I ranked ground-beef patties from Costco, Whole Foods, and Wegmans. I'll be making the winning burgers all summer. (2024)

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Review by Ted Berg

I ranked ground-beef patties from Costco, Whole Foods, and Wegmans. I'll be making the winning burgers all summer. (1)

  • I compared premade frozen beef patties from Wegmans, Costco, and Whole Foods to find the best one.
  • I thought the patties from Wegmans were a bit too greasy.
  • I loved the burger patties from Whole Foods because they were full of great flavor.

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When it comes to summer cooking, I always like to have frozen burger patties on hand. They're a quick and convenient meal that I can make whenever the mood strikes.

But there are a lot of options out there. According to market intelligence company Skyquestt, the global packaged-burger market, valued at $44.5 billion in 2023, is set to be worth over 67 billion by 2031.

To find out which supermarket chain carries the best frozen burgers, I compared options from Wegmans, Costco, and Whole Foods.

I sampled each patty multiple times, both with and without cheese. To eliminate as many variables as possible, I thawed and cooked each store's burgers simultaneously.

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Here's how the frozen burger patties stacked up, from worst to best.

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Wegmans' Angus-beef burgers seemed promising but looked a little different than the other patties.

I ranked ground-beef patties from Costco, Whole Foods, and Wegmans. I'll be making the winning burgers all summer. (5)

At $15 for six ⅓-pound patties, this option was more expensive than many of Wegmans' fresh-burger options.

The packaging on Wegmans' seasoned Angus-beef burgers suggested cooking them frozen, so I separated a patty from the stack and cooked it on a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.

The juice didn't pool up on the top of the burger patty while I cooked it, and it kept an even shape and puffed up to the perfect size. However, I thought the seared outer layer took on an oddly orange hue.

I also tried thawing another Wegmans burger before cooking it, and this patty was noticeably grayer than the others I tried. However, I wasn't worried because color isn't always an indicator of freshness.

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These burgers were a little too greasy and spongy for me.

I ranked ground-beef patties from Costco, Whole Foods, and Wegmans. I'll be making the winning burgers all summer. (6)

When I bit into my first Wegmans burger, there was an enormous explosion of greasy juice. However, this could have been because I let them sit for a little bit before eating them.

I thought these patties were a little on the salty side, but to be fair, they were preseasoned with sea salt. The Wegmans patties stayed moist, but they seemed a bit greasy, even by burger standards. I also thought they had a spongy texture.

I'd eat one again if someone served it to me (it was a fine burger), but I'll skip them next time I'm at Wegmans.

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I was curious to see what the Kirkland Signature Angus-ground-chuck-and-beef patties would be like.

I ranked ground-beef patties from Costco, Whole Foods, and Wegmans. I'll be making the winning burgers all summer. (7)

At $28 for 18 patties — each weighing ⅓ pound — Costco's house brand represents the best deal for frozen patties of the three stores. These hearty-looking, pink patties were easy to separate from the stack.

The packaging suggested cooking these patties frozen, but to be fair, I tried cooking them both thawed and frozen.

I found it very easy to overcook them, especially when I started with a thawed burger. These patties were large in circumference but thin, so they cooked faster than I expected. The first three came out fully well done when I was aiming for a medium temperature.

Still, they took on a nice brown crustiness when seared on the skillet and maintained a decent size.

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I didn't think the Kirkland Signature patties had a ton of flavor.

I ranked ground-beef patties from Costco, Whole Foods, and Wegmans. I'll be making the winning burgers all summer. (8)

Unfortunately, I didn't think these burgers tasted like much. They were a bit juicy when I cooked them to medium, but they didn't offer much flavor.

That being said, when I garnished them with cheese, ketchup, and the like, they were good. If I served them at a barbecue, no one would ever complain.

I preferred them to some other frozen burgers I've tried in the past, and due to the cost and convenience, I could imagine myself picking up a package of these during barbecue season.

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Whole Foods' organic grass-fed beef burgerswere smaller than the other patties.

I ranked ground-beef patties from Costco, Whole Foods, and Wegmans. I'll be making the winning burgers all summer. (9)

The Whole Foods burger patties were the most expensive of the three, at $8.50 for four ¼-pound patties. They were slightly more costly per pound than Wegmans' and the only organic-beef option among the three I tried.They were also smaller than the other patties.

The box I got was frozen solid, and the burgers were pressed so tightly in their packaging that it was impossible to separate them without at least partially thawing them first.Unlike the other two brands, Whole Foods suggested thawing these patties first.

The small patties cooked very fast. They were so thin that, at times, I wound up with dried-out edges even when the center of the burger was still juicy. They shrunk in the pan and didn't look especially appealing.

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Surprisingly, the Whole Foods burger was my winner.

I ranked ground-beef patties from Costco, Whole Foods, and Wegmans. I'll be making the winning burgers all summer. (10)

In my opinion, these patties tasted distinctly better than the other two options. There was a rich, meaty, almost gamey flavor that tasted as much like skirt steak as ground beef. Each patty also had a nice, crusty texture from the skillet.

