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Frozen Burgers in the Air Fryer

Learn how to cook a frozen hamburger in the air fryer. Frozen beef patties, simple seasoning, your favorite condiments, and an air fryer is all you need to enjoy burgers all year round. In just 10 minutes, you can have a delicious burger that tastes like it came right off the grill! No defrosting or prep work necessary.

plates of hamburgers

This method is perfect for beef burgers. This also works on veggie burgers, Beyond Meat, turkey burgers, salmon burgers, and other frozen meat patties.

Air Fryer Hamburger Recipe

Cook juicy, flavorful burgers from frozen beef patties perfectly every time! This is the easiest way to enjoy a hamburger whenever the craving strikes. 

hamburger meal with french friens

Premade frozen burgers are the ultimate convenience item! These patties are already formed, then frozen for purchase at your local grocery store. At about an inch thick, these only take 10 minutes to prepare.

Out of the many recipes we make in the air fryer, hamburgers are definitely our top choice. There’s something about the simplicity of whipping up a burger without all the fuss of preheating the grill, defrosting the meat, cleaning the grill, and… monitoring the weather.

I use a Ninja Foodi Air Fryer for all of my air fryer recipes. On average, we use it at least three times per week…sometimes more! We even use it to reheat pizza for leftover homemade pizza! A few of our other easy air fryer recipes include pizza rolls, French fries, “grilled” chicken breast, and chicken nuggets.

Here’s why I love this recipe.

  1. It’s easy. There is zero prep work when you use premade burger patties. All you have to do is pull them out of the freezer, add seasoning, and air fry.
  2. It’s fast. Burgers are ready in about 10 minutes, which is about a fraction of the time compared to grilling. No fuss over preheating the grill, defrosting meat, cleaning the grill, etc.
  3. Weather friendly. No more stress over maintaining the grill’s temperature in really cold or hot weather. Plus, you can make burgers in rain, snow, sleet, or shine!
  4. No grill needed. Air fryers can be used for so many different things. (more ideas below!)
  5. No thawing. You can cook these burgers straight from the freezer. No defrosting necessary.

Air Frying vs. Grilling vs. Pan Searing Burgers

Air Frying: When air fried, these burgers cook very quickly while staying juicy and tender. There is also minimal mess to clean up, aside from washing the utensils and air fryer basket. Since these are (typically) non-stick, cleaning up is a breeze. Some can even go in the dishwasher.

Grilling Burgers: It’s a classic way to prepare burgers, but it’s also labor-intensive. There’s so much more to the cooking process with grilling: preheating the grill, cleaning the grill, stabilizing the temperature, considering the weather, etc. 

Not to mention, you also have to replace the propane on occasion, have room for storing the grill, supplies, etcetera. Plus, there’s a bit of a learning curve with operating a grill.

Pan Searing Burgers: Before the air fryer, this was the default if the grill wasn’t an option. But, this gets messy and smelly. It also produces a lot of grease. The grease splatters when the cold burgers hit the pan and the smell can permeate through the house. 

Best Brand of Frozen Hamburger Patties

There are many different options for premade frozen burger patties. Typically, we stick to generic brands, but we’ve also had great success using other brands, too.

frozen hamburger patties with burger condiments

Here are some of the most popular brands of frozen patties:

  • Ball Park
  • Bubba Burgers
  • Omaha Steaks
  • Applegate
  • Generic store brands like Trader Joe’s, Costco, Walmart, Kroger, Meijer, etc.

Any lean-to-fat ratio is up to your own preference. Also, angus, chuck, reduced fat, flavored options, and more will all make for a great burger!

Frozen Burger Patties vs. Fresh

The key to keeping this process easy and simple is the pre-pattied frozen burgers. You can find these in the freezer section of the grocery store. You can also use this method to prepare frozen burgers you’ve made at home, too.

Can you cook a raw burger in an air fryer?

While these instructions are specific to frozen hamburger meat, you can also use these same steps for fresh, raw, or thawed burger patties. The cook time and temperature largely depends on the thickness of the burgers. Keep that in mind when you are preparing to cook.

