How to Cook Beef Patties in Air Fryer?

Air fryers have become increasingly popular in recent years as a healthy and convenient way to cook meals quickly at home. Cooking beef patties in an air fryer is easy, allows you to cook from frozen, and results in quick, delicious burgers that are juicy on the inside with a crispy exterior.

Benefits of Cooking Beef Patties in an Air Fryer

Cooking beef patties in an air fryer has several advantages over traditional stovetop or oven cooking methods:

  • Faster cooking times – Beef patties take only 8-12 minutes to fully cook in an air fryer, versus up to 18-20 minutes in an oven. This makes air fryers ideal for quick weeknight meals.
  • Crispy exterior – The high heat and airflow in an air fryer creates a crispy, crunchy exterior crust on beef patties. This gives your burger a delicious texture.
  • Retains juiciness – The rapid air fryer cooking method seals in moisture. Burgers cooked in an air fryer are cooked through but still juicy inside.
  • Versatile – You can cook beef patties from fresh or frozen in an air fryer. The frozen patties will simply take a few minutes longer.
  • Healthier – Air frying beef burgers uses little to no oil, resulting in a healthier cooking method than deep frying or pan frying patties which can add a lot of excess grease.

According to a 2019 study published in the Journal of Food Science, burgers cooked in an air fryer had 40% less fat absorption than those cooked in a skillet (1). Air fryers can produce burgers that are nearly as lean as grilling or broiling.

How to Cook Frozen Beef Patties in an Air Fryer?

Cooking beef patties that are frozen is simple in an air fryer. Here are step-by-step instructions:

  1. If using frozen patties that are stuck together, gently separate them while still mostly frozen. This prevents ripping or damaging the patties.
  2. Season the patties lightly with salt, pepper, or any other spices desired. Seasonings can also be added after cooking if preferred.
  3. Preheat air fryer to 370°F (188°C).
  4. Place beef patties in air fryer basket in a single layer, being careful not to overcrowd.
  5. Cook frozen patties for 5-7 minutes on first side.
  6. Flip patties and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes until desired doneness is reached (160°F internal temperature for medium).
  7. Let patties rest for 2-5 minutes before serving. The internal temperature will rise slightly as they rest.
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The total air fryer cooking time for frozen 1/4 pound beef patties is about 10-14 minutes. Larger patties may take a few minutes longer. Monitor closely and flip or remove patties as they reach desired doneness.

Tips for Cooking Fresh Beef Patties in an Air Fryer

If cooking fresh, unfrozen beef patties, follow these tips:

  • Use freshly ground beef or patties no more than 2 days old for best flavor and texture.
  • Form patties to be 3/4-inch thick and 4 inches wide for optimal air fryer cooking. Thinner patties may overcook and dry out.
  • Brush both sides of patties lightly with oil or spray with oil. This helps promote browning and prevents sticking.
  • Preheat air fryer to 370F. Cook fresh patties 6-8 minutes per side, monitoring closely until 160F internal temperature is reached.
  • Resist urge to press down on patties while they cook. This can squeeze out juices and lead to dry burgers.
  • Air fry only 2-3 patties at a time. Overcrowding prevents proper airflow circulation.

How to Make Juicy Beef Patties in an Air Fryer

To keep your beef patties moist and flavorful when cooking in an air fryer, here are some useful tips:

  • Use 80/20 ground beef. The higher fat content prevents patties from drying out. Leaner beef may get overly dry in the hot air fryer.
  • Mix in a spoonful of yogurt, buttermilk, or mayo when shaping patties. These ingredients keep patties tender.
  • Brush both sides of patties with oil before cooking. Olive, avocado, or vegetable oil work well.
  • Consider covering air fryer basket with foil. This traps in steam and moisture as patties cook.
  • Don’t press down on patties as they cook. Let them cook undisturbed to avoid squeezing out juices.
  • Allow 3-5 minutes of resting time after cooking so juices can re-distribute before eating.
  • Add cheese slices on top of patties during last 1-2 minutes of cooking to melt cheese without overcooking meat.
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Cooking Times for Different Beef Patty Sizes

Beef patty sizes can range from slider-sized to 1/3 pound restaurant-style burgers. Here are approximate air fryer cooking times based on patty thickness and weight:

  • 1/4 pound patties, 3/4-inch thick – 8-10 minutes
  • 1/3 pound patties, 1-inch thick – 10-12 minutes
  • 1/2 pound pub-style patties, 1 1/4-inches thick – 12-15 minutes
  • Beef sliders, 1/2-inch thick – 5-7 minutes

Always check internal temperature and adjust cooking times as needed based on doneness preferences. Use an instant-read thermometer for best results.

Tips for the Best Air Fried Beef Burgers

Here are final tips for turning out the perfect air fried beef burgers:

  • Lightly coat both sides of buns with oil or butter before toasting briefly in air fryer.
  • Melt cheese on patties in last 1-2 minutes of cooking time so it gets nicely melted without overcooking meat.
  • Load patties high with favorite burger toppings like lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and condiments.
  • Make “smash burgers” by firmly pressing down on patties with a spatula halfway through cooking to create crispy edges.
  • For safety, make sure ground beef reaches 160°F internal temperature before serving.
  • Allow 3-5 minutes of resting time after cooking before serving patties for juiciest results.


What size beef patties work best in an air fryer?

1/4 to 1/2 pound patties that are 3/4 to 1 1/4 inches thick work best. Thinner patties may overcook while thicker ones may not cook through.

Can you put cheese on burgers in an air fryer?

Yes, adding cheese slices for the last 1-2 minutes of cooking time allows it to melt nicely without overcooking the patties.

Do you have to flip patties during air frying?

It’s recommended to flip patties at least once during cooking to promote even browning and cooking. Cook 3-5 minutes per side.

Should air-fried burgers be rested before serving?

Allowing 3-5 minutes of resting after air frying lets juices redistribute inside the patties, resulting in juicier cooked burgers.

Can air fryer burgers be overcooked or dried out?

Yes, overcrowding or cooking too long may lead to dried-out patties. Follow recommended cook times and monitor doneness closely.


Cooking burgers in an air fryer is a quick and healthy cooking technique that results in full-flavored patties with crispy outsides and tender, juicy interiors. Follow the cooking guidelines provided for your patty size and thickness for perfectly done results. Enjoy your delicious air-fried burgers topped with all your favorite burger toppings and condiments.

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