A delicious burger is something that every grill aficionado loves to make. However, there is a huge difference between a decent burger and a perfect burger. To make the perfect burger for any event, you have to be able to cook it medium-rare, and that requires you to get familiar with the timing involved, and you’ll probably want a hamburger cooking temperature guide and food thermometer to make sure you’re on point.
When you make a medium-rare burger, time is everything. A minute or two over a specific time will give you a medium or medium-well burger. For a medium-rare burger, your timing skills have to be exact to achieve the perfect temperature.
Keep reading to learn exactly how to make the perfect medium-rare burger.
Can We Eat Medium-Rare Hamburgers?
First, a lot of people wonder if eating medium-rare hamburgers is safe. That’s a tricky question to answer. There are a lot of variables that affect how safe medium-rare ground beef is to eat.
That’s because the bacteria that forms on the surface of the meat gets ground up into the inner parts of the meat when it’s processed, and that bacteria gets trapped inside of your burger. Usually, that bacteria can survive being cooked to medium-rare, but you can get around that issue fairly easily.
First, you can pasteurize your hamburgers by maintaining a 140-degree temperature for about 12 minutes. That’s not quite medium-rare, but it’s close enough that amateurs can’t tell the difference.
If that doesn’t sound good enough for you, there is a way to safely cook your meat to 130-degrees or medium-rare. You can grind it yourself. Butcher shops and stores process tons of meat everyday, and bacteria typically grows because they can’t keep their work areas perfectly clean at all times. When you grind whole muscles at home, you can keep the meat a lot cleaner. Then, you can safely cook it to medium-rare.
If you’re just buying pre-made patties or raw ground beef from the store, you’ll want to pasteurize it, or you’ll want to cook it until it’s well-done.
What’s The Temperature Of A Medium-Rare Hamburger?
A medium-rare hamburger is a hamburger that registers at 130-degrees when you measure its internal temperature. It should be perfectly seared on the outside, but its center should be warm and pink.
When a lot of people think of pink meat, they consider it to be raw. That’s not the case. It technically isn’t cooked all the way, but it’s not raw. Medium-rare beef is juicier than well-done beef, and it has a lot more of its natural flavor. A medium-rare burger is a lot like a medium-rare steak.
Temperature Chart For Hamburgers
Here’s a simple chart that you can use to tell how done your meat is.
- 125-degrees: This is a rare burger, and you shouldn’t cook your burgers to this temperature for safety reasons.
- 130 to 135-degrees (54-57 Celsius): This is a medium-rare burger, and you can cook your burgers to this temperature if you take proper precautions.
- 140 to 145-degrees: This is a medium burger, and it’s easier to make, but it’s not as flavorful.
- 150 to 155-degrees: This is a medium-well burger. It will only have a sliver of pink in it, and it’ll be fairly dry.
- 160-degrees: This is a well-done burger. It tastes like leather, and it’s usually pretty dry. If you use store-bought ground beef, you have to cook it to this temperature, or you have to pasteurize it.
However, it is difficult for us to tell if it reaches proper temperature. At this moment, we can find the instant meat thermometer for help!
Cooking Tip: How To Cook Hamburgers To Medium-Rare
Cooking your burgers to medium-rare isn’t that difficult. It’s all about the timing. However, you have to add at least one extra step for safety reasons. We’ll go over both methods in-depth here.
Pasteurize Your Burgers
If you’re using store-bought ground beef, or if you bought pre-made patties, you can’t just cook your burgers to medium-rare and call it a day. There’s tons of bacteria trapped in them from the butcher’s work area.
You don’t have to burn them to a crisp, though. Just pasteurize them. Start the process exactly like you would with any other burgers, but once they hit 138-degrees, you should pull them off of your grill, wrap them in tin foil, and then put them in the oven for 12 minutes at 140-degrees. They’ll be just slightly past the medium-rare mark, but they’ll be safe to eat, and they’ll taste a lot better than the well-done burgers that the USDA recommends.
Grind It At Home
Ground beef is made up of several ground up cuts of whole-muscle beef. Brisket, sirloin, ox tail, ribeye, and other cuts are used to make ground beef. At the butcher, the cuts are exposed to a lot of bacteria before they’re ground up, and when they’re ground up, that bacteria ends up getting mixed in.
You can avoid that by purchasing the cuts that you want to make your ground beef out of, and then you can grind them at home.
To start, get your cuts of beef ready. We recommend at least using sirloin and brisket, and you can add a third cut if you want. Just make sure they’re whole-muscle cuts.
Then, bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, and dunk the steak cuts into the water for one minute. That’ll kill all of the bacteria that is living on the surface of the meat.
Once you do that, run the cuts through your meat grinder, and form the ground beef into patties.
Finally, you’re ready to grill them like you would any other burger, and you can pull them off of the grill when they have an internal temperature of 130-degrees. As they rest, they’ll come up to about 135-degrees.
Make sure to wash your hands frequently throughout the entire process!
As you can tell, cooking medium-rare burgers has a lot to do with temperature. If you pick up a ThermoPro instant-read meat thermometer, you’ll have a much easier time figuring out the temperature of your burgers.
Other than that, they’re pretty easy to make. Next time you fire up your grill, don’t burn your burgers to a crisp. Try them medium-rare!