Air Fryer Hamburgers cook fast and taste great! Make this recipe for delicious burgers when you don’t want to use your grill. It’s SO easy!
Making burgers in the air fryer is a great way to cook them. It is a pretty hands-off process. You form them, you put them in the basket, and within minutes they’re tender, juicy, and ready. Always best to make your own patties and it’s super easy.
Using the Air Fryer is a great way to cook burgers if you don’t have a grill or don’t want to grill.
One of the things I learned over the years is that salt and pepper goes a long way. Skipping all the other mix-ins and going minimalistic results in the tastiest burger ever and makes the beef flavor the star. Give it a try!
Secrets for the best burgers
- Go Lean: Ground beef that’s 85 percent lean is your best bet.
- Hands off: When you’re creating the patties, pack the meat loosely and use a light touch with minimal handling to ensure tender, juicy burgers and prevent rubbery/tough meat.
- Salt just before cooking: Because salt draws out water and dissolves meat protein, you don’t want to do it too far ahead of cooking. Waiting to salt just before they get air-fried ensures tender meat.
- Add cheese carefully: When the burgers are almost done, slide the basket out, add the cheese to the burgers, and close the basket. Allow the cheese to melt for the last minute of cooking. (If you add the cheese and keep the fryer on while the cheese is melting, you will have a cheesy explosion inside your air fryer!)
Favorite Burger Buns
In my opinion, the bun is super important! Here are my favorite hamburger buns:
- Brioche Buns – Lightly sweet with a soft crumb, these buns go so well with burgers and you can find them at most grocery stores
- Potato Buns – These are the buns Shake Shack is using for their burgers (this is the exact brand). Slightly chewy and super soft, you can’t go wrong with these.
- Homemade Buns – This white bread recipe also makes great burger buns!
Tips and FAQ
- Pre-shaped patties – If you’re using pre-shaped patties from the store, they’re often thinner and will cook faster.
- Homemade is best – If you’re using your own homemade patties, you can season them how you want and handle them as little as possible and shape them just right. Bonus!
- Frozen – If you’re cooking them from frozen, they’ll take 13-16 minutes.
- Prep the buns and topping first then make the patties
- Make them wider – The patties should be 0.5-1” wider than the bun since they’ll shrink in the Air Fryer
- Make an indentation in the center of each burger with three fingers to prevent them from plumping up in the center
- Don’t press down on the burgers during the cooking process, this would squeeze out the flavorful juices
- Carryover cooking – Beef should be pulled from heat 3 to 10ºF lower than these temperatures to account for carryover cooking while the beef rests before serving.
What is a Safe Beef Internal Temperature for Beef?
This depends on what kind of beef you are using. Store-bought ground beef should not be eaten medium-rare because it was pre-ground and stored in possibly questionable conditions. So you need to ensure that it is safe by cooking it to medium-well.
But if you bought a steak at the store and ground it yourself, just before cooking the hamburgers, you would be safe to eat them at medium-rare.
- If you’re cooking with commercial ground beef: Cook it until it reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees F for medium-well.
- If you’re using home ground beef: Cook it until 130 degrees F for medium-rare.
Topping and Assembling
- Burger Bun Bottom Half
- Little bit of sauce
- Beef Patty
- Red onion
- Burger Bun Top Half
Other great burger toppings
- Other Cheese – Mozzarella, blue cheese, brie, or any other cheese you like
- Avocado – A slice of avocado or some guacamole makes a great topping
- Sauteed Mushrooms – Add so much flavor
- Jalapenos – Pickled or fresh sliced jalapenos add some heat
- Bacon – Put the crispy bacon on top of the cooked pattie before adding the cheese, this way the bacon stays in place and the flavors of the two types of meat can mingle
Can I make these on the grill/stovetop?
Yes, you can make these hamburgers not only in the Air Fryer but also on the stove or on the grill! My tips work for all these cooking methods.
Stovetop: To make them on the stovetop I recommend using a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Use a high heat oil to lightly coat the pan and add the burgers when the oil is hot. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side until they reach an internal temperature of 155˚F.
Grill: Preheat grill to medium heat and grill burger patties covered for 3-5 min each side on the grill until the internal temperature of the patties reaches 155˚F.
Best Burger Sauces
- Homemade Aioli
- Shake Shack sauce (coming soon)
- Fry Sauce: 1/3 cup of mayonnaise and 1 Tbsp ketchup
- BBQ mayo: 1/3 cup of mayonnaise and 2 tsp BBQ sauce
- Ketchup, Mayo, Mustard: Not fancy but a classic.
Sides for this BBQ classic
Here are a few of my favorite dishes to serve with my Air Fryer Hamburgers:
- German Cucumber Salad – Crispy and refreshing!
- Macaroni Salad – so simple with the best dressing
- Air Fryer Potato Wedges – Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside
- Zucchini Salad – with roasted corn and a simple dressing
Air Fryer Hamburgers
- 4 brioche buns, cut in half
- 1 pound lean ground beef, 85 percent
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 slices cheddar cheese, thick slices
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 4 leaves green leaf lettuce
- 1 large pickle, sliced
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced into rings
- Burger Sauce, of your choice
- Preheat air fryer to 375 degrees F.
- Divide by four. Shape beef mixture into four 3/4-inch-thick patties and press shallow divot with three fingers in the center of each. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Spray air fryer basket with oil spray and put buns cut side down into the basket. Air fry for 1 minute to toast, then transfer to a cooling rack.
- Transfer the beef patties to the basket and cook for 8-12 minutes until patties register 155 degrees in the thickest part. Flipping is not required. Turn Air Fryer off and top with a slice of cheese, close and let sit for 30 more seconds to melt the cheese.
- Assemble burger.
- Rare 120-130ºF
- Medium Rare 130-135ºF
- Medium 135-140ºF
- Medium Well 145-155ºF
- Well Done 155ºF and up
Safe Internal Temperature
- Commercial ground beef: Cook it until it reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees F for medium-well.
- Homemade ground beef: Cook it until 130 degrees F for medium-rare.