Why You Might Want To Rethink Making Burgers In An Instant Pot

Many of us like to think of our Instant Pot as a wizard. From a pot pie soup to prime rib, the list of dishes it can be used for seems endless. But, as magical as it is, there are things your Instant Pot is not designed for. We already know we should never make fried chicken in an Instant Pot, and here's another thing to avoid — burgers.

It's not that you can't make burgers in an Instant Pot — you can, technically. But is it the best tool for the job? Absolutely not. The Instant Pot is a pressure cooker, and while it can cook your burgers to the right doneness, it is nearly impossible to achieve the unique smoky flavor we enjoy in a true grilled burger. You're also likely to end up with soft, sloppy burgers, instead of ones with a juicy inside and a firm sear on the exterior.

Flavors aside, the method doesn't save you any time, either. Your burgers would take roughly the same time or longer to cook in an Instant Pot as they would on a grill. Some recipes recommend putting them into an oven after cooking in the Instant Pot to achieve that sear around the patties. And without an oven, you'd still have to find another way to heat the buns. All in all, that's just a lot of steps to follow and things to clean up for some burgers.

Better ways to make burgers without a grill

Think outside the Instant Pot, and you'll see a lot of fun and more efficient ways to make delicious burgers without a grill.

The easiest method involves a cast iron pan on your stovetop. There are grill cast iron pans with raised ridges that resemble the grates on an outdoor grill for this purpose. However, if you don't have one, a flat pan can also serve as a grill plate to sear your patties and heat the buns. The cast iron pan can impart that subtle smoky flavor and crispy exterior we love in grilled burgers. Just make sure you use a minimal amount of cooking oil or margarine and spread it evenly on the surface of the pan for the best results.

Your regular oven or air fryer are also great appliances for this job. A conventional oven would work perfectly, but we prefer the air fryer for its quick heat-up time and easy cleanup. Additionally, the air fryer is also the quicker and more convenient way to heat the buns and prepare sides such as fries or onion rings to go with your delicious burgers.