When I tried all three burgers side-by-side, completely unadorned, this was the only one I finished.

Once I run out of the remaining Kirkland Signature burgers in my freezer, I'll pick up the Whole Foods patties to cover the rest of the summer.

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I ranked ground-beef patties from Costco, Whole Foods, and Wegmans. I'll be making the winning burgers all summer. (2024)

FAQs

What is the best meat for gourmet burgers? ›

Choosing a Cut of Beef

You want to start with full-flavored beef. I almost always go for chuck, round or even brisket. Round is leaner so you'll need to increase the fat content by adding another cut. That's when I ask for the short-ribs.

How long to cook frozen hamburger patties from Costco? ›

For 3 patties defrost takes less than 2 minutes in the mic. Season, then cook 7 minutes on first side and 5-6 min on the other side. Adjust heat as needed, dont let it get too hot. Add all your fav toppings and enjoy!

Are Costco burgers precooked? ›

Costco's Bacon Cheddar Burger Kits

They contain fully cooked burgers loaded with bacon and Cheddar mixed right in, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese slices, and burger sauce (it looks a lot like Big Mac sauce). The components come separated inside the kit. You only need to heat the burgers and add your own buns.

How to cook Costco hamburger patties in the oven? ›

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil. ...
  2. Remove your frozen burger patties from the plastic packaging.
  3. Spritz with cooking spray, sprinkle with seasoning. Place frozen patties on metal wire rack.
  4. Place rack in oven for 20 minutes. ...
  5. Top with cheese for the last two minutes of cooking.
Jan 14, 2023

What is the best way to cook frozen hamburger patties? ›

Note: allowing just a couple of minutes to thaw will help the seasonings stick. Place frozen, seasoned patties onto the hot cast-iron pan. Cook 3-5 minutes on each side, then flip. Continue flipping until a nice crust has formed — about 15 minutes.

What supermarket meat is best for burgers? ›

What is the best meat to grind for hamburgers?
  • Chuck steak. Chuck is the most commonly used cut of beef in burger blends. ...
  • Sirloin or Tri-Tip. Sirloin is a relatively lean cut of steak, but has a good amount of flavor. ...
  • Round. ...
  • Brisket. ...
  • Boneless Short Rib. ...
  • Plate (Skirt and Hanger Steak).

What does Gordon Ramsay use for burgers? ›

Ramsay's burger includes bacon, cheddar cheese, Sriracha mayonnaise, and brioche buns. I loved Ramsay's burger, which was super juicy and tasted like it came from a top restaurant.

What ground beef makes the best burgers? ›

The best ground beef to buy for burgers is 80/20 ground chuck – 80% lean meat and 20% fat. Ground chuck is ground from the shoulder and has that ideal lean-to-fat ratio of 80/20 (i.e. not too lean) for a super flavorful, juicy burger.

Is it better to thaw frozen hamburger patties before cooking? ›

Note: thawing for a couple of minutes may make splitting easier and will help the salt and pepper stick. Fire up the grill to high heat. Place the seasoned, frozen patties on the grill and flip every 3 to 5 minutes. Keep an eye on things as they sizzle and cook.

How do you know when frozen hamburger patties are done? ›

Check the temperature periodically until the burger is done cooking — once it reaches about 160 degrees F, the USDA for beef. It may take 20 minutes or more to cook your burger this way.

How to cook Costco wagyu burgers? ›

Place burgers on the grill and cook about 4-5 minutes on each side, monitoring the temperature to avoid overcooking. Cook to a minimum internal temperature of 160°F. Avoid pressing down on burgers or flipping more than once for best results.

Why is Costco hamburger brown in the middle? ›

There's even a name for it: myoglobin, which is a protein responsible for the red coloring on the outside of the ground meat. When meat — or even poultry — is packaged, the meat on the outside is exposed to more oxygen. That's why meat turns a bright red color on the outside while the inside remains brown.

Are McDonald's burgers premade? ›

Our 100% beef is ground, formed into patties, and then flash frozen. Flash freezing is when beef is quickly frozen to seal in fresh flavor. From the day it was formed, it usually takes about two to three weeks until the burger is served.

Are Wendy's hamburgers precooked? ›

At Wendy's, we take pride in our square beef, because we know not all hamburgers are created equal. Since day one, we've been serving up our hamburgers made with fresh, never frozen beef – no frozen pucks or precooked patties!

How long do you cook Costco Angus burgers? ›

Stovetop: To cook your burgers indoors, heat a skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add a small amount of oil to the pan, then carefully place the frozen burgers in the pan. Cook for approximately 6-8 minutes per side, flipping once, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C).

How long do you cook Angus patties? ›

Arrange them on the oven rack, at least an inch apart. Bake at 350° F for 20 minutes or until it reaches 160° F. Read the burger temperature guidelines according to preferred doneness.

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