Air fryers have become increasingly popular in recent years as a healthy alternative to deep frying. Their ability to make crispy foods using little to no oil is certainly appealing.
One common question people have is whether you can use an air fryer to cook frozen burgers. Below, we’ll explore the answer and provide tips for successfully cooking frozen burgers in your air fryer.
What Happens If You Put Frozen Burgers In An Air Fryer?
You can absolutely put frozen burgers in an air fryer. The circulating hot air will thaw and begin cooking the burgers just like a traditional oven would. The key is to adjust the cooking time to account for the frozen state of the burgers.
Frozen burgers will take longer to thaw and cook than fresh or thawed burger patties. But with some simple adjustments, air fryers can produce delicious frozen burgers.
The air fryer’s hot air and rotating basket allow heat to reach the burgers evenly for thorough cooking.
Most frozen burger packages provide oven cooking times based on baking thawed patties.
When going straight from frozen to air fryer, add 3-5 minutes to the recommended oven cook time for thawed burgers. Closely monitor cooking and add more time if needed.
So in short, not only can you cook frozen burgers in an air fryer, but it’s a quick and easy way to enjoy juicy burgers using minimal oil. Follow the guidance below for air-frying success with frozen patties.
Tips for Cooking Frozen Burgers in an Air Fryer
Cooking frozen hamburgers in the air fryer is easy if you follow a few simple tips:
Use Thinner patties.
Thinner frozen burger patties will cook more quickly and evenly than large, thick ones. Aim for patties no more than 1/2 inch thick if cooking from frozen.
Thinner patties require less time to thaw and cook through. If you only have thicker patties available, consider slicing them in half horizontally before air-frying.
Preheat Your Air fryer.
Make sure to preheat your air fryer before adding the frozen patties. Most air fryers only take 3-5 minutes to preheat fully. Preheating helps ensure the burgers immediately start thawing and cooking when added instead of having to warm up.
Brush With oil.
Lightly brush both sides of the frozen patties with oil. This helps promote browning and prevent sticking. Use an oil with a high smoke point, like avocado oil. Olive oil can also work. Avoid butter, as it may burn.
Resist the urge to overload your air fryer basket. Overcrowding prevents proper air circulation. Leave at least 1/2 inch between patties for the air flow needed to cook evenly. Work in batches for larger quantities. It may add cooking time, but it guarantees better results.
Adjust the cooking time.
As mentioned above, frozen patties take longer than fresh ones. Add 3-5 minutes to the recommended time for thawed burgers and check frequently. Additional time is usually needed to thaw and cook through frozen meat. Watch closely and add 2-3 minutes as needed for your air fryer model.
Flip Patties Midway
For evenly cooked burgers, flip them halfway through cooking. This allows both sides to brown and cook through. Take care when flipping, as the patties will be fragile from thawing. Use a thin spatula to support them.
Ideal Air Fryer Temperature for Burgers
When cooking burgers in an air fryer, whether fresh or frozen, maintain a temperature between 370 and 400°F.
Any hotter can lead to excessive browning and drying out before the interior cooks through. Too low, below 350°F, won’t properly sear the burgers or develop a nice crust.
Aim for 375–385°F as the ideal air-frying temperature range for burgers. Preheating your air fryer ensures it’s up to temperature when adding patties.
Adjust cook times up or down slightly if needed based on your model’s performance at this temperature.
The key is finding the right balance between sufficiently hot air to sear and brown without overcooking. Maintaining lower air fryer temperatures often means tastier, juicier burgers. Monitor them as they cook and adjust as needed.
How to Make Air-Fried Burgers Incredible
Beyond just cooking frozen patties, you can take air-fried burgers to the next level with these easy tips:
- Lightly coat patties in a flavorful oil or melted butter before cooking. Try herbs, garlic, onion powder, mustard powders, etc.
- Top with cheese during the last 1-2 minutes of cooking for melty goodness. Choose quick-melting cheeses like cheddar or provolone.
- Brush buns with butter or oil and toast lightly in the air fryer during the last few minutes of burger cook time.
- Let cooked burgers rest for 5 minutes before serving. This allows juices to redistribute through the meat.
- Add favorite burger toppings like lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, ketchup, mayo, etc.
- Make easy air fryer french fries as a side dish by spraying cut potatoes lightly with oil.
With minimal effort, you can make restaurant-quality burgers conveniently in your air fryer. Don’t limit yourself to just plain patties; unleash your inner chef!
Frequently Asked Questions About Air Frying Frozen Burgers
Still have some questions about successfully cooking frozen burgers in an air fryer? Below are answers to some of the most common queries:
How long does it take to cook a frozen burger in an air fryer?
Cooking times can vary based on patty thickness, but plan for 8–12 minutes for thinner patties and 15-20 minutes for thicker ones. Preheat the air fryer first and brush the patties lightly with oil. Check frequently and add time as needed.
Should you thaw burgers before air-frying them?
You don’t need to thaw burgers before air-frying them; the circulating hot air will thaw and cook the burgers at the same time. Cooking from frozen just takes a bit longer. Thinner patties work best.
Do you have to flip burgers in an air fryer?
Flipping halfway through is recommended for evenly cooked burgers. The hot air can’t penetrate the underside of patties, so flipping ensures both sides brown and cook through. Use care when flipping thawed, fragile patties.
How many burgers can I cook at once in an air fryer?
This depends on the air fryer size, but avoid overcrowding. For optimal air circulation and even cooking, leave at least 1/2 inch between patties. Work in batches to avoid overfilling. Overcrowding leads to uneven cooking.
Do air-fried burgers taste as good as grilled ones?
While the flavor won’t be exactly the same, air-fried burgers can be quite tasty and juicy. Brush patties with oil and seasoning for flavor.
The high heat sears the exterior while keeping the interior moist. Air frying won’t replicate the smokey charcoal flavor, though.
Can I air fry burgers from fresh instead of frozen?
Absolutely! Follow the same tips but reduce cook times by 3-5 minutes since fresh patties don’t need to thaw first. Brushing patties with oil and seasonings still adds flavor. Fresh patties cook fast, so watch closely to avoid overcooking.
Get Crispy, Juicy Burgers with Your Air Fryer
Cooking frozen burgers in your air fryer is not only possible but easy with some simple guidance. Adjusting cook times, oiling patties, preheating, flipping halfway, and not overcrowding are the keys to success.
In no time, you can enjoy tender and delicious burgers using minimal added oil.
Fry up some crispy fries or toast burger buns at the same time for the perfect meal with no hassle. An air fryer lets you skip firing up the grill or oven.
Let your frozen patties defrost in the fridge during the day, and you can have burgers on the table in under 15 minutes.
So go ahead and throw those frozen burgers in your air fryer tonight! With the tips above, you’ll be enjoying juicy and crave-worthy burgers cooked right in your kitchen.
Hi, I’m Julie, the passionate foodie and founder of Juliesfamilykitchen.com. I created this blog out of a drive to prove someone wrong, and then I realized how much I truly enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. In my free time, when I’m not running around after my kids or spending quality time with my partner, you can usually find me in the kitchen experimenting with new dishes.