Burgers are one of America’s most beloved foods. Whether you’re grilling up beef patties in the backyard or grabbing a quick cheeseburger for lunch, there’s something universally satisfying about the flavor and texture of a juicy burger sandwiched between a soft bun.
Leftover burgers can be a tasty treat for meals later in the week. However, reheating burgers improperly can lead to a dried-out hockey puck instead of a mouthwatering meal. Follow this guide to learn the best practices for how to reheat burgers using common appliances found in most kitchens.
Challenges of Reheating Leftover Burgers
Burgers contain a few key components that can easily go wrong during the reheating process:
- The patty: Beef patties can become tough, dry and shriveled when overcooked.
- The bun: Buns made from bread can become soggy or stiff when reheated.
- The toppings: Delicate ingredients like lettuce, tomato and cheese will get mushy if heated too long.
The goal is to reheat the burger enough to be hot and delicious without compromising the texture of the different components. Follow these tips for reheating success!
Method 1: Reheating Burgers in the Oven
The oven allows you to reheat burgers gently and evenly for best results. Here’s how to do it:
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Place the burger patties directly onto the metal oven racks. Use a baking sheet below to catch any drippings.
- Heat the patties for 2-3 minutes until warm. Flip and heat the other side for another 1-2 minutes.
- Remove the patties and wrap in aluminum foil to keep warm.
- Place the burger buns directly on the oven racks and warm for 1-2 minutes, until lightly toasted.
- Remove from oven and assemble your burger. Enjoy!
The metal racks help heat the burger patties and buns evenly. Warming them separately prevents the buns from getting soggy in the steam.
Method 2: Using the Toaster Oven
A toaster oven uses less energy and provides quick results when reheating burgers. Follow these steps:
- Preheat your toaster oven to 350°F-400°F (175°C – 200°C).
- Place patties on the metal rack with a baking sheet lined underneath to catch drips.
- Heat the patties for 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook 1-2 minutes more until hot.
- Remove patties and wrap in foil to keep warm.
- Toast burger buns using the toaster function until lightly browned.
- Assemble your burger and enjoy!
The direct heat from the coils in a toaster oven helps recreate a grilled burger texture.
Method 3: Reheating Burgers in the Microwave
The microwave provides the quickest reheating method, but can lead to uneven heating. Follow these tips:
- Place burger patties on a microwave-safe plate, not stacked.
- Heat on high for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Microwave strength varies, so check frequently.
- Allow to rest for a minute, then flip and heat 45 seconds more, until hot.
- Heat the buns separately for 10-15 seconds until warm.
- Assemble your burger and enjoy it immediately, as microwaved burgers don’t hold heat well.
Add a cup of water to the microwave when heating to add steam and prevent dryness. However, take care not to make the bun soggy.
Method 4: Reheating on the Stovetop
The stovetop mimics grilling and provides great flavor when reheating burgers. Follow these stovetop reheating tips:
- Disassemble the burgers into separate components.
- Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 Tbsp butter or oil.
- Cook burger patties 2-3 minutes per side until hot.
- Cook the buns in the skillet about 1 minute per side until toasted.
- Optionally brush the cut sides of buns with butter or oil while heating for extra browning and flavor.
- Assemble your burgers and enjoy!
Cooking the patties and buns in butter or oil helps provide a crispy, grilled texture without drying them out. Delicious!
Method 5: Reheating on an Outdoor Grill
Nothing beats the flavor of reheating burgers on a backyard grill. Follow these tips for grilling reheated burgers:
- Heat gas or charcoal grill to medium high heat, around 400°F (200°C).
- Clean grates and brush with oil to prevent sticking.
- Place burger patties on grill 2-3 minutes per side until hot.
- Toast buns on grill about 30 seconds per side.
- Watch patties and buns closely to prevent burning.
- Assemble burgers and add any other toppings you’d like!
The hot grill sears the patties and provides a crisp, caramelized exterior. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the interior reaches food-safe temperatures above 160°F (71°C).
Method 6: Reheating in an Air Fryer
Air fryers use super hot air to create a crispy, fried texture. Reheat burgers in an air fryer following these instructions:
- Preheat air fryer to 350°F (175°C).
- Place patties in air fryer basket without overcrowding.
- Cook 3-5 minutes, flip, then cook 3-5 minutes more until hot.
- Check temperature using a meat thermometer, ensuring interior reaches 160°F (71°C).
- Toast buns by cooking 1-2 minutes until crisp.
- Assemble burgers and add desired toppings.
The air fryer reheats burgers quickly for a hot, crusty exterior similar to grilling. Adjust cook times as needed based on quantity.
Tips for the Best Reheated Burger
Keep these tips in mind when reheating burgers:
- Use lower heat settings to avoid overcooking. Patties only need to reach 160°F internally.
- Reheat patties and buns separately. This prevents soggy buns from steam.
- Toast the buns for texture and flavor in any reheating method.
- Allow burgers to rest after reheating so the heat evenly distributes without overcooking.
- Add cheese slices towards the end so they melt without burning.
- Use foil to tent and keep components warm if doing staggered reheating.
With the proper technique, reheated burgers taste nearly as good as fresh-off-the-grill! Now that you know the best practices, you can reheat and enjoy leftover burgers to perfection.
Reheating burgers may seem daunting if you don’t know the tricks. With a little finessing, you can enjoy delicious reheated burgers for meals later in the week without compromising taste or texture.
The oven, toaster oven, stove, grill, microwave and air fryer all allow you to reheat burgers at home with the right techniques. Separate the components, use lower heat, add steam and don’t overcook for the best results.
Now that you know the secrets for how to reheat burgers properly, you can recreate the hot, juicy, grilled flavor you love without the hassle. Get ready to enjoy your burgers twice – first fresh off the grill, and later as amazing leftovers. Happy reheating!