The Absolute Best Ways To Reheat A Burger

Chowing down on a juicy burger hot off the grill is a delight, but eating one the day after? Not so much. A cold burger can taste quite stale, and reheating it can lead to mixed results, like a bun that's rock hard from overheating while the patty is still cold in the middle.

But that doesn't mean you have to give up trying to enjoy your leftover burgers. In fact, with a few tricks up your sleeve, you can ensure you eat a reheated burger that's delicious every time.

Before using any method, the first step of warming up your burger is to let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes. Doing so will allow you to reheat the patty more evenly throughout all its parts. Just be sure not to leave the burger out for longer than two hours; otherwise, it may not be safe to consume since bacteria grows rapidly within the temperature range of 40 F and 140 F, per the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

How to reheat a burger in the oven

Once your burger is at room temperature, you can disassemble it without the bun and cheese tearing. Place the burger on a clean, flat surface, such as a cutting board or a paper towel, and separate the buns, patty, and toppings. If your vegetables and other toppings have gotten too soggy, consider throwing them away and adding fresh slices of lettuce, onions, and tomatoes instead.

It's recommended that you scrape off any cheese and condiments off the patty and buns, ideally with a dinner knife, because these ingredients can melt off or end up not having the best taste while reheating. You can replace these with cheese and condiments you have at home (via WikiHow).

Once the components have been sorted, one way to warm up the patty is to use the oven. Per Insanely Good Recipes, preheat your oven to 400 F and then place the patty on a metal rack with a baking sheet underneath to catch any drippings. Heat the patty for three minutes, then flip it over, and let the other side warm up for about two minutes, depending on thickness. If you'd like to heat up your buns as well, you can put them on the rack when you flip.

You may also add cheese to the patty during the last minute or two in the oven, as explains. Once you take the patty out, you can reassemble the burger and add any new ingredients you would like.

How to reheat a burger with a microwave

Nuking something in the microwave is always a quick and easy way to reheat leftovers, and burgers are no different. With this method, you can place the patty in the center of a microwave-safe plate or paper towel. Foodiosity recommends placing a bowl over the burger to keep the released moisture from escaping. Since your patty is already cooked, you only need to microwave it for one to two minutes on a lower power setting. For thicker patties, you can pause the microwave and turn them over before continuing the cycle.

The patty should be warm to the touch when it's ready to eat. If it is still cold or lukewarm, you can continue reheating it in 30-second bursts, per WikiHow. For the buns, Insanely Good Recipes says to warm them for 20 to 30 seconds in the microwave. As with other bread products like a biscuit, to keep the buns from drying out, be sure to wrap the buns in a slightly damp paper towel. Aim to make the burger buns warm, not hot. When this is done, put all the burger components together.

If you're looking to reheat a McDonald's cheeseburger, you could also try Chrissy Teigen's microwave tip. She told Insider that she orders the fast-food item in bulk and stores them in the refrigerator to enjoy later. When Teigen wants to eat one, she nukes it in its paper wrapper for 35 seconds. It comes out like "a warm soft pillow" and is very delicious, according to the celebrity.

How to reheat a burger in a frying pan

Using a frying pan on the stovetop is also a great technique for reheating your burger. In fact, cooking blog Pantry & Ladder claims that it's the best way to heat up a leftover Burger King Whopper because the oil in the frying pan brings out flavor in the patty and makes the burger taste like it was made fresh.

For this method, place the patty onto an oiled pan and fry it over medium-high heat. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water to the pan (to keep the burgers from drying out, per Insanely Good Recipes) and cover for one minute. As Pantry & Ladder explains, this water-and-cover combination will steam the patty and lock in the moisture.

Once the patty is done, remove and reuse the same pan to toast the buns; then reassemble your burger. As Foodiosity notes, though, this method might not be best if any cheese or condiments are stuck to the patty.

Other ways to reheat a burger

Air fryers are immensely popular, given all the ways they can deliciously reheat leftovers and speed up things in the kitchen — and it's no different for burgers. As per food blog TheEatDown, to warm up your patty in the air fryer, preheat it to around 350 F to 400 F. Put the patty in the basket and fry it for two to four minutes.

If you want to recreate a flame-grilled taste for your burger, you can opt to place your patty on a preheated grill instead. Heat them for a minute, and then turn them over to the other side. The exact reheating time depends on the thickness of the patty, so you should watch them to make sure they don't get burnt up to a crisp. On that note, Foodiosity does caution that reheating burgers on a grill will tend to dry them out.

Do any of these methods of reheating a burger change when it comes to a plant-based patty? Not really, if the website for Impossible Foods is any indication. It states that their products can be stored and reheated in the same manner as one would non-plant-based leftovers.

With all these tips on hand, you can transform your leftover burger into a hot meal that tastes just as yummy as one freshly made. And if you have a side of leftover french fries to go with your burger, there are nifty ways for reheating them as well.