How to Freeze Dry Hamburgers

food on a table at a patriotic cook out

One of the best meals during the hot months of summer is to grill hamburgers outside on the barbecue. Plus, grilled hamburgers make such a great party food, but it seems there are always leftovers that go to waste. With a home freeze dryer, it’s now easy to freeze dry hamburger to last for 10 to 15 years.

Freeze Dry Raw Patties

Fresh hamburger doesn’t last very long in the refrigerator and if you freeze it, it’s challenging to thaw out frozen hamburger and make into patties.hamburgers on a freeze dryer tray We suggest buying fresh, lean hamburger whenever you see a great deal at your local market. Form the hamburger into normal size patties, place on trays and freeze dry with your default settings. Add more dry time at the end, if necessary, to make sure all the water is removed and that the patties are completely dry all the way through. Bag them in a mylar bag with an oxygen absorber. Make sure to label them as raw patties and include the freeze dry date. Most lean meats will last 10-15 years if stored properly. When you’re ready to eat, reconstitute the hamburger patties by immersing them in cold water or broth until the patties are moist all the way through, then, pat off any excess water with a paper towel. Grill or fry as you would normally. Or, break the patties into crumbles and make taco meat or cook and add to your favorite soup or casserole.

Freeze Dry Cooked Patties

Grill hamburger patties as usual, then blot as much of the grease or oil off the patties as possible. You can even run water over the patties to “rinse” off the grease and use a paper towel to blot dry. Place the patties on trays and freeze dry using your default settings. Make sure the patties are dry all the way through (adding extra dry time, if needed). Store the patties in a mylar bag with an oxygen absorber. Make sure to write the date on the bag so you know when they were freeze dried. When you’re ready to serve, just put them in a bowl with warm or hot water or broth allowing the water to slowly absorb back into the patties. Blot the patties with a paper towel and reheat or toss back on the grill for a small amount of time. You’ll find your hamburgers have all the texture and flavor of  ‘just-grilled’ burgers. And, if you don’t want to eat them as patties, you can easily break them up into pieces and add hamburger to your favorite recipe.

re-hydrated hamburger


I bought a wonderful book from Amazon. “Rehydration Calculations Made Easy” by Wanda Bailey Clark. Tables provide dehydrated, freeze-dried and powdered product substitutions for your favorite recipes. Part one of the book is in US measurements and the second part of the book is in Metric Measurements. It covers every area of food. Including wine, cheese, dairy and sauces. Example – half cup of dry cottage cheese plus one third cup of water………..equals half a cup of cottage cheese.
The book has proved to be a handy reference.
Sometime ago I imported a freeze dryer into my home countruy, Australia. We have been self-sufficient for over forty years. It’s the best thing yet !!!
I am in the process of creating a cooking blog. And…of course it will focus on freeze drying.

I am living in richardsbay southafrica in kzn province .is there a place in sa where qe can see a demo or a trail with the machine and if we have 2 purchase the machine how much will it cost delivered 2 rbay or dbn south will we get backup in case of repairs or service s.can the machine dry potatoes into macdonalds type french fries and store it in bags ( not frozen) the fry when needed.also can u dry liquids and if it can when we want 2 drink liquid (juice) musr we just add water.

Can 80/20 hamburger be freeze dried and preserved for the same amount of time successfully, or is a lesser fat content required? I would be ok with cooking the meat first to remove whatever fat cooks out. However we buy grass fed beef wholesale from a family member and have it processed locally. Even at 80/20 the hamburger usually has very little fat in the pan after cooking. Thank you for any assistance!

I FD lots of 80/20 and it works well. I have dried both raw and cooked and I prefer raw. When constituted it is exactly like fresh and you can shape it into patties after reconstituting if you want. I put a thermometer in each tray, facing the door, with the tip in some of the food. They are the kind that register temperatures from -40 up to 160 degrees. I keep drying the meat until the thermometer reads between 100 and 120 degrees. I usually have to add more drying time to get it there and each time I do I stir the hamburger or flip it if it’s patties (patties take longer to dry) and I will rotate the trays if some are staying warmer. I never put more than one pound of hamburger on a tray. I got the thermometer idea from a you tube video and always use them.

And it will probably sweat more than with it. I have found that I need to put a plastic cutting board with a towel to catch the condensation from freeze drying.

I have freeze dried raw hamburger patties, they are dry all the way through like a graham cracker, but the bottom side is damp from the ice in the machine. Should I put them in oven to dry the bottom better? or will these patties be okay to put in Mylar bag with oxygen absorbers.

It is best to be safe and make sure they are totally dry. Next time you might add a little dry time to the end of the batch in order to ensure dryness.

If I don’t remove the food immediately when the process is complete the dryer goes cold again. Then when I take it out the food is cold.
1. How long do I wait to package the cold food to avoid any condensation in the Mylar bags?
2. I can’t check for cold spots to tell if it’s done because everything is cold. Is crumbly texture the only other method to tell if it’s complete?
3) Pertaining to hamburger, is there a texture or flavor difference when rehydrating the cooked/uncooked patties? Thank you.

This is the same problem I’m running into. I’m a new FD owner and user so all the detailed info I can get on the processes the better.

I’m brand new as well, but find that adding drying time does the trick. You can check the food when it says it’s done, then add time if you need to. You can add hours to the drying time.

Easier for us to cook it first, either patties or ground beef. Just makes it easier to remove grease/fat & that’s with 90/10 chuck. Greasy stuff makes it take longer to dry completely, don’t be shy about an extra 8-12 hours.

I’m going to get backlash for this, but I highly recommend meat substitutes like beyond meat. Yes it sounds weird. However, I did a batch of several types of ground meat( pork, venison, beef, chicken) and they can take a minute. Leaner meats typically freeze dry very well and because meat substitutes are nothing but lean they freeze dry even better. No grease, no washing(*insert gordon ramsey meme here), and chocked full of nutrients for the long haul.
I have packed several types for long rucks and believe me when I say that fake meat RULES. You get that satisfaction of a granola style crunch mixed with the flavor of beef and that healthy veggie pick-me-up. Elk burgers, vension, and even bison burgers are great, but fake meat? Absolutely.

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