture; in this case, your burger will have discoloration and will be shriveled.
The burger usually turns white and has ice crystals forming, usually a sign of improper storage.
In this case, the burger may not taste good or be unsafe to eat.
Another way to know is through smell; if it smells foul, sour, or rotten, the burger patty is no longer safe for consumption.
But there are times when no signs of spoilage are present till you cook it.
Again, if the burger smells terrible or is not firm and keeps falling apart, the patty is no longer safe for consumption.
There is a considerable health risk in cooking and eating beef patties showing all those tell-tale signs.
Salmonella and other bacteria might be present in the hamburger, and the possibility of food poisoning is significant.
Improper storage and preparation might be the culprit, so you must know how to properly store frozen patties to keep them delicious and safe for consumption.
How to Extend the Shelf Life of Frozen Hamburger Patties?
The best way for your homemade frozen burgers to have longer shelf life is to prepare and store them properly.
The beef patty must be made of fresh beef, and when preparing them, you must use clean and disinfected utensils, use disposable gloves too.
Limit the time when the beef patties are at room temperature, so you must work quickly.
Keep each patty as flat as possible, then cover each burger patty with plastic wrap.
Arrange them on a single layer; you can either put them in a tray or freezer bag, wrap them in a foil or any airtight container, then put them in the freezer.
If you buy the frozen patty from the market and want to prolong its shelf life, remove it from the packaging and wrap it in a sealed package or use an airtight container to keep the air out and keep it fresh at the same time.
How to Cook a Frozen Patty?
There are several ways to cook a frozen patty. One of the more famous, of course, is using an air fryer.
Put the air fryer at 350 F, put the burger patty, flip the hamburger patty after five minutes, and cook it for another five minutes.
Another option, and also very easy, is to grill frozen burgers. You need to preheat the grill to 350 F, then put the burger patties.
Please wait till the internal temperature of the burger patty reaches 160 F; by this time, it is ready for eating.
Burgers are the quintessential comfort food; every part of the world probably has a unique way of preparing one.
Whatever the case, the principle of science remains the same everywhere, so you need to preserve the hamburger in the right way to make it safe for consumption.
How long do frozen hamburgers last will depend on how you preserve and store them?
The best thing is to have a delicious one even after months of storing them in the freezer; properly doing it is the key.