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Burger Temperature Chart

Burger Temperature Chart

Last updated on 4/26/2023

Burgers are a staple of American cuisine, being one of the United State’s most iconic and recognizable foods. One of the best features of burgers is they can be prepared in several different ways just like steak, allowing customers to order their meat exactly the way they like it. Cooking burgers correctly and following proper food safety guidelines is important, because if ground beef is incorrectly prepared it can lead to the spread of foodborne illnesses. Below, we cover how to prepare burgers properly, including how to cook burgers to each level of doneness.

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Hamburger Internal Temperature

The main indicator that a burger is done cooking is its internal temperature, measured by a meat thermometer. The USDA marks the minimum safe temperature for ground beef as 160 degrees Fahrenheit, although not all burgers are cooked to this temperature. Depending on how you’re preparing your burger, the meat’s internal temperature may not reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Consuming raw or undercooked foods can be dangerous, but properly prepared rare and medium meat is safe to eat. Although burgers are served with an internal temperature below 160 degrees Fahrenheit frequently, you need to include a warning on your menu alerting customers in advance of the potential dangers of consuming undercooked meat.

What Is a Meat Thermometer?

A meat thermometer is a device used to check the internal temperature of meats and other cooked foods. The purpose of meat thermometers is to ensure that foods are cooked to the desired levels, greatly lowering the risk of foodborne illnesses. Foods like meat have desired internal temperatures that need to be reached to eliminate bacteria and other harmful pathogens. Meat thermometers allow you to check these internal temperatures without having to cut into the food, saving you from compromising the food’s flavor and texture.

How to Use a Meat Thermometer

Utilizing a meat thermometer to check internal temperatures is an easy task. Simply insert the meat thermometer’s probe into the thickest section of the meat, getting as close to the center as possible. To ensure temperature readings are accurate, keep meat thermometers away from heat sources like grills. Additionally, you’ll want to check your food’s temperature in multiple areas, just to ensure the reading isn’t influenced by any isolated hotspots.

Burger Temperatures Video

For a visual demonstration of the different ways you prepare burgers and the their required temperatures, watch the video below:

Burger Internal Temp

The internal temperature of different types of burgers varies, so it’s strongly recommended you’re familiar with how to prepare each type. A few degrees difference in internal temperature could mean big differences in terms of taste and texture. Below, we’ve outlined each type of burger, along with its desired internal temperature and required cooking time:

blue rare burger

Blue Rare Burger Temp

A blue rare burger’s internal temperature should be between 115 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Blue rare hamburgers usually reach desired internal temperatures in under four minutes total of cooking time. A blue rare burger will be seared on top with a completely red center, resulting in a soft and tender interior.

  • Blue Rare Burger Temperature: 115-120 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Blue Rare Burger Cook Time: Under 4 minutes
  • Blue Rare Burger Appearance: Completely red center
  • Blue Rare Burger Texture: Soft and tender

rare burger

Rare Burger Temp

The internal temperature of a rare burger reaches between 120 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit when fully cooked. Typically this is accomplished in around four minutes of total cooking time. Rare burgers are known for their mostly red center, giving the meat a soft and juicy texture.

  • Rare Burger Temperature: 120-125 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Rare Burger Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Rare Burger Appearance: Mostly red center
  • Rare Burger Texture: Soft and juicy

Medium Rare Burger

Medium Rare Burger Temp

A medium-rare burger’s internal temperature typically reaches between 130 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit before being cooked. These burgers are usually cooked for around five minutes in total before reaching the desired internal temperature. Medium-rare burgers have a slightly red center much like rare burgers but are more seared and have a firmer texture.

  • Medium Rare Burger Temperature: 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Medium Rare Burger Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Medium Rare Burger Appearance: Slightly red center
  • Medium Rare Burger Texture: Slightly firm

Medium Burger

Medium Burger Temp

To cook a medium burger, the meat’s internal temperature should reach between 140 and 145 degrees Fahrenheit. This is usually accomplished in around six to seven minutes of total cooking time. This type of burger is known for its light-pink center and slightly firmer interior texture.

