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How to Cook Frozen Burgers in the Air Fryer

Learn how to cook frozen burgers in the air fryer! An air fryer makes it quick and easy to cook hamburgers, even when the patties are still frozen. This is a meal you can make in 20 minutes, perfect for a busy weeknight dinner.

hamburger on a plate with toppings

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I like to make homemade meals, but sometimes I don’t need homemade food, I need quick and easy! And cooking frozen burgers in the air fryer the ultimate quick and easy meal!

Having frozen burgers in the freezer is a great alternative for a day when dinner burns or life unexpectedly gets in the way. You can skip the drive through and make easy burgers at home.

With an air fryer you can take hamburgers from frozen to ready to eat in less than 20 minutes.

Making burgers that aren’t frozen? Check out these posts for fresh Air Fryer Hamburgers or Air Fryer Turkey Burgers.

Why Use the Air Fryer to Cook Frozen Burgers?

  • An air fryer cooks quickly. The high heat and hot air mean dinner is ready fast.
  • The results are predictable and repeatable, so your burgers are cooked through without getting burnt or blackened.
  • Clean up is easy and most of the grease drips down into the basket instead of spattering all over the cooktop.
  • The burgers are juicy inside and tasty.
frozen burger in front of air fryer

Type of Burgers

When cooking frozen burgers the most important factor is the thickness of the burgers, not the type. The cooking time will range from 10-20 minutes, depending on the thickness.

The burgers can be homemade or store bought, made from beef or turkey or chicken. For these pictures I used store bought Bubba burgers, which are about 1/2 an inch thick.

Cooking Time for Frozen Burgers in an Air Fryer

Here is a general rule of thumb for how long frozen burgers will take to cook in an air fryer.

Thickness of PattyTime to cook at 370°F
1/4 inch (veggie burger)10 minutes
3/8 inch (homemade burger)14 minutes
1/2 inch (Bubba burger)17 minutes
more than 1/2 inch20 minutes or more
Cooking Time for Frozen Burgers in an Air Fryer

As always times will vary depending on your specific air fryer. But this should give you a good starting point!

Always use an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, don’t try to guess based just on time. A thermometer is not expensive and the peace of mind it gives you is priceless. Food poisoning is not fun!

How to Cook Frozen Burgers in the Air Fryer

1. Preheat

Preheat the air fryer to 370 degrees F for three minutes. Preheating will help the burgers cook evenly.

2. Cook Burgers

Put the burgers in the air fryer basket, without overlapping. I am able to fit three or four burgers in my 5.8 quart air fryer basket, depending on their size.

frozen burgers in air fryer basket

It is OK if it is a tight fit at first, because beef patties will shrink quite a bit as they cook. So there will be more room for the air to circulate as the patties cook.

Set the air fryer at 370 degrees F for 14 minutes. Half way through, after about 7 minutes pull the basket out and flip the burgers over.

partially cooked burgers in air fryer

If you want to add seasoning to the burgers, like salt, pepper, or steak seasoning, do it when you flip them. Once the burgers are flipped continue to cook them for the remaining time.

checking the internal temperature of the patties

After the 14 minutes is up check the burgers with an instant read thermometer. Make sure the burgers reach 165 degrees F before serving. These burgers needed another 3 minutes to finish cooking.

3. Add Cheese

If you want to make cheeseburgers it is easy to melt the cheese on top. After the burgers are done pull the basket out and put a slice of cheese on top.

The push the basket back into the air fryer without turning it on and the residual heat from the air fryer will melt it onto the hamburger patty for a tasty cheeseburger.

How to Serve

Serve the burgers on buns with your favorite toppings. The 15-20 minutes while the burgers cook is plenty of time to cut up a tomato or slice some onion for topping off the air fryer burgers.

serving an air fryer burger

Tips

  • If you are unseasoned plain ground beef, like the Bubba burgers, you can add some seasoning after you flip them. I like to add Montreal steak seasoning or some Cajun spices. Even just a little bit of garlic powder sprinkled on top can add some excitement and flavor.
  • Beef burgers generate a lot of grease as they cook. If you put bread in the bottom of the air fryer under the basket it will soak up most of the grease.
  • If you are making homemade burgers to freeze for later cooking be as consistent as possible with the thickness, so they cook evenly.
air fryer burger topped with cheese, tomato, bacon and more

Want Fries with your Burgers?

French fries go wonderfully with burgers, but it doesn’t work well to air fry the fries along with the burgers. Burgers are just too greasy! My son tried to air fry the two together and the fries were pretty gross and not tasty.

So if you want fries air fry them before cooking the burgers, and put them in a 250 degree oven to stay warm while you make the burgers. Or serve the burgers with coleslaw or potato chips instead.

hamburger with toppings

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my air fryer smoke?

Some air fryers will smoke when greasy food, like bacon or burgers, is cooked in them because the fan blows the grease into the heating element. If your air fryer smokes add a piece of bread under the basket to soak up the grease so it doesn’t get blown around.

Do I need to add oil to the air fryer basket before cooking frozen burgers?

No. The burgers will generate plenty of grease as they cook and should not stick to the basket. You should however, preheat the air fryer before adding the frozen burgers.

How do I cook frozen turkey or chicken burgers in the air fryer?

The type of meat the frozen burgers contain will have little effect on cooking them in the air fryer. All burgers should be cooked to 165 degrees F and the thickness of the burger will determine how long to cook them. At 370 degrees F start with 10 minutes for very thin burgers and 14 minutes for thicker ones, and cook until an internal temperature of 165 degrees F is reached. The cooking time chart above is useful for all types of frozen burgers.

Find More Air Fryer Dinners

Yield: 3

Frozen Burgers in the Air Fryer

air fryer burger topped with cheese, tomato, bacon and more

Learn how to cook frozen burgers in the air fryer!

Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 frozen burger patties
  • 3 rolls
  • 3 slices cheese
  • optional seasoning - such as Montreal steak seasoning, cajun seasoning, or salt and pepper
  • assorted toppings - bacon, tomato, onion, lettuce, condiments

Instructions

  1. Preheat the air fryer at 370 degrees F for 3 minutes.
  2. Put the frozen patties in the air fryer basket, without overlapping.
  3. Cook at 370 degrees F for 14 minutes. After 7 minutes pull the basket out and flip the patties over.
  4. If you'd like to add seasoning to the burgers sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of steak seasoning on each burger after you flip it.
  5. After the 14 minutes check the burgers and make sure they have reaches 165 degrees F. If not put them back in for another 2-5 minutes and check the temperature again.
  6. To make cheeseburgers leave the burgers in the air fryer basket. Put a slice of cheese on each burger and push the basket back in for 1 minute without turning the air fryer on. The heat of the air fryer should melt the cheese.
  7. Put the burgers on a bun and add the toppings you prefer.

Notes

Frozen Burger Cooking Time Chart

Times will vary for different air fryers, but this chart provides a good starting point.

Burger and Fries

If you want to air fry both a burger and fries air fry the French fries first. Then keep them warm on a tray in a 250 degree oven while the burgers cook. The burgers will generate a lot of grease so it doesn't work well to cook them together.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

3

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 829Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 162mgSodium: 2839mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 49g

Nutrition facts are estimates and includes a bun but not burger toppings.

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open faced burger on a plate
collage picture of air fryer frozen burgers
By on February 26th, 2020

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