Slow Cooker Burgers Recipe

slow cooker burgers on a board

The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 6 hrs
Total: 6 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 6 burgers
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1017 Calories
53g Fat
83g Carbs
54g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 1017
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 53g 68%
Saturated Fat 13g 64%
Cholesterol 199mg 66%
Sodium 1254mg 55%
Total Carbohydrate 83g 30%
Dietary Fiber 10g 37%
Total Sugars 41g
Protein 54g
Vitamin C 19mg 93%
Calcium 142mg 11%
Iron 8mg 45%
Potassium 1591mg 34%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Many people have been eating well-done burgers their whole life. In the 1960s, my mother realized that rare ground beef was probably not a good thing to eat. She was years ahead of her time. We now know that ground meats can harbor pathogenic bacteria that can, and does, make people sick. There have been many foodborne illness outbreaks linked to undercooked ground beef. The most famous was the 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak that sickened 400 people and killed three children. The burgers were not properly cooked in that outbreak; it changed the way many people looked at fast food.

So when we cook burgers at home, we make sure that they are cooked to at least 160 F as checked with a food thermometer. The problem is, this can be difficult to do on the grill. Getting a burger to well done without burning or charring the outside, or turning it into a dry lump, is very difficult. But there are other ways to get around this problem. You can bake your burgers. Or you can cook them in the slow cooker

The slow cooker is the perfect environment for this task. The low, moist heat cooks the meat thoroughly but doesn't dry it out. The sauce is savory and spicy and the perfect complement to the tender meat.

We like to serve these burgers on toasted English muffins, topped with sliced avocados and a creamy mustard sauce, but you can serve them any way you'd like. Enjoy every bite.

"These saucy slow cooker burgers were similar to meatloaf in flavor, and they held together nicely with the egg in the mixture. I used my 7-quart oval cooker, and they were stacked in pairs—that worked fine. I would prefer large, toasted hamburger buns for these burgers." —Diana Rattray

Slow Cooker Burgers Are Safe, Juicy, and Delicious/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 medium onion, minced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce, divided

  • 1/2 cup mustard, divided

  • 2 tablespoons  Worcestershire sauce, divided

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef, preferably 90%

  • 1/3 cup chili sauce

  • 6 English muffins, or burger buns split and toasted

  • 3 medium avocados , thinly sliced

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients to make slow cooker burgers

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

  2. In a large bowl, add the onion, garlic, egg, 3 tablespoons tomato sauce, 3 tablespoons mustard, and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce. Mix until well combined.

    tomato sauce mixture in a bowl

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

  3. Add the ground beef and mix gently until combined.

    ground beef and tomato sauce mixture in bowl

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

  4. Make six equal patties with the ground beef mixture. Set aside.

    burget patties on a plate

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

  5. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining tomato sauce, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and chili sauce.

    tomato sauce mixture in a glass bowl

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

  6. Layer the ground beef patties with the sauce in a large slow cooker, making sure to get enough sauce between the burgers to prevent sticking.

    burger patties in a slow cooker

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

  7. Cover and cook on low until the burgers register 160 F on a digital thermometer, 5 to 7 hours. Remove the burgers using a spatula or slotted spoon leaving the sauce behind.

    cooked burger patties on a plate

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

  8. Put the burgers on the English muffins. Divide the sliced avocados and any remaining sauce between the burgers. Add additional condiments of choice, if desired, and serve.

    Slow Cooker Burger on a plate

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

Recipe Variations

  • Make the burgers with lean ground turkey instead of beef, and cook to an internal temperature of 165 F, the minimum safe temperature for ground poultry.
  • Use ground bison or lamb instead of beef.
  • Use large toasted brioche buns instead of English muffins or regular burger buns.
  • For a low-carb option, omit the English muffins and serve the burgers on lettuce leaves.

How to Store Slow Cooker Burgers

  • Refrigerate leftover slow cooker burgers in an airtight container within 2 hours and consume within 3 to 4 days.
  • To freeze, transfer the burgers to resealable freezer bags and freeze for up to 4 months. Defrost frozen burgers in the refrigerator overnight.
  • To reheat burgers, wrap them in foil and reheat in a 350 F oven for about 10 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165 F.