Making Fresh or Frozen Burgers in an Air Fryer

I swear, if one more person tells me they make the best burgers in an air fryer, I will throw a frozen patty at them. Okay, that might be a little excessive, but enough is enough; I get it.

All this air fryer talk drove me to buy an air fryer right as the pandemic gained steam. We cooked more at home, so it seemed the right time to do it.

So I went online and bought the Cuisinart TOA-60BKS Convection Toaster Oven Airfryer in Black Stainless Steel. I must be frank with you; I had no idea what I was doing initially.

Making Burgers in a Cuisinart Air Fryer
Making Burgers in a Cuisinart Air Fryer

I chose one of the most feature-rich air fryers out there. The function button includes Warm, Broil, Toast, Bake, and Air Fry. There was a learning curve here, but luckily, I did have the time to put in.

I made mistakes along the way, like when I cooked burgers using Broil and smoked out my entire house. What’s worse is I did this at 7 in the morning.

Who wants to wake up to a smoke-filled home, not my wife…that’s for sure! So don’t be like BEAST.

PRO-TIP:  Add a little water to your air fryer drawer or basket when cooking foods like bacon and burgers; it will prevent the smoke-fest.

Cuisinart Air Fryer Knobs
Cuisinart Air Fryer Knobs

Differences between Fresh and Frozen Burgers

Choosing between a fresh or frozen burger might be the most crucial decision.

Fresh Burgers in an Air Fryer

Sunshine Provisions Fresh Beef Patties
Sunshine Provisions Fresh Beef Patties

My first attempts at cooking burgers in the air fryer were using half-pound patties from Sunshine Provisions, the same kind I sell in my BEAST Boxes.

If you can use fresh, never frozen, you will ultimately get the best results with the air-fryer. I have moved on to cooking fresh beef quarter-pound burgers, which I prefer.

The main reason is that they could cook faster, and I get impatient waiting. And if you prefer the half-pounders, you can always double up on the patties when assembling your cheeseburger.

Frozen Burgers in an Air Fryer

Chophouse by Holten Frozen Burgers
Chophouse by Holten Burgers

When I have no choice and must use frozen patties, Chop House By Holten Steak Burgers is my burger of choice. I’ve always got a backup box of these, so I’m always ready.

The patties are 1/3 pound, which puts them in a sweet spot between the sometimes not-so-filling 1/4 pound and the many times too-filling 1/2 pound. There is no reason to defrost these; they go straight in the air-fryer.

Many Bubba Burger fans wonder why I didn’t mention or use them. The truth is, I’m not a fan, but you do what you gotta do.

Air Fryer Burger Recipes aka Cooking Tips

You can find most of the products I use online if unavailable in your area.


  • Beef Burger Patty, preferably 1/4 pound fresh beef
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Your favorite cheese
  • Hamburger Bun of some kind

Burger Patties

If you keep it simple, you won’t have any issues. Fresh beef works best, but for monetary reasons, it might be difficult for some.

There’s no shame in any game as long as, in the end, everything tastes great.

Salt and Pepper?

Burgers in an air fryer tend to absorb the seasoning on them. Season the burger to your liking with Kosher Salt and Coarse Black Pepper for a little added texture.

I suggest you pat down the seasoning into the patties, which only work on fresh beef. Then, for a flavor upgrade, try using Lawry’s Seasoned Salt or McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning.

Kind of Cheese

There are two ways to approach this, and three if you want to bring a microwave into play. You’re either going to melt the cheese in the air-fryer or let it happen naturally from the heat of the patty.

Let’s pretend I never mentioned the microwave option.

Choosing the cheese should be based solely on preference; I prefer a sharp cheddar for air-fried burgers. If we were smashing these burgers, I’d be all about American cheese.

I used Tillamook Swiss Cheese on this burger adventure. Most of the time, I use Tillamook since it’s a favorite of mine.

I like Kraft Deli Deluxe American Cheese Slices in the American Cheese space.

Hamburger Buns

I used Nature’s Own Brioche Style Hamburger Buns on this burger, but I’d typically use old faithful Martin’s Potato Rolls.

There’s a reason I use their soft, pillowy potato buns in my boxes, and it’s cause they never disappoint. I have a wandering eye, but I know where my bread is buttered.

Cooking the Burgers

I set my air fryer to 400 degrees and have kept an eye on it since my smoke-out disaster.

It takes 7 to 11 minutes to get to that Medium to Medium-Well area of doneness. When I open the air fryer, this is the time to place the cheese on it and give it a little more time to melt it.

I’ve taken the air fryer patties to my Blackstone a few times for a quick sear, but I think that defeats the purpose of using the air fryer in the first place.

The burgers, if cooked properly, should be juicy, so I suggest toasting the buns so the burger juice won’t soak through and cause a bun integrity issue.

No one needs that in their life.

Air Fryer Burger in Pictures

Fresh Beef Burger Patty
Fresh Beef 1/2 Pound Burger Patty
Season Burger Patty with Salt & Pepper
Season Burger Patty with Salt & Pepper
Place Seasoned Burger Patty in Air Fryer
Place Seasoned Burger Patty in the Air Fryer
Burger Patty is cooking in Air Fryer
Burger Patty is cooking in an Air Fryer
Let Burger Patty rest after it's done cooking
Let Burger Patty rest after it’s done cooking
Assemble Burger Patty on Bun with Cheese
Assemble Burger Patty on Bun with Cheese

The Verdict

Use an air fryer if you’re looking for a “healthier” alternative to cooking burgers. Me? I’ll stick to making french fries and onion rings in them.

Burgers are meant to be made on a flat-top/griddle or a char grill if that’s more your speed.

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4 thoughts on “Making Fresh or Frozen Burgers in an Air Fryer”

  1. You know, I put the frozen burger in the Cuisinart at 450 degrees for 7 minutes. It was raw on the inside so I put it back in at the same temperature for another 6 minutes. As it was cooking, I read your article. Needless to say, when I walked into the kitchen I had the smoke out disaster going on strong. NO MORE! All grill or skillet for me!


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