How Long to Grill Burgers (From Rare to Well-Done)

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Are you wondering how long you should grill your hamburgers? You’ve come to the right place!

In this TheGrillingDad.com article, we’ll cover:

  • How long to grill burgers
  • Burger grilling tips
  • And much more!
a bunch of hamburgers on a grill with a spatula flipping one

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How to Grill Burgers

Burgers are one of the most basic BBQ meats, but there is still a trick to them! Follow our process and pretty soon you will be grilling burgers like a pro!

Hamburger Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Garlic powder
  • Cumin 
  • Burger toppings (optional, we recommend cheese, lettuce, and tomato)

Hamburger Instructions:

1. Choose the Best Ground Beef

The best hamburger meat for burgers is one that is 80% meat and 20% fat. This amount of fat will keep the burgers bound, but won’t be overly greasy. It’s the perfect mix!

2. Shape the Burgers

Of course a pound of hamburger meat isn’t going to look like burgers just yet! Use a jar lid or a hamburger press to shape your burgers into patties. Need help? Check out our article on how to shape a hamburger patty

3. Season Your Burgers

You can’t just toss your burgers on the grill as is! You’ve got to add a little seasoning. We recommend starting with salt and pepper at a minimum. But you can also add garlic powder and cumin if you would like! 

4. Prep Your Grill

Burgers can get a bit messy and the last thing you want is old burger bits sticking to fresh burgers! Scrape your grill down before turning on your grill.

5. Preheat Your Grill

We recommend starting somewhere between 400°F and 450°F. 

6. How Long to Grill Burgers

  • Rare: 6 minutes
  • Medium-Rare: 7 minutes
  • Medium: 8 minutes
  • Medium-Well: 9 minutes
  • Well Done: 10 minutes

7. Internal Temperature for Burgers

Before you pull your burger off the grill, you need to check its internal temperature!

  • Rare: 130°F
  • Medium Rare: 130°F-140°F
  • Medium: 140°F-150°F
  • Medium-Well: 150°F-155°F
  • Well Done: 160°F and up

How Long to Grill Burgers?

Hamburgers are a grilling staple. They are easy to throw on for a large crowd, a small one, and guests of any age will love them. We especially love how easy it is to customize burgers to suit almost any diet and palate. But how long do you need to plan to cook burgers?

The answer isn’t simple because the amount of time you need to cook burgers will vary based on how done you want your burger to be as well as how thick your burgers are. For a 1-inch burger, those who want it rare should plan to cook their burgers for about 6 minutes. For a well-done burger, you will want to allow a full 10 minutes for cooking. 

Of course, a one-inch burger isn’t your only thickness, and there are also stuffed burgers to consider. Plus, we know that most people want their burgers somewhere in between rare and well done.

Read on to learn all about how long it takes to cook burgers at different temperatures!

How Long to Grill a Rare Burger

A rare burger is one that has a soft red center. If you like your burgers cooked rare, then we recommend making them yourself from fresh meat as the frozen patties won’t be warm all the way through when cooked to rare. You will also want to pick out quality meat that is meant to eat more rare and consume these burgers at your own risk

There are two types of rare burgers, blue rare and rare. Blue rare is basically just searing a burger–it is mostly raw in the middle and is not for the faint of heart! Either way, here are the temps and cooking times for rare burgers.

Burger Cooked to:

Temperature:

Cook Time:

Blue Rare

115°F-120°F

2 minutes on each side

Rare

125°F-130°F

3 minutes on each side

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How Long to Grill a Medium Rare Burger

A step up from rare, a medium rare burger is still red, but more firm than a rare burger. Although you will be cooking your medium-rare burger longer, we recommend starting with fresh beef (not a frozen patty) and ensure you purchase quality meat so you don’t get food poisoning.

Burger Cooked to: 

Temperature:

Cook Time:

Medium-Rare

130°F-140°F

3 minutes on one side, 4 on the other

How Long to Grill a Medium Burger

Medium and medium-well are the two most common cook temperatures of a burger. At this doneness, the inside will be slightly pink and firm. Most food regulators recommend consuming burgers only once they reach a medium level of doneness. 

One reason we like medium burgers is because they can be achieved with either a frozen patty or a fresh one, so you don’t have to do anything special to have a medium burger. Note that 145°F is the minimum recommended temperature for consuming beef. 

Burger Cooked to:

Temperature:

Cook Time:

Medium

140°F-150°F

3 minutes on one side, 5 on the other



How Long to Grill a Medium-Well Burger

A medium-well burger will have a slight bit of pink in the middle with a firm texture. This is another temperature that can be achieved with a fresh or frozen patty, and you don’t have to worry as much about the quality of the meat since it will be mostly cooked. 