  • Medium Burger Temperature: 140-145 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Medium Burger Cook Time: 6-7 minutes
  • Medium Burger Appearance: Light-pink center
  • Medium Burger Texture: Firm and springy

Medium Well Burger

Medium Well Burger Temp

Preparation of medium-well burgers involves cooking the meat to an internal temperature between 150 and 155 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooking a medium-well burger usually involves seven to eight minutes of total cooking time. Medium-well burgers are known to be similar to medium burgers, but they have a firmer texture and less red and pink in the center.

  • Medium Well Burger Temperature: 150-155 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Medium Well Cook Time: 7-8 minutes
  • Medium Well Appearance: Slightly pink in center
  • Medium Well Texture: Mostly firm

Well Done Burger

Well Done Burger Temp

Well-done burgers are the type of burger cooked to the highest temperature, reaching internal temperatures over 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This type of burger needs to be cooked the longest, usually taking around eight to nine minutes to fully cook. Well-done burgers are known for their completely browned center and very firm texture.

  • Well Done Burger Temperature: Over 160 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Well Done Burger Time: 8-9 minutes
  • Well Done Burger Appearance: Completely browned center
  • Well Done Burger Texture: Very firm

Burger Temperatures Chart

Burger Cooking Chart Printable Version

Burger Temperature FAQ

Below we’ve answered some of the most common questions surrounding burger temperatures and their preparation:

What Temperature to Cook Burgers?

Burgers should be cooked at medium-high to high heat, meaning somewhere between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Most grills come equipped with their own thermometer, making it easy to ensure you’re cooking your burgers at the correct temperature. However, if you're lighting a charcoal grill that does not have a thermometer or if you’re looking for improved accuracy, a grill thermometer will suffice.

How Long Can a Cooked Burger Sit Out?

Burger Temp Faq - Burgers on a grill

As a general rule, a cooked burger should sit out in a room-temperature environment for less than two hours and less than one hour in an environment above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. As burgers sit out, their temperatures begin to fall into the temperature danger zone, allowing for the rapid growth of bacteria and other pathogens. To avoid foodborne illness, leftover cooked burgers should be stored in a refrigerated area.

How Long to Let Burgers Rest?

Before serving cooked burgers, you should allow some time for the meat to rest. It is recommended that cooked burgers rest for around five minutes before serving. Letting the meat rest gives time for the meat to reabsorb some of the juices, preventing the meat from becoming dry and flavorless.

Should Burgers Be Room Temp Before Grilling?

Before grilling burgers, it’s not required to bring the meat to room temperature. The meat should be refrigerated before grilling, starting the cooking process while the meat is cold. The cold temperatures keep the fat of the meat intact, maintaining the burger's juicy texture during the cooking process.

How Long Should You Grill Your Burgers For?

The time spent cooking burgers will vary slightly depending on the desired doneness. More important than the amount of time spent cooking is the internal temperature of the burger. However, we’ve listed the amount of time each type of burger typically takes to cook:

  • Blue Rare - Under 4 minutes (115-120 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Rare - 4 minutes (120-125 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Medium-Rare - 5 minutes (130-135 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Medium - 6 to 7 minutes (140-145 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Medium-Well - 7 to 8 minutes (150-155 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Well-Done - 8 to 9 minutes (Over 160 degrees Fahrenheit)

Learning how to prepare burgers properly is key to your establishment’s success. Meat like ground beef is designated as a TCS food (time/temperature control safety), meaning there are strict guidelines for its preparation. Not only is it important to keep your customers safe from foodborne illness, but you’ll want to have the ability to prepare burgers at different levels of doneness. Doing so will allow customers to order their burgers exactly how they like them, greatly increasing their satisfaction with their meals.

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