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.20160225-DSC_0029 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.