Nothing beats a juicy burger served with a side of French fries. You won’t ever hear us, or anyone else, say no to this delicious combo!
You can get your favorite burgers from the drive-thru every now and then, make them at home from scratch for a healthier and more delicious option, or use frozen burger patties.
While the first two options may not always be feasible, frozen burger patties are a great alternative and a quick hunger fix not only for busy weeknights but weekend night-ins as well.
Usually, when you think of frozen burgers, your mind instantly goes to cooking them on the stove, on a barbecue, or in a skillet. There is, however, a newer and easier way: making frozen burgers in an air fryer.
So, how do you make frozen burgers in an air fryer? Simply take the patties out of the freezer, put them in the air fryer without any overlapping, and cook at 350°F for about 15 minutes. Make sure to flip around 7 1/2 minutes into the cook time to ensure even browning on both sides.
Read on for step-by-step instructions for cooking them in an air fryer, tips on how to get the most out of your frozen burgers, and how they compare to other more traditional methods of cooking.
Cooking Frozen Burgers In An Air Fryer
If you don’t feel like cooking your frozen burgers on a skillet and don’t want your kitchen to smell like a grill, simply take out your air fryer to make yourselves the most delicious burgers within minutes.
What’s great about this method is that you don’t need to defrost the burgers ahead of time. You can simply put the frozen patties in the air fryer and they’re good to go!
Compared to grilling frozen burgers that would take much longer for the patty to cook through, air frying them is super easy and convenient, done in less than 20 minutes and without worrying about thawing them beforehand.
In addition to that, air fryer frozen burgers also make for easy cleanup as compared to cleaning the pan or grill after a session of splattering.
To make it even easier, you can place some aluminum foil in the bottom of the air fryer to take care of any grease drainage.
What’s best is that you don’t have to work in the heat near the stove or outdoor on the grill to make your burgers.
With an air fryer, you can cook your frozen burgers comfortably in your kitchen without needing to brave the elements of heat and humidity.
Here are step-by-step instructions on how to make frozen burgers in an air fryer:
- No need to thaw the frozen burger patties. Simply take them out of the freezer and place them into the basket/tray of the air fryer.
- Cook the burgers at 350°F for 15 minutes, flipping once at the halfway mark to ensure that they are cooked evenly.
- Before flipping them, use a spatula to check if the patties are easily lifting off the surface. If they are sticking to it, give them another 2-3 minutes before flipping them or you might risk breaking them.
- Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the burgers. Once ready, carefully remove them from the air fryer basket and prepare them with hamburger buns and condiments of your choice.
How Long Does It Take To Cook Frozen Burgers In An Air Fryer?
The total time it takes to cook frozen burgers in an air fryer depends on your air fryer, the size of the patties, and how you like your burgers to be cooked.
The internal temperature of the patty will be different depending on whether you want your burgers to be rare, medium, or well done.
Always use a reliable instant meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your burgers before you eat them.
If you do not have a meat thermometer, cut open the patties to see if they are cooked through. If they are very pink and look raw, let them cook for a few more minutes.
Though, as mentioned earlier, the actual timing to cook the frozen burgers may vary depending on your air fryer and the size of the patties, here are some estimations for the time and internal temperature to guide you:
- Rare—125°F and approximately 13 minutes
- Medium-rare—135°F and approximately 14-16 minutes
- Medium—145°F and approximately 15-17 minutes
- Medium-well—155°F and approximately 16-18 minutes
- Well-done—160°F and approximately 17-20 minutes
Tips For Making Frozen Burgers In An Air Fryer
Even though making frozen burgers in an air fryer is an unbelievably easy process, here are a few tips to follow to make sure your burgers turn out super juicy and yummy:
- Avoid overlapping the burger patties and cook them in a single layer.
- The size of the air fryer basket and the burger patties will determine how many you can cook at a time. Most air fryers will be able to fit 2-4 burgers at once.
- Depending on the fat content of your burgers, you may need to oil the air fryer basket.
- Remember to flip the burgers halfway through so that both sides cook nicely and evenly.
- Always use a meat thermometer to cook frozen meats, such as burgers, to make sure you reach the desired internal temperature.
- Keep an eye on the burgers throughout the cooking time since every air fryer cooks a little differently and every burger patty may have a different thickness, especially if you are using homemade frozen burgers.
- For the juiciest air fryer frozen burgers, make sure they are made with pure 100% beef with a fat content of around 15%. Also, make sure that they don’t contain too many preservatives and are made with real ingredients.
How To Add Cheese To Air Fryer Frozen Burgers
If you wish to transform your frozen burgers into cheeseburgers, top them with your favorite slice of cheese for 30 seconds to 1 minute after the burgers have cooked completely since it takes hardly a few seconds to melt.
With the cooked burgers still inside the air fryer, place a slice of cheese on each, turn it off, close the tray, and let them sit in there for 1 minute. The residual heat inside the air fryer will be enough to melt the cheese perfectly.
