How to Tell if Your Burger Is Done without Any Guesswork

We're always searching for the perfect burger, and following the right burger cook time is a huge part of making each bite juicy and delicious. Use our Test Kitchen's tips to know what temperature hamburgers should be before digging in.

When it comes to making juicy homemade burgers, it's important to know a hamburger's done temperature (because no one wants to bit into a dry burger). But just like making meat loaf or other ground beef recipes, it can be hard to tell burger doneness by just looking at it. This is because even if some of the meat is pink, it could still be safe enough to eat (more on that next). Whether you like cooking burgers on the grill or pan-fried on the skillet, here is the best way to tell if your burger is done.

testing doneness of burger on grill with thermometer
Andy Lyons

How to Test Hamburgers for Doneness

The only sure way to find out if your hamburger is done is by using a meat thermometer. An instant-read meat thermometer ($15, Walmart) ensures perfectly cooked hamburger patties that are still juicy on the inside while brown on the outside. To correctly check the burger temperature, insert the thermometer through the side of the patty so the point is in the center. If you're using a regular food thermometer, leave it in the patty for at least 10 seconds to get an accurate temperature reading.

What Temperature is a Hamburger Done?

A hamburger made from ground beef, pork, veal, or lamb cooked to 160°F, regardless of color, is safe to eat. (Ground turkey or chicken burgers must be cooked to 165°F.) If the beef has been mixed with eggs or other ingredients, grill the burgers to 165°F.

Your perfect burger awaits! Turn your ordinary hamburger patties into your best meal ever with some of our favorite burger recipes. Going meatless? Try our protein-packed veggie burger recipes.

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