How to Cook Juicy, Flavorful Beef Patties – 19 Cooking Methods

Beef patties are a dinnertime staple. Whether you’re making burgers, meatballs, or meatloaf, having a recipe for tasty beef patties is essential. With the right techniques, you can take humble ground beef from the grocery store and transform it into tender, juicy patties bursting with flavor.

In this guide, you’ll learn 19 different methods for cooking beef patties, from pan frying burgers to baking meatloaf. With tips for seasoning, shaping, and cooking beef patties, you’ll turn out perfect results every time.

Getting Started

Before diving into specific cooking techniques, here are some general tips for working with ground beef:

Choose the right fat ratio – For juicy burgers and patties, choose beef that is 80-85% lean. Avoid extra lean beef over 90% as it tends to get dry.

Handle gently – The more you mash and compact the beef, the tougher it becomes. Gently shape into patties.

Make a divot – Press a dent into the middle of patties to prevent bulging as they cook.

Season generously – Flavor the beef inside and out with salt, pepper, spices, herbs, etc.

Don’t overcook – Cook just until browned and 160°F internally to prevent dryness.

Stovetop Cooking Methods

Pan Frying

The classic way to cook burgers. Use a heavy skillet or griddle pan over medium-high heat. Add a small amount of oil or butter to prevent sticking. Place patties in the hot pan and cook undisturbed for 2-3 minutes per side. They should develop a nice brown crust while cooking through. Top with cheese during the last minute if desired.

Shallow Frying

For thin, crispy patties, heat 1/4 inch oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season beef patties then fry for 1-2 minutes per side until browned and cooked through. Drain on paper towels. Great for slider-style burgers.

Pot Pie Filling

For a beef and veggie mixture perfect for pot pies, brown ground beef with aromatics like onion and garlic. Then stir in stock, milk, or cream along with diced carrots, peas, corn, etc. Thicken with a slurry if desired. Cool before assembling pot pies.

Oven Cooking Methods


Arrange patties on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway, until cooked through and lightly browned. Baking avoids the splatter of frying. Top with cheese towards the end if desired.


For homemade meatloaf, mix ground beef with breadcrumbs, egg, and seasonings. Pack into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350°F for 1 hour. Let rest before slicing. Top with ketchup glaze if desired.


Gently mix ground beef with breadcrumbs, egg, Parm, and seasonings. Shape into balls and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes, turning halfway, until browned. Or simmer in sauce.

Hand Pies

Roll out pie dough and cut into rounds. Place seasoned ground beef filling onto half of each round. Fold over dough to make a semicircle and crimp edges to seal. Cut vents on top. Bake at 375°F until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Grill Cooking Methods

Grilled Burgers

Form beef into patties and season generously. Grill over direct high heat for 3-5 minutes per side. Don’t press down with a spatula, which causes juices to escape. Insert a thermometer to check for doneness.


Thread beef and veggies onto metal or wooden skewers. Grill over direct high heat, turning frequently and basting with sauce. Ensure beef is cut into small pieces so it cooks quickly.


Shape mini patties and season as desired. Grill over direct high heat for just 1-2 minutes per side until cooked through. Serve on petite buns. Short cooking time prevents sliders from drying out.

Stuffed Peppers

Parboil bell pepper halves until slightly softened. Fill with a mixture of cooked ground beef, rice, cheese, etc. Grill cut-side down over indirect heat until peppers are tender and filling is hot.

Skillet & One-Pot Cooking Methods


Season ground beef with Mexican spices. Cook in a hot skillet along with sliced bell peppers and onions. Serve in warm tortillas or over rice. Top with desired fixings.

Shepherd’s Pie

Brown ground beef with onions and carrots. Spoon into a baking dish. Top with instant mashed potatoes and cheese. Broil until hot and browned.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Blanch cabbage leaves until pliable. Roll around filling of cooked ground beef, rice, onion, garlic, etc. Place in a skillet or baking dish. Cover with tomato sauce. Simmer or bake until tender.

One-Pot Pasta

In a skillet, brown ground beef, garlic, and Italian seasonings. Stir in marinara sauce and uncooked pasta. Add water or broth as needed. Cover and cook until pasta is al dente.


Cook ground beef in a pot along with onion, garlic, and spices. Add tomatoes, beans, stock, etc. Simmer until thickened. Top bowls with cheese, sour cream, etc.

Slow Cooker Cooking Methods


Place uncooked seasoned meatballs into a slow cooker with marinara sauce. Cook on low 4-6 hours until meatballs are tender. Serve over spaghetti.

Pulled Beef

Season beef patties with BBQ spice rub. Stack in a slow cooker and top with sauce. Cook on low 6-8 hours until fall-apart tender. Shred and serve on buns.


In the morning, combine ground beef and spices in a slow cooker. Add tomatoes, beans, etc. Cook on low all day. Top bowls with desired garnishes.


Form patties and cook in a skillet just until no longer pink. Transfer to a slow cooker with sliced onions and sauce. Cook on low 2-3 hours. The gentle heat keeps burgers moist.

Cooking Guidelines

Follow these tips for perfect beef patties every time:

  • Choose 80-85% lean ground beef for the best flavor and texture

  • Handle the beef gently when shaping to prevent denseness

  • Season generously with salt, pepper, spices, herbs, etc.

  • Make a divot in the center of patties to prevent bulging

  • Pan fry over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes per side

  • Bake at 375°F for about 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway

  • Grill over direct high heat for 3-5 minutes per side

  • Cook to 160°F internally to ensure food safety

  • Avoid overcooking to prevent dry, rubbery patties

From pan frying to baking to grilling, you can cook flavorful beef patties so many ways. With this guide, you have the tips and techniques to turn out juicy, tender beef patties anytime.

How to Cook Frozen Beef Hamburger Patties In A Pan – Quarter Pound


How should a beef patty be cooked?

And since any piece of meat is only as cooked as its least cooked part, you need to cook the ground beef to 160°F (71°C) to ensure it is safe to eat. Of course, with carryover cooking, that means you’ll want to pull your burgers at 155°F (68°C) to achieve the best temp possible.

How long do you cook pre made beef patties?

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. Remove from the pan and serve on your favorite bun!

Do you cook beef patties with oil or butter?

You do need oil to cook your skillet burger. Some preferred to use butter to cook a skillet burger, however we choose olive oil. Cook your burgers on medium high heat and do not flip until about 5 minutes of cooking on the first side. If you want a cheeseburger, wait till after you flip the burger.

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