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What Is The Temperature For A Medium-Rare Burger?


Written by Ron Scott from Carnivorous Life

The temperature for a medium-rare burger is cooked to around 130 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit for that perfect pink center.

When your burger is cooked to medium-rare you’ll experience a tender and juicy bite that’s robust and beefy.

Are Medium-Rare Burgers Safe To Eat?

According to theUSDA, medium-rare burgers are not safe to eat.

“Raw and undercooked meat may contain harmful bacteria. USDA recommends not eating or tasting raw or undercooked ground beef. To be sure all bacteria are destroyed, cook meatloaf, meatballs, and hamburgers to a safe minimum internal temperature of 160 °F (71.1 °C). Use a food thermometer to check that they have reached a safe internal temperature.”

Personally, choose to stay on the safe side and cook my burgers until there is nearly no pink color left.

However, I have plenty of friends who frequently eat medium-rare burgers.

It’s also common for people to cook their burgers until theythink the burger is 160 °F and then cut into it only to find out that there is still some pink coloring left.

That’s why it’s a good idea to invest in a qualitymeat thermometer so you can check before you cut into your meat and turn off the stove or grill.

If you want a safer way to cook a burger to medium-rare you’ll have to grind the meat yourself. Grocery stores or butchers are more prone to bacteria growing in their working areas.

You can avoid this by grinding whole muscles in your kitchen; where you can keep the ground beef a lot cleaner.

At the end of the day, people have their own risk-tolerance levels, and this is a decision everyone has to make on their own.

Is Medium-Rare Temperature Different For Steaks?

No, the temperature for a medium-rare steak is the same as medium-rare burgers; 130-135°F.

Medium-rare isone of the most common ways to cook a steak. It’s safer to eat a steak at this level of doneness, in contrast with a burger.

How To Cook A Medium-Rare Burger

If you do want to cook your burger medium-rare here’s a step-by-step guide to achieve the best results.


  • Bring your ground beef to room temperature: Lay your meat on the counter for 20-30 minutes so the temperature can rise. This will create a more even cooking distribution.
  • Roll and flatten: If not formed already, roll your ground beef into a ball and flatten to form your patty. You can do this by pressing down on it with your hand. Try to avoid any crevices in the meat.


  1. Season your patty: Season your patty on both sides with salt, pepper, and your favorite spices.
  2. Preheat your grill or stove: Bring the pan to medium-high heat or your grill to a temperature of 450°F. You can do this before you prepare your patty to save time.
  3. Add butter or olive oil: If using a pan, add butter or olive oil as the pan is heating up. You can also use beef tallow. This is my favorite.
  4. Add your patty to the pan: Once the pan is sizzling add your patty to the pan. For medium-rare doneness, cook it for 3 minutes.
  5. Flip your patty: Flip your patty over and cook it for another 3 minutes.
  6. Check the temperature: Check the internal temperature for 130-135˚F (54.4-57.2˚C). If it’s not quite there, keep cooking your patty.
  7. Rest and enjoy: Once your patty has reached an internal temperature of 130˚F, let it rest for another 5 minutes. The burger will keep cooking until it reaches 135˚F. Make sure you turn off your pan or grill, craft your hamburger and enjoy.

What If I Cook With My Grill At A Higher Temperature?

If you crank up the heat on your grill, you'll notice a faster browning on your beef patty's exterior. This doesn't significantly alter the cooking time, but it does change the flavor profile.

This is how I like to cook my patty; I prefer a more charred surface from the grill.

How Does Thickness Affect Cooking Time?

The thickness of the patty greatly affects how long it'll take to cook. A thicker burger requires more time on the grill than a thinner one. However, the diameter of the burger will not affect the cooking time and the internal temperatures are the same for all burger patties.

Is Medium-Rare The Best Doneness Level?

In my experience, a well-done burger does the job for me. It’s safer to eat and tastes great.

However, when it comes to cooking a steak I will always go for the medium-rare doneness. It offers a blend of flavors that is hard to beat. In my opinion, medium-rare is the best way to eat steak, but to each their own.

How Can You Tell If Your Burger Is Medium-Rare?

There are a few ways to confirm the doneness of your burger.

First, I always recommend a quality meat thermometer. This is the most convenient and safe way to check the internal temperature of your meat.

Second, you can cut into your meat and look for how red the middle of the burger is. If it’s bright red it is probably too rare to eat. If there is no red or pink color then your burger is closer to being well-done.

This isn’t my favorite method because if my burger isn’t quite where I like it then I’ll have to add it to the pan or grill again. Also, cutting into the meat so soon can release some of the juices that make it so delicious.

Lastly, you can press into the meat with your fingers. Gently press your fingers on the meat. If it's soft to the touch and springs back quickly, it's still rare.

As it cooks, it'll get firmer. The ideal temperature for a medium-rare burger is when it's firm but still has a slight give. It's like pressing on the center of your palm.

Here are the cooking times and temperatures for other levels of doneness:

  • Rare (125°F): This requires a total of 4-5 minutes of cooking time.
  • Medium-rare (135°F): This requires a total of 5-6 minutes of cooking time.
  • Medium (145°F): This requires a total of 6-7 minutes of cooking time.
  • Medium Well (155°F): This requires a total of 7-8 minutes of cooking time.
  • Well Done (165°F): This requires a total of 8-10 minutes of cooking time.


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