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Taste tested

We Tested 5 Frozen Burgers, and This is The Best!

Which package of patties should you keep in your freezer? We tried five different brands to find out.
We Tested 5 Frozen Burgers, and This is The Best!
We Tested 5 Frozen Burgers, and This is The Best!
Which package of patties should you keep in your freezer? We tried five different brands to find out.

If you’re in charge of feeding a hectic household, you’re likely well aware of the importance frozen food plays in last-minute lunches and dinners. For example: Did your child spontaneously decide to invite a few friends over midday? No problem. You can feed their rumbling tummies with that pack of frozen burgers you keep in the freezer. And we all know there’s no better crowd-pleaser than burgers.

With that being said, you’ll probably want to fuel those kiddos (and yourself, of course—you deserve a burger, too!) with the best-tasting, best-for-you burger you can find in stores. And to keep you from wasting hard-earned money on buying a batch of sub-par patties, Eat This, Not That! has done the dirty work for you and tested five frozen burger brands you can find at your local grocery store. We detail the methodology behind our taste test below.

How We Graded Them

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Here are the three metrics we used to determine each burger’s final place.

Nutrition & Size: The blend of beef determines whether a burger will be high in fat, saturated fat, and trans fat. Nutrition didn’t play a huge factor in our burger taste test, but it did help to move the needle in the favor of the more nutritious burger in the case of a tie.

Appearance & Consistency: What is the texture of the patty? Is the meat basically minced? Is the texture similar to that of a gently-shaped, fresh ground beef burger? Our preference went to patties with larger pieces of meat over those that tasted like they were made out of finely-ground beef. In terms of shape, it’s all about preference here. The thinner patties are quicker to cook but easy to overcook. Thick patties have more leeway with cooking times but are more apt to remain frozen in the middle. It’s more about preference here, so we’ll discuss shape in the review, but it didn’t play a major role in ranking.

Taste: Of course, perhaps the most important part of the ranking: how does the burger taste? Is it similar to cafeteria beef that’s been sitting in a sheet pan for hours or does it taste like an actual burger? With that, let’s dig in!

Ranked From Worst… to Best

5

Open Nature Grass Fed 85/15 Angus Beef

Safeway open nature frozen grass fed angus beef frozen burger

Nutrition (⅓-pound patty): 320 calories, 23 g fat (9 g saturated fat, 1.5 g trans fat), 100 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 28 g protein

Appearance & Consistency: Uncooked, this patty was the lightest-colored of the bunch, which struck us as odd. So light, in fact, that when we picked up the package at the grocery store, we thought we might have accidentally grabbed a turkey or chicken patty by mistake. As for the consistency? The meat pieces are very tiny—similar to what you’d find in a Slim Jim that’s made from mechanically-separated meat. That odd texture wasn’t pleasant to eat and didn’t give this patty the same mouthfeel as what you’ve come to expect with a burger.

Taste: Very gross. One person spat it out. Despite only being made from “Grass Fed Angus Beef,” there’s some odd taste in there that makes it taste super processed. (Maybe it’s because the meat is ground up and kneaded a lot?) It’s offputting and by far the worst-tasting of the burgers we tried.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Open nature grass fed frozen burger Eat This, Not That!

Safeway’s Open Nature brand is their all-natural offering. Although it’s labeled as “Grass Fed” (raised in Australia), this should not sway you to believe the beef is organic or of superior quality. The term “Grass Fed” is not regulated by the FDA, and there is no information about how much grass the cattle are fed. Regardless of the semantics of the packaging, the point here is that the burger just doesn’t taste good. And that’s about all you need to know.

4

Moran’s 85/15 Premium Angus Beef Patties

Morans frozen angus beef burger

Nutrition (⅓-pound patty): 320 calories, 23 g fat (9 g saturated fat, 1.5 g trans fat), 100 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 28 g protein

Appearance & Consistency: NOTE: Although the packaging proudly touts this patty is “33% larger,” if you read the fine print, they’re merely touting that, by weight, a third of a pound burger is actually 33 percent larger than a quarter-pound burger. Thanks, Moran’s. That being said, this patty actually is much larger in diameter than any other patty despite being the same weight. This also means it was thinner than the other offerings for being the same weight and was very easy to overcook. It was made from finely-ground beef, and it leaked the most juices of the bunch when cooked.

