Yes, you can absolutely cook frozen burger patties in a toaster oven. A toaster oven provides a convenient, quick cooking option for frozen burger patties when you don’t want to fire up the full-size oven. There are just a few things to keep in mind when cooking frozen patties in a toaster oven for best results.
For food safety reasons, it’s generally recommended to thaw frozen burger patties in the refrigerator before cooking. Thawing ensures the patties cook evenly all the way through. If you forget to thaw the patties, no worries – you can still cook them straight from frozen in a toaster oven. They will just take longer to cook than thawed patties.
Toaster Oven Temperature
Most toaster ovens don’t have a temperature probe to accurately read the internal temperature of foods. For food safety, ground meats like burger patties should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. To ensure patties reach a safe internal temperature, it’s best to cook at a high temperature in a toaster oven.
Preheat your toaster oven to 450°F or the highest temperature setting available. The high heat will help the patties cook through fully even if starting from frozen.
Cook times will vary based on the size and thickness of the frozen burger patties along with your toaster oven wattage. Smaller toaster ovens with less power may take longer. Some general guidelines are:
- Thawed 1/4 pound patties: 8 to 12 minutes
- Frozen 1/4 pound patties: 14 to 18 minutes
- Thawed 1/2 pound patties: 15 to 20 minutes
- Frozen 1/2 pound patties: 22 to 28 minutes
For food safety, check the internal temperature of patties using an instant read thermometer after cooking. Again, you want to reach 160°F minimum internal temperature.
Toaster Oven Rack Position
The rack position will impact cook time. For fastest cooking, place frozen patties on the wire rack closest to the top heating elements. You may need to cook patties on two racks at staggered times if your toaster oven is on the smaller side.
Cooking fatty meats like burger patties at high temps can sometimes lead to smoking. To prevent excess smoke, use a foil-lined baking sheet rather than placing patties directly on the wire rack. The foil prevents grease drippings from hitting the heating elements. You can also place patties on foil then put on the wire rack.
Flip Patties Halfway
If possible based on the size of your toaster oven, flip patties about halfway through cooking. This allows both sides to brown evenly. Use tongs for easy flipping. Flipping also reduces smoking potential.
For juicy burgers, minimize additional toppings when cooking in a toaster oven. Stick to minimal seasoning or a brush of oil. Cheese can be tricky to melt properly in a toaster oven without burning the burger. Skip cheese and add it after cooking instead. Or try placing it on the burger towards the end of cooking time so it just starts to melt.
Using the right time and temperature cooking guidelines above helps ensure frozen burger patties reach a safe internal temperature and cook thoroughly in a toaster oven. Toaster ovens offer a quick, hands-off cooking method for patties when you don’t want to use the full oven or outdoor grill. Be sure to use a meat thermometer to verify doneness. Now you can enjoy a fresh homemade burger patty for lunch or dinner with ease.