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

  • 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.

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.

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

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

A grayish raw beef burger patty on a white plate placed on a gray table
I thought Wegmans' seasoned Angus-beef burgers looked a little gray. Ted Berg

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.

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

A green and red box of Wegmans premade burgers with a cooked burger on a bun with the top of the bun placed next to it on a white plate
I wasn't a huge fan of Wegmans' seasoned Angus-beef burgers.Ted Berg

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.

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

A pink raw beef patty on a white plate placed on a gray table
The Kirkland Signature Angus-ground-chuck-and-beef patties looked like they'd make hearty burgers.Ted Berg

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.

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

A package with a black label and an image of a grilled burger next to a white plate with a cooked burger on a bun with the top of the bun placed on the side
I thought the Kirkland Signature Angus-ground-chuck-and-beef patties were fine, but I wanted more flavor.Ted Berg

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.

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

A round bright-red raw beef patty on a white plate placed on a wooden cutting board
I anticipated the Whole Foods organic grass-fed beef burgers' small size would mean they'd cook quickly.Ted Berg

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.

Surprisingly, the Whole Foods burger was my winner.

An orange box with a Whole Foods label and an image of a burger on it next to a white plate with a burger patty on a bun and the top of the bun placed on the side
I loved the flavor of Whole Foods' organic grass-fed beef burgers.Ted Berg

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.

Read the original article on Business Insider