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What Temperature to Grill Burgers?

What Temperature to Grill Burgers?

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Grilling the perfect juicy burger is all about the right temperature. Not only does it help you get that nicely charred exterior, but it is also safer to eat. According to the Food Authority of New South Wales. undercooked meat can harbor dangerous bacteria like Salmonella, Listeria, Campylobacter, and E. coli. To ensure your burgers are safe to read, in this guide, we’ll show you the best temperature to cook your beef burgers.


What Temperature Should You Cook Burgers At?

For your burger to be safe to eat, your internal temperature is 160°F (71°C). There are a few types of meat thermometers you can use to check the internal temperature of your meat:


Instant-read Thermometer: Provides a quick reading and is ideal for checking the temperature towards the end of cooking.

Digital Probe Thermometer: This can stay in the meat while it cooks, giving you a continuous temperature readout.

Dial Thermometer: These are less expensive but can be slower to provide a reading and less accurate than digital types.


How Long to Cook Burgers for

Cooking times for burgers can vary depending on the thickness of the patty and the heat of your charcoal grill, but here’s a general guide to get you to that ideal internal temperature of 160°F:


  1. Get your medium-high temperature (375°F to 400°F).
  2. For 1/2-inch thick burger patties, cook for about 4 minutes on each side. For 3/4-inch thick patties, let your burgers cook for about 5-6 minutes on each side. Make sure your patties are defrosted before cooking them. Also, avoid cooking your burger at a medium rare and rare since this can be safe to eat.
  3. Minimize flipping. Wait until the first side is nicely charred, then flip it.


Note: If your burgers are extra thick or stuffed, they might need additional cooking time. Always use the internal temperature as your ultimate guide to ensure your burgers are both delicious and safe to eat.


How to Use a Meat Thermometer When Grilling Burgers

Here’s how to use a meat thermometer effectively when grilling a burger:


  1. Use an instant-read or digital probe thermometer for the best accuracy.
  2. Make sure your thermometer is accurate by testing it in a glass of ice water. It should read 32°F (0°C).
  3. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the burger halfway through the cooking time. Avoid touching the hot grill or the bottom of the burger patty as this can give a false high reading.
  4. The sensor of the thermometer should be in the center of the patty. This is crucial because the edges and the surface cook faster than the middle.
  5. Give the thermometer a few seconds to stabilize before reading the temperature. Make sure it reaches at least 160°F.


Why Ground Meat Requires Thorough Cooking Compared to Whole Cuts

Bacteria reside on the surfaces of all meats. When lean ground beef or grass-fed ground beef is ground, bacteria from the surface are mixed throughout the entire batch. This means that bacteria that were only on the surface of the whole cut are now spread throughout the ground meat. This is different from whole cuts of meat, where bacteria are mostly on the surface and are killed quickly at high temperatures.


Do Different Types of Meats Require the Same Cooking Temperature?

No. Different types of meats require varying internal temperatures to be considered safe for consumption:


Poultry (Chicken, Turkey): All poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to eliminate harmful pathogens like Salmonella and Campylobacter.

Pork: Pork should be cooked to at least 145°F (63°C) and allowed to rest for three minutes. Undercooked pork contains bacteria and parasites like Trichinella spiralis.

Beef, Lamb, and Veal (Whole Cuts): Steaks, chops, and roasts from beef, lamb, and veal can be safely consumed when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F (63°C), followed by a rest period of at least three minutes.

Fish: Most fish should be cooked to 145°F (63°C). The flesh should be opaque and separate easily with a fork.



Can I cook frozen burgers on the grill?

Yes, you can cook frozen burgers on the grill, but they will take longer to cook compared to thawed burgers. Make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly and ensure they reach the appropriate internal temperature.


How do I avoid flare-ups while grilling burgers?

Trim excess fat from the burgers before grilling and keep a close eye on the grill to prevent flare-ups. If flare-ups occur, move the burgers to a cooler part of the grill until the flames subside.


How do I keep my burgers from drying out?

Avoiding overcooking is the first way you can prevent your grilled burger from drying out and you can do this by checking that the meat thermometer reads 160°F (71°C). Also, when your burger is cooking, avoid pressing down on it with a spatula, as this can squeeze out juices.



Cooking burgers to perfection is an art that requires attention to detail, especially when it comes to temperature. By following these guidelines and experimenting with different methods, you can enjoy a perfect grilled burger right in your backyard.

Looking to up your burger game? Why not try MisterChef’s grills? We have a range of grills such as electric grills and teppanyaki grills that can be used to grill hamburgers. Shop with us today.

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