Air Fryer Hamburgers – these delicious, juicy, flavorful, and easy burgers can be on your table in a jiffy, complete with all your favorite toppings.
When you need a quick meal that you know everyone will love, these air fryer burgers won’t disappoint. This method of cooking them, in an air fryer, beats any other way that I’ve tried. Once you see how simple they are to make, you’ll be making these hamburgers regularly, guaranteed. With just minimal ingredients and time invested, this recipe will be a definite keeper in your meal rotation schedule.
Burgers are one of those food items where everyone has an opinion on the best way to make them. Should you pan fry, use a charcoal grill or gas grill or even oven bake them. Should you mash them flat, leave them plump, flip them once, smash them down with a spatula… you get the idea.
I can put to rest all the speculation on the best way to cook a hamburger that remains juicy, flavorful, requires just one flip and is ready in under 10 minutes. Oh, and is mess-free, too! My best kept secret is to use an air fryer.
You’ll be treated to the most evenly cooked and awesome tasting burger in the history of burgers. But what about that smoked flavor that you get from grilling? A dash of liquid smoke in the burger mix will take care of that.
You’ll be so delighted with the flavor, texture and ease of cooking that I promise you won’t even miss standing outside with the bugs, water squirt bottle in hand for grease flare-ups on the grill or wondering if the inside is still raw or if it’s safe to eat and flipping the burgers one more time just to be sure. No more scraping the grill grates to remove meat residue. Nope. You won’t miss it at all.
Your air fryer replaces all of that. It’s an inside job that doesn’t require that you stand back 3 feet because of grease splatters or flame flares. You’ll just mix the meat, place it in the air fryer, flip once halfway through and that’s it!
BEST MEAT TO USE FOR HAMBURGERS
For that amazing juicy flavor, use meat that has at least 20% fat. Just look for 80/20 ground beef on the label. When air frying, most of the fat will drip off, so try to avoid the lean 90/10 mix because it will result in a dry burger. This is one time you want to go for the fat!
If you have the ability to grind your own meat, or you have a trusted local butcher that can do it for you, use any of the following:
- chuck steak
- sirloin or tri-tip
- short ribs
BURGER TEMPERATURE GUIDE
The USDA lists 160°F as the minimum safe temperature for cooked ground meat. Here’s a handy scale range for rare to well done. An inexpensive instant-read thermometer will help you calculate your hamburger’s internal temperature.
Rare: 120°F to 125°F
Medium Rare: 130°F to 135°F
Medium: 135 – 140°F to 145°F
Medium Well: 140°F to 150°F
Well Done: 155°F – 160°F
CAN I COOK FROZEN HAMBURGERS IN THE AIR FRYER?
Yes, you can cook frozen hamburgers in an air fryer. The cooking time is roughly doubled with frozen hamburgers. So instead of cooking for 5 minutes at 375°F, you’ll cook on one side for 10 minutes, flip, and cook for another 7-10 minutes. Use an instant-read thermometer for accuracy.
BUN CHOICES FOR YOUR HAMBURGER
Personal preference will play a role in how you like to encase your hamburger, but here are some wonderful choices to keep in mind if you’re ready to branch out and try something different.
- Sesame Seed Buns – you can’t go wrong with this classic white bread bun topped with sesame seeds.
- Onion Bun – when you want a little something extra in the flavor department, a bun topped with caramelized onion bits will do the trick.
- Brioche Bun – this bun has a buttery flavor and is a little sweeter than standard white bread buns.
- Potato Buns – softer in texture, I would suggest lightly toasting these so they’ll hold up well when you pile on the burger and toppings.
- Ciabatta Bun – a little denser and often square-shaped, this is a substantial and doughy choice.
TOPPINGS FOR YOUR BURGER
A great burger rarely needs anything other than the classic lettuce, tomato, onion and cheese, along with mayo, mustard and ketchup. However, don’t forget about all those other amazing toppings that can turn a classic burger into a gourmet experience. Here are some tasty ideas.
- Lettuce – so many varieties: iceberg, green leaf, red leaf, bib, butter, shredded
- Red Cabbage – make a simple shredded cabbage slaw for a crunchy bite
- Sprouts – try alfalfa sprouts, bean sprouts or lentil sprouts for greenery instead of lettuce
- Tomatoes – sliced or use a tomato relish
- Pickles – classic waffle cut dill rounds or a sweet pickle relish will get your burger some bite
- Onions – sliced raw sweet, white, red will add a kick or try caramelized onions for a sweet and milder flavor
- Cheese – cheddar, provolone, smoked gouda, swiss, blue cheese crumbles, or feta cheese
- Peppers – try sauteed bell peppers or sliced jalapenos
- Bacon – fried slices or crumbles will add awesome flavor
- Sliced Pineapple – add a sweet tropical vibe to your burger
- Mushrooms – lightly sauteed and seasoned are yummy
- Avocado – sliced avocado adds a creamy touch to your burger
Condiments can be up-leveled from plain mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup with these ideas:
- steak sauce
- BBQ sauce
- sriracha sauce
- cocktail sauce
- Dijon mustard
- garlic mayonnaise
- ranch dressing
- bacon or pepper jams
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE AIR FRYER HAMBURGERS
Ground beef – use 80/20 because you need the fat content for juicy burgers and great flavor
Onion powder, salt, pepper – minimal seasoning keeps the beef flavor prominent
Liquid smoke – optional, but adds that smoky flavor if you’re used to grilling your burgers
Sliced cheese – swiss, American, provolone, pepper jack, – your choice!
Hamburger buns – use your favorite type of bun
HOW TO MAKE HAMBURGERS IN THE AIR FRYER
- Preheat the air fryer to 375°F.
- Combine ground beef, onion powder, garlic, salt, pepper and liquid smoke in a bowl and lightly mix. TIP: The less you handle the mixture, the more tender it remains when it’s being cooked.
- Divide beef into 4 equal portions. Gently form them into round patties. Use your thumb to press a dent in the middle of each burger. This prevents the burger from shrinking as it cooks.
- Place the patties into the air fryer and cook for 5 minutes.
- Carefully flip the burgers and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.
- Place cheese on top of each patty and cook for 30 more seconds so the cheese softens and melts.
I have no doubt you’ll love using your air fryer to make hamburgers. This method is a game-changer and makes my weeknights and even weekend meal planning so much easier. It’s effortless and delicious – now that’s a winning combination.
Air Fryer Hamburgers
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
- Sliced cheese of choice
- 4 hamburger buns
- Preheat the air fryer to 375°F
- In a large bowl, combine ground beef, onion powder, garlic, salt, pepper and liquid smoke (optional). Do not overmix. Divide the beef into 4 equal portions. Use hands to lightly form into round patties. Do not press hard. Handling the patties lightly will ensure soft, juicy burgers. Use your thumb to press a dome in the middle of the burger so that it will cook evenly and prevent it from shrinking.
- Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray oil. Place the patties into the air fryer for 5 minutes. Then, carefully flip the burgers over and let it cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160°F. If you are using cheese, add it on top of the patties and heat it for an additonal 30 seconds.