The Best Way To Reheat A Burger

Hint: It's not the microwave.

Two hamburgers on a serving tray stacked with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion
Photo: Photography, and prop styling: Caitlin Bensel, Food Styling: Torie Cox

It's tempting to reheat everything in the microwave. But when it comes to burgers, there's a better way to warm up leftovers.

The microwave can dry the patties out and make them tough. This is especially true if you are reheating leaner turkey or chicken burgers.

Ovens do a much better job of gently reheating the patty and retoasting the buns. (If you've ever put bread in a microwave, you know it yields anything but toasty results.) Using an oven will take longer for sure, but it's well worth the patience. This is one task we just don't trust our microwave to handle.

The Best Way To Reheat Burgers

Heat burgers at 350℉ for 7 to 10 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until the center of the patty is hot. (It should register 165℉ in the center.) If adding cheese, do so in the last 1 to 2 minutes of cook time. Reassemble with your favorite condiments and enjoy.

For the best results, follow these reheating tips, too:

Allow the patties to sit out first

Letting leftover burgers sit at room temperature for 20 minutes will help them reheat more evenly, avoiding cold spots in the middle, or overcooking the edges of the patty to ensure the center is hot.

It's not safe to leave burgers out for too long (no more than two hours), but giving them even a short rest at room temperature will help them reheat better. It will also help you more easily separate the burger components (see below).

Heat burger components separately

You can't expect to throw an assembled burger into the oven as is and have it come out tasting like it did when it was first made. Two words: warm lettuce.

You need to deconstruct the burger, separating each component. Vegetables, like tomato and lettuce, can skip the trip to the oven. Also, remember to remove as much of the sauce as you can from the buns before reheating. You can always add fresh condiments when reassembling.

While you can keep the cheese on, it wouldn't hurt to remove it and add a fresh slice. Already melted cheese can burn while reheating or ooze everywhere and make a mess, so if you leave it on, keep on eye on it.

Spread out the burgers on a sheet pan

Place patties on an aluminum foil-lined sheet pan with ample space between burgers for even cooking. Using a sheet pan allows you to toast up the buns alongside on the same pan.

Can You Reheat Burgers in an Air Fryer?

You can certainly use an air fryer to reheat your burger, although we prefer the oven. You'll have to retoast the bun separately (in a pan or oven), so we don't find this method as efficient.

You'll also need to remove the cheese from the burger patty beforehand, as lots of gooey cheese and an air fryer don't mix.

Otherwise, heat your air fryer to 350℉ and cook the patties for 2 to 4 minutes or until heated through.

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