How to make thawed burgers in the air fryer:

  1. Add the patties to the air fryer basket in a single layer.
  2. Cook at 375°F for 6-8 minutes. Then, flip and cook for another 6-8 minutes.
  3. The burger is done when the internal temperature reaches 160°F when read with a meat thermometer.

How to Season Frozen Hamburger Patties

You might be curious as to how the seasoning sticks to a frozen burger patty. Typically, we marinate our frozen burgers in Dale’s Seasoning before we put them in the air fryer. We let them marinate for about 10-15 minutes. 

If you aren’t using a liquid seasoning or marinade, dry rubs and seasonings are great options, too. Place the frozen patties in the air fryer and sprinkle on the dry seasoning on one side. After flipping the patties, add the seasoning to the other side.

Use your own store bought burger seasoning, a homemade dry rub, or a combination of garlic powder, onion powder, and salt and pepper. 

How to Cook a Frozen Hamburger in the Air Fryer

You just need a few simple ingredients to make the perfect burger!

What you need to make a juicy air fryer hamburger:

  • Air Fryer: You can use a traditional air fryer unit or a multi-cooker with an air fryer function.
  • Frozen Beef Patties: You can use premade options or cook a frozen homemade version. This method  works with turkey burgers, veggie burgers, elk burgers, or bison burgers, too.
  • Seasoning: Use a liquid or dry ingredient marinade of your choice. Montreal steak seasoning or other store bought rubs are great for additional convenience.
  • Condiments and Toppings: Dress your burger with lettuce, cheese slices, condiments, and other toppings.
sliced hamburger

Step 1: Season the Frozen Burger Patties.

Remember, there’s no need to thaw the premade patty. Just remove it from the freezer and place the burgers in a single layer in a casserole dish or rimmed baking sheet.

Add the dry seasoning or pour in the marinade. If you are using dry seasoning, place the burgers into the air fryer basket and add the seasoning on the top side. Then, add seasoning to the opposite side after flipping the patties.

Step 2: Air Fry the Burgers.

Next, place the patties into the basket of your air fryer and cook for 8-10 minutes at 350°F. Flip halfway through the cooking time to ensure the patties are evenly cooked and browned on all sides.

The burgers are done when they reach an internal temperature of 165°F when read with a meat thermometer.

Do you need to flip burgers in the air fryer?

While it’s not absolutely necessary, flipping the burgers during the cooking process will ensure that the meat is evenly cooked throughout. Plus, a little “grill char” develops on the side that touches the air fryer basket. This adds additional flavor and appetizing coloring to the patty.

Step 3: Serve the burgers.

Once your hamburgers are cooked, remove them from the air fryer, add them to a bun, dress with your favorite toppings and condiments and serve!

How to Make a Cheeseburger

To turn your hamburger into a cheeseburger, place a cheese slice on top of the patty and allow the burger to rest for a minute or two inside the air fryer with the unit off. The cheese will not blow around with this method!

cooked hamburger patties with cheese on top in air fryer

Serving Suggestions for  Assembling Burgers

In my opinion, there’s no “correct” way to dress a burger. It’s all about what you like and the flavors you enjoy.

If you are serving more than a few people, I recommend setting up a “burger bar” with a large platter of condiments and toppings. This way, people can assemble their burgers in their own way.

assembling a cooked hamburger

Here are a few tips for serving burgers:

  • Include standard burger toppings: Ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, pickle chips, lettuce, onion, and tomato are all classic additions to burgers.
  • Add sauces: Use bbq sauce, sriracha mayo, chipotle mayo, aioli spreads, and other flavorful spreads.
  • Incorporate themes: This could be from different regions, countries, or inspired by a party theme. Add regional flavors, sauces, and ingredients to play on the theme of the meal. Like Cajun, Mexican, Asian, and BBQ themes.
  • Don’t forget the buns: Use different flavored hamburger buns for variety. Toast them under the oven broiler or in the air fryer after the burgers have been removed.
  • Other toppings: Don’t be afraid to get creative with unusual toppings. Try sliced avocado, guacamole, caramelized onions and mushrooms, pickled onions and more.
dressed hamburger and french fries