If you try to add the cheese while the air fryer is still on, the excess heat might cause the cheese to fly off the burgers and create a mess, which is something you wouldn’t want.
Air Fryer Frozen Burgers Vs Other Methods
There are many ways you can make frozen burgers. While grilling, making them on a grill, and frying them on a skillet are some of the more traditional ways, they aren’t necessarily the only and, might we say, best ways.
Air fryers have changed the way we cook and prepare our meals. Not only do they offer a healthier alternative to deep-frying but also help minimize the overall cooking time of so many of your favorite foods.
If you compare frozen burgers cooked in an air fryer with ones cooked on a stovetop, we’d say that the formers ones are vastly superior.
We know it sounds a little difficult to imagine, but you have to try it to believe it! Air fryer burgers cook really quickly and stay super nice and juicy. They are perfectly cooked through and are the moistest with no burnt or dry edges.
The best part about making them in an air fryer is that you don’t need to stand over a hot grill or stove or stand outside in the heat to wait for your frozen burgers to be cooked.
No more going outside to light the grill and waiting for it to heat. All you have to do is simply turn on your air fryer and let it take care of the rest.
Can You Bake Frozen Burgers?
Yes, you can bake frozen burgers in the oven. Although putting them in the oven will increase their cooking time, it is still quicker than having to defrost the frozen burger patties beforehand in order to grill them.
If you are really pressed on time and cannot wait for the patties to bake in the oven, there are quicker defrosting methods such as using a microwave.
Regardless of how you cook your frozen burgers, it is important to thoroughly cook them to kill harmful bacteria, such as salmonella or E. coli.
Here are step-by-step instructions on how to cook frozen burgers in the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Place the frozen burgers on a lightly greased baking tray. Loosely cover it with aluminum foil and put it in the center oven rack.
- Let the burgers cook for about 1 hour. The total cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the patties and the type of oven you are using.
- Take the tray out using an oven mitt, uncover it, and use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the burgers. Insert the tip of the thermometer into the center of the thickest burger, making sure not to press it all the way through.
- Once the burgers have reached the desired temperature and are considered safe to eat, take them out and serve in hamburger buns and your choice of sauces and condiments.
Now that we’ve discussed making frozen burgers in an air fryer and how to make them super juicy and delicious, here are a few additional questions we thought you might have!
Should you defrost frozen burgers before grilling?
Although you can throw a frozen burger patty onto the grill, it will take twice as long to cook through.
Preheat your grill to around 325°F and spread your burger patties across the grill, flipping them every 5 minutes or so.
We recommend setting aside the time to properly thaw out the burgers before grilling them since defrosted patties cook evenly on the grill, resulting in juicier and better-tasting burgers.
How do you defrost frozen burgers before grilling?
The best way to defrost frozen burgers for grilling is to keep them in the refrigerator for a few hours.
According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, food defrosted using this method remains safe to store for an additional 2 days before cooking it.
Alternatively, you may put the frozen burgers in a water-tight plastic bag and keep it under cold running water until the burgers have thawed.
When using this method, do not store the burgers any longer and cook them straight away.
If you are really pressed on time and need a shortcut method to defrost your burgers, you can put them in the microwave for 2-3 minutes.
Although this is a quicker method, it can adversely affect the quality and taste of the cooked burgers.
Why does my air fryer smoke?
You will notice that your air fryer starts giving out smoke when you make frozen burgers in it. The reason for this is that the burger patties contain lots of fats that release grease.
When the grease drains and splatters on the heating element, you will often see white smoke coming out of the air fryer.
To prevent this from happening, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of water to the inner basket or, as suggested by many users, place a piece of bread between the air fryer baskets to catch the grease.
Also, make sure to always keep your air fryer clean. When it’s completely cool, gently wipe the insides and heating elements to remove old grease or any food residues stuck on it.
Can you make burgers and fries in the air fryer at the same time?
Yes, you can! With an air fryer, you can make multiple things at the same time. You can put the burgers on one side of the air fryer basket and the French fries on the other.
If you have an air fryer that comes with a separator, you can use it to divide the two foods and make them simultaneously for piping hot burgers and fries for you to enjoy!
How can you make frozen burgers taste better?
Frozen burger patties are lifesavers that allow you to enjoy delicious burgers any day of the week, whether you make them at home or purchase them from the store.
Depending on how you make them or the brand that you buy, they may or may not be seasoned before being frozen. Sometimes, even if they are, they might not be as per your liking.
Since frozen burgers are already formed, you won’t be able to add any seasonings inside the patty. However, you can very easily add the right seasonings and toppings to them as they cook in the air fryer, grill, or stove.
Some basic salt and pepper always do the trick in bringing out the natural flavor of the beef patty.
You may also use some garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, or your favorite steak seasoning to make them taste even more delicious.
To ensure they remain juicy, avoid pressing down on the patties with your spatula while they are cooking, making sure that all the juices stay in the patty.
If you are a cheese lover, you know a good slice of cheddar can greatly improve the flavor of your burger and turn it into a delicious cheeseburger. Yum!