Forget stovetop burgers, the mess they make, and the imminent threat of popping hot grease. Air Fryer Burgers are not only less messy and way easier to make, they taste better too.
All you need for a full-flavored, grill-mimicking burger is ground beef, salt, pepper, and a dash of liquid smoke! With less than 10 minutes of prep time, your burger patties are ready for the air fryer.
You can count on Air Fryer burgers to cook evenly and deliver mouth-watering, juicy beef to the bun every time!
Love cheeseburgers? Top off your cooked patties with sliced cheese and return them to the air fryer for another minute of cooking. Then, ready your favorite condiments and burger toppings and serve up one seriously easy, quick-fix dinner!
Need more delicious Air Fryer Recipes in your life?
HOW TO COOK BURGERS IN THE AIR FRYER
- Preheat the Air Fryer - Taking a moment to preheat your air fryer will keep your cooking time on track! It will likely take you about 10 minutes to season and form the hamburger patties, so setting your air fryer to 375°F for 10 minutes just before you begin your prep work will keep you right on track!
- Season the Beef - To season the ground beef, combine beef, liquid smoke, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl and use your hands to mix until well-combined.
- Form the Patties - Divide the beef into four portions and form each portion into a disc. Be sure to check out our tips on forming the perfect patty for the juiciest burgers below!
- Air Fry! - Add the meat patties to the air fryer in a single layer and cook for 8 to 11 minutes at 375°F, until the burger registers 160°F.
- Assemble - If you're making cheeseburgers, add a slice of cheese to the top of each patty and return it to the air fryer for 1 minute more. Then, slather your buns with your favorite condiments, add the burger patty, and top it off with your favorite burger toppings!
HOW TO FORM A BURGER PATTY
First things first, for the juiciest Air Fryer Burgers, handle the beef with care, both when mixing the pound of ground beef with the liquid smoke and spices and when forming the burger patty.
To do this, first, mix the meat with spices by hand, then divide the meat mixture into fourths (I just draw a cross down the mixing bowl using my finger) and scoop out a quarter of the mixture at a time.
Gently roll the meat mixture in between your hands and form it into a ball. Then, form the ball into a patty, about a ½" in thickness. The easiest way to do this is to turn the patty slightly in your hands, while simultaneously pressing inward with your thumbs.
Take care to shape the patty wider than the actual bun you'll be using. If this means a thinner burger patty, so be it. Avoid the "burger ball" at all costs.
And, last but not least, make sure there is a dimple or divot in the center of the patty. Forming a small well or indentation with your thumb will help the burger patty to keep its shape in the air fryer, and prevent patty shrinkage.
HOW LONG TO COOK BURGERS IN THE AIR FRYER
How long it takes for Air Fryer Burgers to cook through depends on a few different variables:
- The thickness of the burger patty.
- The temperature of the ground beef when it goes into the air fryer.
- Whether or not you preheated your air fryer!
At 375°F, your burgers should finish cooking somewhere between 8 and 11 minutes. The best way to determine if they are done is by using an instant-read thermometer. Cooked ground beef is safe to eat once it has reached an internal temperature of 160°F.
If you are worried your burgers might overcook, you should begin checking for doneness at the 8-minute mark!
CAN YOU EAT BURGERS WITH PINK INSIDE?
According to Ask.Usda.gov, the answer is technically yes -- you can indeed eat a burger that is pink inside. The caveat? You need to be sure it has reached a safe internal temperature first.
Ground beef should reach an internal temperature of 160°F before it is safe to consume. This temperature is best determined by use of an instant-read thermometer inserted in the centermost point of the burger patty.
But wait -- there's more. Bacteria typically lives on the outside of meat, so when you sear a steak, it's bye-bye bacteria, however, this is not the case for minced meat. When it comes to ground beef, that bacteria very well could be living on the inside as well.
Moral of the story? If you're going to eat a pink burger, it's important to make sure it has reached a safe internal temperature before consuming.
FAT PERCENTAGE, GROUND BEEF, AND THE AIR FRYER.
Most burger recipes out there call for 80/20 ground beef, and for good reason -- the high fat content makes them absolutely delicious. But, this might not necessarily the best ingredient choice for Air Fryer Burgers.
The higher the percentage of fat in your beef, the more likely you are to see a little smoke. As the fan blows in the air fryer, it circulates hot air quickly throughout the cooking mechanism, which means that excess grease dripping from the burger patty is very likely to be blown every which way inside of the air fryer. When grease splatters onto the air fryer's heating element, smoke will form.
This is why we opt for using lean ground beef (90/10 or even 85/15) when it comes to Air Fryer Burgers.
If you just can't resist a 80/20 ground beef burger, you can always add a couple of tablespoons of water to the bottom of your air fryer to prevent the smoke. However, this will create steam in the air fryer and your burgers won't have that same yummy seared vibe to them.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH AIR FRYER BURGERS
Below are a few ideas for taking your burger night to heights of delicious it has yet to see before!
CONDIMENTS AND SAUCES
Of course, you could go with your typical condiments: mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard, but you might also want to consider...
Falling under the "basic category" for burger toppings lies sliced American cheese, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, pickles. But, if you want to spruce it up, check these out:
- Cheeses | Pepper Jack, Swiss, Monterey Jack, Smoked Gouda, Blue Cheese, Queso
- Thick-Cut Slices of Bacon
- Sliced Avocado or Guacamole
- Pico de Gallo
- Sauteed Mushrooms
- Caramelized Onions
- Grilled Chilis
- Fried Egg (over easy, please)
- Texas Chili (no beans, of course)
And then, of course, there is the topic of side dishes. If you're looking for more air fryer recipes to enjoy, we've got you covered. If you want to get your cooking done all at once, there's are stove-top, oven, and crock-pot solutions for you as well!
- Air Fryer Onion Rings
- Air Fryer Pickles
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries
- Shells and Cheese
- Crock-Pot Beans
- Oven-Baked Steak Fries
5 MORE BEEFY RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
These Air Fryer Burgers are a full-flavored, grill-mimicking burger that always cooks evenly and delivers mouth-watering, juicy results! Simply seasoned with salt, pepper, and a dash of liquid smoke, in less than 10 minutes prep time, your burger patties are ready to cook!
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
- Generous ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 hamburger buns
- Sliced cheese, if desired
- Shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, pickles, and condiments for topping (optional)
Preheat the air fryer to 375°F for about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, add the ground beef, liquid smoke, salt, and pepper and mix gently with your hands until well-combined.
Divide the meat into fourths and form into 4 patties, about a ½" thick. Use your thumb to make a shallow well/indention the center of each patty.
Add the patties to the air fryer in a single layer (cooking in batches as necessary), and cook for 8-11 minutes, until the center of the patty registers 160°F.
If making cheeseburgers, add a slice of cheese to the top of each burger and return to the air fryer for 1 minute more. Serve with desired toppings and condiments and enjoy!