Burgers are a go-to meal for many people, but cooking them on a stovetop or grill can be messy and time-consuming. Luckily, with a ninja air fryer, you can cook delicious burgers easily and quickly. In this article, we'll show you step-by-step how to make the perfect ninja air fryer burger.
Why use a ninja air fryer to cook burgers?
Ninja air fryers are a fantastic alternative to traditional cooking methods for several reasons. Firstly, they cook food much faster than other appliances, meaning you can enjoy your burgers in no time! Additionally, the air fryer helps to lock in all the delicious juices and flavors, ensuring that your burger is tender and juicy. Lastly, ninja air fryers require little to no oil, making them a healthier option than stovetop or grill cooking.
Another great benefit of using a ninja air fryer to cook burgers is the convenience factor. With an air fryer, you can cook your burgers indoors, regardless of the weather outside. This means you can enjoy a delicious burger any time of the year, without having to brave the elements. Additionally, ninja air fryers are easy to clean and maintain, making them a hassle-free option for busy individuals or families.
Preparing your burgers for the ninja air fryer
Before you start cooking, you'll need to prepare your burgers. Get two pounds of ground beef and make sure that it's evenly divided into four patties. You want to make sure that the patties fit inside the air fryer basket. Take a moment to shape the burgers and make sure the edges are smooth. Don't overwork the meat.
Once you've shaped your burgers, season them with salt and pepper to taste. You can also add other seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, or paprika for extra flavor. Make sure to season both sides of the patties evenly.
Before placing the burgers in the air fryer, preheat it to 375°F for 3-5 minutes. Once the air fryer is preheated, place the burgers in the basket, making sure they are not touching each other. Cook the burgers for 10-12 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Check the internal temperature of the burgers with a meat thermometer to ensure they are cooked to your desired level of doneness.
Seasoning options for your ninja air fryer burgers
A well-seasoned burger is the key to a delicious burger. You can create many different flavor profiles depending on your taste preference. Some options include: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cumin. Mix and match until you find the perfect seasoning blend for your taste buds.
Another great seasoning option for your ninja air fryer burgers is Worcestershire sauce. This sauce adds a savory and slightly tangy flavor to your burgers. Simply mix a tablespoon or two into your ground beef before forming your patties.
If you're looking for a healthier seasoning option, try using fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or basil. Finely chop the herbs and mix them into your ground beef before forming your patties. Not only will this add flavor, but it will also provide some added nutrients to your burger.
Choosing the right type of ground beef for your burgers
The type of ground beef you choose will have a significant impact on the overall taste and texture of your burger. Ground beef with a higher fat content (80/20 or higher) will make the burger juicier and more flavorful. However, if you prefer a leaner burger, opt for ground beef with a lower fat content.
It's also important to consider the source of your ground beef. Grass-fed beef is generally considered to be healthier and more sustainable than conventionally raised beef. Additionally, grass-fed beef has a distinct flavor that some people prefer. However, it can be more expensive than conventionally raised beef. Ultimately, the choice between grass-fed and conventionally raised beef comes down to personal preference and budget.
Tips for shaping your burgers to fit in the ninja air fryer
The goal is to have the burger patty the same size as the fryer basket. Press down slightly on the center of the burger, creating a shallow divot. This will help the burger cook evenly and prevent it from puffing up too much. You can also use a burger press to make sure the burgers are the perfect size for the fryer.
Another tip for shaping your burgers is to make sure they are not too thick. Burgers that are too thick may not cook evenly in the air fryer and may take longer to cook. Aim for a patty that is about ½ inch to ¾ inch thick. Additionally, consider seasoning your burgers with your favorite spices or herbs before cooking to add extra flavor.
Setting up your ninja air fryer for burger cooking success
Before you start cooking, set up your ninja air fryer. Remove the fryer basket and preheat at 400°F for three minutes. Doing this will help make sure the cooking temperature reaches the desired 400°F before placing the burgers inside. If you don't preheat the fryer, the burgers may not cook evenly, resulting in a less than perfect end-result.
Once the fryer is preheated, it's time to prepare the burgers. Make sure the patties are of equal size and thickness, so they cook evenly. You can season the burgers with your favorite spices or marinade for added flavor. Place the burgers in the fryer basket, making sure they are not touching each other. This will allow the hot air to circulate around each patty, ensuring they cook evenly.
While the burgers are cooking, resist the urge to open the fryer basket and check on them. Opening the basket will release the hot air and disrupt the cooking process, resulting in unevenly cooked burgers. Instead, set a timer for the recommended cooking time and wait patiently. Once the timer goes off, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the burgers. The safe internal temperature for ground beef is 160°F.
How long to cook burgers in the ninja air fryer
Cooking time depends on the desired level of doneness. For medium, cook the burgers for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. Beef should reach an internal temperature of 160°F to be safe to eat.
If you prefer your burgers well-done, increase the cooking time to 14-16 minutes. For rare or medium-rare burgers, reduce the cooking time to 8-10 minutes. It's important to note that the thickness of the burger patty can also affect the cooking time. Thicker patties may require a few extra minutes of cooking time. Additionally, you can add your favorite seasonings or toppings to the burgers before cooking to enhance the flavor.
Checking the temperature of your ninja air fryer burgers
Using a meat thermometer, check the internal temperature of the center of the thickest part of the burger. The temperature should reach 160°F for beef and 165°F for chicken burgers. If the temperature hasn't reached these levels, cook the meat for another minute or so until it has.
It's important to note that relying solely on the color of the meat to determine if it's cooked thoroughly is not a reliable method. Always use a meat thermometer to ensure that your burgers are safe to eat and cooked to the appropriate temperature.
Adding cheese to your ninja air fryer burgers
If you're a fan of cheeseburgers, adding cheese to your ninja air fryer burger couldn't be easier. Place your cheese of choice on top of the burger patty after flipping, then close the fryer and cook for the remaining time. The cheese will melt over the burger, making it ooey-gooey deliciousness.
Creative toppings for your ninja air fryer burgers
Once your ninja air fryer burgers are cooked, it's time to add toppings. There are endless possibilities when it comes to toppings, so choose your favorites and get creative. Some options include lettuce, tomato, onion, jalapeños, pickles, avocado, and bacon.
If you're looking for a healthier option, consider adding grilled vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini. These toppings not only add flavor but also provide additional nutrients to your burger.
For a more indulgent option, try adding a fried egg or some mac and cheese on top of your burger. These toppings may not be the healthiest, but they will definitely take your burger to the next level.
Serving suggestions for your perfectly cooked ninja air fryer burgers
Ninja air fryer burgers are delicious served on a soft bun with the aforementioned toppings and your favorite condiments. Alternatively, you can skip the bun and serve the burgers in a lettuce wrap or on a bed of salad greens. A side of fries or sweet potato fries would be a perfect pairing for your burger, baked in the air fryer, of course!
Cleaning and maintaining your ninja air fryer after cooking burgers
After using your ninja air fryer, make sure to let it cool off completely before cleaning it. Once it's cool, remove the basket and wash it with hot, soapy water. If there's any baked-on grease or food, use a soft sponge to remove it. Rinse the basket thoroughly and let it air dry. When cleaning the fryer body, wipe it with a damp cloth or sponge. Don't submerge it in water or run it through the dishwasher.
Congratulations, you now know how to cook the perfect burger in your ninja air fryer. With these tips, you'll be able to enjoy delicious, juicy burgers in no time!