It can be tricky to get your burger cooked thoroughly without overcooking it and can be dangerous if you undercook it. To help you out, we put together this quick hamburger temperature guide to teach you how to create the perfect burger by getting the right internal temperature, whether it’s medium-rare or well done.
Hamburger temperature guidelines
USDA temperature guidelines
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has temperature guidelines for cooking meat to help people cook their food to safe temperatures. According to the USDA, to reduce the risk of getting sick, ground meat should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C). This ensures that harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illness are eliminated and the meat is safe to eat.
160°F is also the internal temperature of a well done burger, but many people prefer their burgers cooked rare to medium. If you prefer your burger medium rare, or any temperature below 160°F (71°C), high quality meat may reduce safety risks.
One reason for this is because cheaper ground beef may use meat from several different animals some of which may be carrying harmful bacteria. Another reason is because bacteria sits on the surface of meat.
When you cook a single piece of meat like steak, the bacteria is easily cooked off. In ground beef, that bacteria gets ground up in the meat and it’s mixed into the final package, making it harder to cook off when meat does not reach an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C).
Temperature guidelines for burger doneness
|Doneness||Temp (°F)||Temp (°C)||Appearance|
|Well done||160°F||71°C||Brown on the outside, no color of pink throughout|
|Medium well||150°F to 155°F||66°C to 68°C||Brown on the outside, a little pink in the center|
|Medium||140°F to 145°F||60°C to 63°C||Brown on the outside with a warm pink center|
|Medium rare||130°F to 135°F||54°C to 57°C||Brown on the outside, warm red in the center|
|Rare||120°F to 125°F||49°C to 52°C||Brown on the outside, bright red in the center|
How to check hamburger internal temperature
To measure the internal temperature of a hamburger, you can use an instant-read meat thermometer like Typhur InstaProbe.
Typhur InstaProbe is the fastest instant-read meat thermometer, it offers quick and accurate temperature readings (Response time: 0.5 seconds, Accuracy: +/-0.5°F), which can be especially useful when cooking time-sensitive foods like hamburgers.
That being said, it’s important to use any thermometer correctly to ensure accurate temperature readings and safe cooking practices.
Below are 4 simple steps to measure the internal temperature of your burger.
Step 1. First, insert the InstaProbe thermometer probe into the thickest part of the burger.
Step 2. Wait for the InstaProbe thermometer to respond (0.5 seconds).
Step 3. Read the temperature on the thermometer’s display.
Step 4. If the temperature is below your desired temperature, then continue to cook the burger until it reaches the temperature you want.
Step 5. If the temperature is above your desired level of doneness, remove the burger from the heat and let it rest.
FAQs about hamburger temperature
What temperature should hamburgers be cooked to?
If you want to reduce the risk of foodborne illness, the USDA recommends hamburgers to be cooked thoroughly, with an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) which is the temperature of a well-done burger.
Can I eat burgers that are a little pink?
Any ground meat that is not cooked to the recommended internal temperature carries a risk of causing a foodborne illness.
However, many people eat burgers cooked rare and medium rare without any problems. If you choose to cook your meat medium rare, high quality from a reliable source may be safer than average ground beef from your regular grocery store.
Does the choice of an instant-read thermometer impact the final result of the burger?
The answer is yes, to an extent. An instant-read thermometer with higher accuracy and speed will be more reliable than a thermometer that is slower and less precise.
The idea of a ‘perfect burger’ solely depends on your personal preference. Some may like medium rare, some may like well done.
In order to create the perfect burger for yourself or your loved ones, you can check the temperature guide above using an instant-read thermometer, with safety precautions in mind, and choose the right instant-read thermometer that most suits you.