Tips for the Best Frozen Burgers

  • Don’t crowd the basket. For even cooking and best results, make sure the patties are in a single layer inside the air fryer basket.
  • Season well. Use your favorite homemade seasoning or store bought seasoning.
  • Cooking times will vary. Since every air fryer is different, it’s hard to get the timing right for every make and model of air fryer. My advice is to use my time as a guideline, adjusting the cooking time according to your air fryer unit. The age of your air fryer, basket shape, and number of patties will all impact the cooking time. 
  • Make cleaning up easy. Line the basket with aluminum foil or parchment paper for easier clean up.

Air Fryer Hamburger FAQ

How long does it take to cook a hamburger in the air fryer?

The process of cooking a burger in the air fryer takes about 10 minutes from start to finish.

Can you put frozen burgers in an air fryer?

Yes, frozen hamburgers do really well in the air fryer. In about 10 minutes, the burgers will go from completely frozen to juicy and tender.

Can you put aluminum foil and parchment paper in an air fryer?

If you want to make the clean-up process easier, line the air fryer basket with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

Do you preheat an air fryer?

It’s not necessary to preheat an air fryer. There are many sources that say this makes the food even better, but I haven’t noticed a difference.

Should I grill or air fry burgers?

Air frying hamburgers is a much more convenient option than grilling. It’s cleaner, hassle-free, and doesn’t have a learning curve like grilling.

Are hamburgers good cooked in an air fryer?

Hamburgers are delicious prepared in the air fryer. It’s an easy way to have a juicy burger quickly.

Air fryer hamburgers are the easiest way to enjoy burgers for a great weeknight dinner!

Yield: 2 burgers

Air Fryer Frozen Burgers

two burgers stacked on a plate with french fries

Learn how to cook a frozen hamburger in the air fryer. Frozen beef patties, simple seasoning, your favorite condiments, and an air fryer is all you need to enjoy the perfect burger. In just 10 minutes, you can have a delicious burger that tastes like it came right off the grill! No defrosting or prep work necessary.

This method is perfect for beef burgers. This also works on veggie burgers, Beyond Meat, turkey burgers, salmon burgers, and other frozen meat patties.

Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • Frozen beef burger patties*

Instructions

  1. Season or marinate the burger patties.*
  2. Place the patties into the air fryer basket.
  3. Cook the burger for 8-10 minutes at 350°F, flipping the patties at the 5-minute mark.
  4. Burger is done when it reaches an internal temp of 165°F.
  5. Optional: Add a slice of cheese to the patty and close the lid of the air fryer. Allow it to rest for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese is melted. This is done with the air fryer off and lid closed.
  6. Remove the hamburger from the air fryer basket. Serve on a bun with desired toppings.

Notes

This method is perfect for beef burgers. This also works on veggie burgers, Beyond Meat, turkey burgers, salmon burgers, and other frozen meat patties.

If you are using dry seasoning, place the burgers into the air fryer basket and add the seasoning on the top side. Then, add seasoning to the opposite side after flipping the patties.

Reheating / Storing / Leftovers Info:

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat burgers in the microwave for one minute at a time, or in the air fryer for 3 minutes at 375°F.

Variations

  • Don’t be afraid to get creative. Add flavors from different regions, countries, or themes. Include their local flavors, sauces, and ingredients. Examples: Cajun, Mexican, Asian, BBQ, etc.

How to make raw, defrosted hamburgers in the air fryer:

  1. Add the patties to the air fryer basket in a single layer.
  2. Cook at 375°F for 6-8 minutes. Then, flip and cook for another 6-8 minutes.
  3. The burger is done when the internal temperature reaches 160°F when read with a meat thermometer.

A note on air fryer units: Every air fryer is different which means cook times and temperatures vary across different units. The age of your air fryer, basket shape, and capacity will all impact the cooking time. Use the time listed in the recipe card as a guideline, adjusting the cooking time according to your air fryer unit.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

1

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 540Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 791mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 34g

The nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate generated by a calculator.

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