Road Map: Burgers
This recipe lets you customize as many burgers as you like. You can make each patty plain, or you can add any number of toppings before wrapping them up in aluminum foil. Why do we wrap the frozen patties and not just set them on the rack in the pot? Because the juices stay with the burgers,rather than running into the water below, giving the patties a much “beefier” flavor. Notice that you must make your own patties, ones that are larger than the standard, 3- or 4-ounce burgers sometimes sold frozen in boxes. We find that those smaller patties cook too quickly and dry out in the Instant Pot. (They’re best for the grill, even when still frozen.) You can prepare the patties for this recipe far in advance— if, say, you’ve bought fresh ground beef ahead of time. Make 6-ounce patties that are about 1/2 inch thick and add the toppings of your choice (if any). Wrap each patty individually and store them in the freezer for several months. And one more thing: Label them so you’ll know which patty has which toppings (if any). You can make beef and pork burgers with a 50-50 combo of ground beef and ground pork. We recommend using lean ground beef to go with the fattier ground pork. But do cook these patties following the “no pink” instructions (for food safety reasons).
Servings Prep Time
6burgers 5minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
6burgers 5minutes
Cook Time
  • 1 1/2cups Water
For the Burger
  • 1 piece of aluminum foil(10 inches long)
  • 1 frozen burger patty6 oz
  • Table salt and ground black pepperto taste
Optional Add-Ons
  • 1 thin slice of semi-firm cheesesuch as Cheddar, Swiss, mozzarela, Monterey Jack, Colby, Gruyère, or American cheese
  • 1 brown or white mushroomthinly sliced
  • 2tbsp frozen chopped onionor peeled and chopped yellow or white onion
  • 4 thin fresh jalapeno slices
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 1/4tsp dried seasoning blend(omit the salt on the patties if there’s salt in the blend)
  • 1/4tsp peeled and minced garlic
  1. Pour the water into an Instant Pot. Set the pot’s trivet/rack (with the handles up) or a large, open vegetable steamer inside the pot.
  2. Set the foil sheet on your work surface with one long side facing you. Set the frozen patty in the middle of the sheet and season with salt and pepper. If desired, set one, a few, or many add-ons on the patty (smearing the condiments over the meat). Fold over the foil’s short sides until they meet in the middle, then crimp them closed. Also crimp closed the seam along both sides of the foil packet, folding the ends up (not down), so that the juices in the packet won’t run out. Repeat to make up to 6 patties. Set the patties on the rack or in the steamer, overlapping where necessary without stacking them on top of each other (and also without any being placed vertical in the pot). Lock the lid onto the cooker.
  3. Option 1 Max Pressure Cooker
    Press Pressure cook on Max pressure for 20 minutes for a pink burger, or 25 minutes for a no-pink burger, both with the Keep Warm setting off.
  4. Option 2 All Pressure Cookers
    Press Meat/Stew, Pressure Cook or Manual on High pressure for 25 minutes for a pink burger or 30 minutes for a no-pink burger. The valve must be closed and the Keep Warm setting off for both times.
  5. If you’ve used the MAX pressure setting: For a pink burger, when the machine has finished cooking (20 minutes), use the quick-­release method to return the pot’s pressure to normal. For a no-pink burger, turn the machine off when it’s finished cooking (25 minutes) and let it return to normal pressure for 5 minutes, then use the quick-­release method to get rid of the remaining pressure.
    If you’ve used the HIGH pressure setting: For a pink burger, turn the machine off when it has finished cooking (25 minutes) and let the pressure return to normal naturally for 5 minutes. For a no-pink burger, turn the machine off when it has finished cooking (30 minutes) and let the pressure return to normal naturally for 10 minutes. In both cases, then use the quick-­release method to get rid of any remaining pressure.
  6. Unlatch the lid and open the cooker. Use tongs and a large metal spatula to remove the wrapped patties one by one from the cooker. Unwrap them carefully (they’re super hot), then use the spatula to transfer them to serving plates.
Recipe Notes

• You can fit up to 10 wrapped burgers in an 8-quart Instant

• Of course, you can garnish your burgers with lettuce and sliced tomato. And maybe a thin slice of red onion, too, if they hadn’t already been topped with chopped onions before cooking. But you can also go far beyond the norm. Try kimchi and mayonnaise(our personal favorite), sauerkraut and deli mustard, pickled jalapeño rings and barbecue sauce, or tapenade and Dijon mustard.

• Don’t stand on ceremony with hamburger buns. Consider kaiser rolls, toasted English muffins, or even thick slices of Texas toast.

• Note that there are no acidic condiments among the add-ons, like chutney, pickle relish, India relish, chowchow, kimchi, ketchup, or Dijon mustard. These can react with the foil as the burger cooks. If you want any (or all?) of them, add them after cooking, or lay on top of the patty and condiments before wrapping it in foil so the acidic condiments never touch the

*Using a –­20°F CHEST FREEZER?

There is no difference in cooking times.