Burger Cooked to:

Temperature:

Cook Time:

Medium-Well

150°F-155°F

3 minutes on one side, 6 minutes on the other

How Long to Grill a Well-Done Burger

If you don’t want to worry about food poisoning or any sort of foodborne illness, then a well-done burger is the way to go. Cooked to this temperature, your burger will have no pink and be firm all the way through. The USDA recommends cooking all ground beef well done. 

If you are hosting a cookout where you will have tons of burgers on the grill, we recommend making them all well done just to be on the safe side! 

Burger Cooked to:

Temperature:

Cook Time:

Well-Done

160°F and up

3 minutes on one side, 7 on the other

As you can see, the difference in cook times between burger doneness levels is about 1 minute per level. This means it can be very difficult to get burgers to the exact temperature of doneness! 

What we do in our house is we always cook a couple of extra burgers. This way, if someone cuts theirs open and doesn’t like what they see, they can try a different one. We keep the extras to use on salads or sandwiches during the week or feed what’s left over to the dog! 

juicy hamburgers with french fries and a beer in the background

How Long Should You Grill a Hamburger?

As mentioned above, the USDA recommends that everyone across the entire United States eat their ground beef well done. But we understand that well-done beef can often be dry and lacks some of the flavors that more rare beef has. 

So while you should cook all of your hamburgers well done, it is okay to undercook your meat if you are aware of the risks in doing so. It’s also important to remember that the quality of ground beef plays a huge part in the high-temperature recommendation. 

Ground beef is typically what is left of the cow that can’t be sold as steaks or roast. It is ground up and mixed, frequently from multiple cows to make a single pound–which is why the risk of foodborne illness is higher than it would be for a steak.  

If you really love rare burgers, then it is worth the time it may take you to find a source of fresh beef. Look for those which are organic and grass-fed, and try to find a local farm that has more control over its butchering practices. You may even want to consider grinding your own meat. 

While this won’t make your chances of foodborne illness 0, it will lower the chances that you will get sick from your favorite rare burger.

Tips for Grilling Burgers:

  • Have the grill on as high as possible and let it preheat fully before you put on your burgers. 
  • Use a meat thermometer rather than the touch method to know when your burgers are done
  • Divide your grill into sections when you are cooking burgers at different temps. For example, medium burgers can be on the left of your grill, and well-done burgers on the right.
  • If your grill has an upper rack, use it to keep the burgers warm after they have reached temperature until all the burgers are done. 

Should You Cook Burgers on a Charcoal or a Gas Grill?

As far as burgers go, we love the smoky flavor that infuses into the meat when you use a charcoal grill, but if you only have a gas grill, it will work just as well! Gas grills are actually easier to keep at temperature and sometimes better for beginner grill makers. 

How to Store Burgers

Hamburgers are one of the easiest foods to store. When they are raw, you can wrap them in plastic wrap (using butcher paper to keep them apart) and keep them in the fridge for 2 to 3 days for cooking at a later time. 

Once burgers are cooked, place them in an airtight container and place them in the fridge. They will remain good for 3 to 4 days, but may be a bit tough when reheated. We recommend using leftover ground beef for taco salads, pastas, and other dishes. 

How Long to Grill Burgers FAQ:

Should You Press Your Burger Down While Grilling?

We don’t recommend pressing down on your burger while grilling as this will squeeze out all the juices. This will leave you with a dry and crumbly burger. 

Should You Let Burgers Rest?

Burgers don’t need as much time to rest as other cuts of beef, but it is still ideal to let burgers rest for 3-5 minutes before serving them. 

Can You Freeze Burgers?

Raw burgers can be placed in an airtight container and left in the freezer for up to four months. You can also freeze cooked ground beef, although it might be dry upon reheating!

burgers on a grill grate

Easy Burger Recipe

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

An easy burger recipe perfect for any occasion!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin 
  • Burger toppings (optional, we recommend cheese, lettuce, and tomato)

Instructions

  1. Mix the raw ground beef with all of the spices in a bowl.
  2. Shape the burger meat into patties using a jar lid or an alternative method.
  3. Preheat your grill to 400°F
  4. Place your burgers on the grill for the desired length of time (see above)
  5. Check the temperature of your burger.
  6. If it's done, remove it from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes, then serve with buns and toppings!
Hope Davis

Hope Davis

Born in Denver, Colorado as the oldest of 5 children, I learned at a young age that the grill was one of the best ways to prepare food for a crowd. And during the winter storm months, when the snow was likely to knock out the power to our house, the propane grill was a lifesaver! You wouldn’t believe the number of things you can cook on a grill when necessary. With parents who couldn’t tell salt from pepper unless you told them, I spent my late teen years making my own seasoning mixes and marinades to dress the meat before barbecues. It wasn’t long before I developed a secret marinade that people still beg me to make for them today! When I was 21 years old I bought my first smoker. Picked up some cedar chips for making a cedar plank salmon...and well, the rest they say is history! I’ve been grilling and smoking all kinds of creations ever since and I’m always excited to share my passion with others through my favorite medium--writing!

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