Grill your way to tasty and safe burgers with our comprehensive guide to hamburger temperature, including guidelines, risks of undercooking, and tips on how to cook the perfect burger every time.

Are you planning to grill hamburgers but aren't sure how to cook them properly? This guide will provide you with information on the recommended hamburger temperature guidelines, the risks of undercooked ground beef that you should be aware of, tips for cooking amazing burgers, and much more.

Your Preference

When it comes to cooking hamburgers, different temperature states can be achieved based on how long the burger is cooked. Each temperature state signifies the level of done-ness of the burger, which corresponds to its internal temperature.

The following are the different hamburger temperature states, their corresponding temperatures in Fahrenheit and Celsius, and how to determine which one you like best.

1. Rare

A rare burger is cooked for a short amount of time, resulting in a cool and red center. The internal temperature of a rare burger is around 125°F (52°C). It's important to note that the FDA recommends cooking beef to a minimum internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) to prevent foodborne illness. If you prefer a rare burger, it's best to make sure you're getting good-quality meat that has been handled properly.

2. Medium Rare

A medium rare burger has a warm, pink center with a slightly warm red middle. The internal temperature of a medium rare burger is around 135°F (57°C). This is a popular temperature state for burgers, as it allows the meat to retain its juices and flavor without being overcooked.

3. Medium

A medium burger has a warm, pink center with a little bit of brown on the edges. The internal temperature of a medium burger is around 145°F (63°C). This temperature state is also popular, especially for people who prefer a little bit more cookedness than a medium rare burger.

4. Well Done

A well-done burger is cooked longer, resulting in a brown and caramelized exterior with no pink in the middle. The internal temperature of a well-done burger is around 160°F (71°C). This is the recommended internal temperature for beef by the FDA, as it minimizes the risk of foodborne illness.

Determining Your Preferred Temperature State

The best way to determine which hamburger temperature state you like best is through trial and error. Cook your burger to different temperatures to see which one you enjoy the most. You can also ask your server at a restaurant to recommend a temperature state based on your preferences.

It's important to keep in mind that cooking meat to a lower temperature increases the risk of foodborne illness, so it's best to go with the recommended internal temperature if you're unsure. By experimenting with different temperature states, you can find the perfect burger that's tailored to your taste buds.

Hamburger Temperature Chart

This chart will help you narrow down the temperature needed for your personal preferences, whether it's rare or well done — or anything in between.

Temperature Table

Below are the hamburger inner temperatures in a table format:

State °F °C
Rare 120-125 49-51
Medium Rare 130-135 54-57
Medium 140-145 60-63
Medium Well 150-155 65-68
Well Done 160-165 71-74

Not everyone enjoys rare or medium rare, but those who do can stay within the temperatures above to get the results they want.

Temperature Image

If you want this as an image to save on your phone or computer, then here you go:

Please use this temperature chart together with a reliable meat thermometer to make sure you don't give your guests undercooked meat!

All About Hamburger Temperature

While some people prefer their burgers to be rare, others would rather eat them well done. There are various recommendations on cooking temperatures to keep you safe from food poisoning. This depends on the type of meat you are using.

Most experts agree that ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160℉ before it is considered safe to eat. This is because temperatures below this are a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.

When cooking ground beef, it is important to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the inside of your burger reaches the recommended temperature of 160°F. This will ensure that you and those you are cooking for stay safe and free from foodborne illnesses.

Temperature Guidelines for Ground Beef

Ground beef is at a higher risk of contamination than other cuts of beef since it can come from multiple animals. This is especially true when it comes to prepackaged meat purchased in grocery stores. Grinding your beef gives you the luxury of knowing that your meat has come from a single cow instead of multiple.

Here are the hamburger temperature guidelines for cooking patties according to your preferences:

1. Well-Done Burger Temp

Well-done burgers cook to an internal temperature of 160℉-165℉. Hamburgers at this temperature may have a tough texture and can be drier than others.

2. Medium-Well Burger Temp

A medium-well burger cooks to an internal temperature of 150℉-155℉. Hamburgers at this temperature typically have a drier texture on the outside and may have some pink on the inside.

3. Medium Burger Temp

A medium hamburger cooks to an internal temperature of 140℉-145℉. The inside usually has a slight pink tinge, which makes it juicier to taste.

4. Medium-Rare Burger Temp

Medium-rare burgers cook to an internal temperature of 130℉-135℉. While this temperature can be considered perfectly safe if proper precautions, such as grinding your meat, are taken, it puts you at a higher risk of food poisoning.

5. Rare Burger Temp

A rare burger at 120℉-125℉ is not recommended as it puts you at a higher risk of food poisoning.

Risks of Undercooking Ground Beef

The grinding process can distribute harmful bacteria throughout the meat, which is why it is vital to cook ground beef properly. Pre-packaged ground beef may not be as pure and free of contaminants as you might expect. Be sure about the source and quality of your meat before cooking.

How to Ensure Food Safety When Cooking

To ensure food safety when working with ground beef, it is crucial to follow proper food handling precautions. Follow these safety tips when working with ground beef:

  • Keep the surfaces of your kitchen clean before and after handling ground beef
  • Store your ground beef in the refrigerator and away from other foods until you are ready to prepare it for cooking
  • Wash your hands before and after handling raw meat
  • Use different work surfaces for raw meat
  • Store your ground beef away from other foods such as produce when it is in the refrigerator

How to Know When Your Hamburgers Have Reached the Correct Temperature

Knowing when your hamburgers are safe to consume requires monitoring the internal temperature. The hamburgers typically cook quickly; hence using a meat thermometer is essential. If you plan on serving hamburgers with a higher level of doneness, grinding your beef is a safe way to avoid contamination risks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know more about the temperatures involved when grilling hamburgers? You're not alone!

Here are our readers' most common questions.

1. Is 145 Degrees Safe For Burgers?

145 degrees is safe for homemade hamburger meat or when the temperature is held at that level for approximately 12 minutes. This is based on the fact that you can avoid denaturing the actin proteins while still pasteurizing the beef.

2. Do Burgers Have To Be 160 Degrees?

The USDA recommends cooking burgers to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent bacterial contamination. Burgers cooked at 145 degrees are safe if made at home with safe handling practices.

3. Does Grinding Your Meat Affect the Freshness Quality of Ground Beef?

Well, yes — in a good way; grinding your own beef means that you know for sure where your meat comes from. If you buy quality meat, it has a really high chance of being better than pre-packaged ground beef.

4. What’s the Best Way to Cook a Hamburger?

We recommend seasoning your burger before cooking it, especially if you choose to ground the meat yourself. The charcoal grill is the best method for cooking hamburgers, as it infuses the meat with a smoky flavor. If you do not have a grill, you can cook your burger on a skillet.