Taste: Upon the first bite, my thoughts were “now this is a hamburger.” So, in terms of flavor, Moran’s definitely nailed it. And if we added some seasoning (we didn’t for the taste test to level the playing field), this would be a decent burger.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Morans frozen beef burger cooked Eat This, Not That!

If you see Moran’s at your local store, we’d definitely recommend it. The taste was on-point and the large patty was the perfect size for a bun. Our one issue was that the large, thin patty was very easy to overcook, which left us with dry meat when cooking for the same time as the other patties.

3

BUBBA Burger USDA Angus Beef

Angus bubba burger

Nutrition (⅓-pound patty): 430 calories, 35 g fat (15 g saturated fat, n/a g trans fat), 90 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 26 g protein

Appearance & Consistency: The patties look to be intentionally shaped so that they aren’t round, but that doesn’t really affect the flavor. The texture of the meat pieces in the patty are the biggest and the closest to what you’d be cooking if you formed this burger from scratch. Due to the thickness of the BUBBA burger, this was the easiest to cook to a medium.

Taste: It tastes like a regular beef patty, which is pretty stellar considering it was frozen. The flavors aren’t amazing, but definitely a reliable option.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Bubba angus burger cooked Eat This, Not That!

The BUBBA Burger is a solid choice for those of you who tend to overcook your burgers but prefer a medium-rare or medium patty. If you have trouble with cooking burgers, you might want to read up on these 6 Common Mistakes When Making Burgers.

1b

Nature’s Rancher Angus Beef Burgers

Natures rancher frozen angus beef burger

Nutrition (⅓-pound patty): 380 calories, 30 g fat (12 g saturated fat, 2 g trans fat), 100 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 26 g protein

Appearance & Consistency: We liked the perfect disk-like shape of this patty. The beef has been processed a fair amount, so the meat is pretty small and tiny when you take a bite—which is certainly different than if you hand-rolled patties from fresh ground beef at home.

Taste: Let me just say: “wow.” The testers agreed that they were almost taken aback by how delicious this patty was. “It’s unusual to take a bite of a burger and really taste the meat,” said one burger-lover. This would certainly be the perfect patty for any toppings.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Natures rancher frozen beef burger cooked Eat This, Not That!

You’ll have to head to Whole Foods to pick up our favorite all-beef frozen burger from Nature’s Rancher.

1a

TRIBALI Foods Organic, 100% Grass Fed & Finished Mediterranean-Style Beef Patties

Tribali foods mediterranean style beef frozen burgers

Nutrition (¼-pound patty): 220 calories, 15 g fat (6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 470 mg sodium, 5 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 17 g protein

Appearance & Consistency: The patty comes individually-wrapped, which makes it really easy to pull only one out to sear. The patty is pretty thin and small (it’s only a quarter of a pound) which means it’s dwarfed if you put in a regular-sized hamburger bun. Due to the blend of seasonings and ingredients, this is definitely more of a meatball patty than a burger.

Taste: Immediately you get this rich meaty taste that’s lifted by acidic notes from the lemon peel and pairs beautifully with the herbal notes of spearmint, parsley, and rosemary. It is certainly heavily seasoned and tastes a little on the salty side. I added some feta cheese to it and the combination was magical.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Tribali foods mediterranean beef burger cooked Eat This, Not That!

Tribali Foods makes a darn good patty. It ties with Nature’s Rancher because they both taste equally good. While Tribali’s burger is less versatile, it packs an amazing flavor punch that encourages you to leave the bun in the bag and pair it with a nice cucumber, onion, tomato salad with feta cheese. It’s Whole30-approved, paleo-friendly and perfect for those following a low-carb diet. Throw it in your freezer and add it to your weekly dinner rotation!

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