How Long to Grill Burgers
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Learn how long to grill burgers whether you like them rare, medium-rare, medium or well done. Here we share tips on how to grill burgers including burger grill times for each side. Enjoy mouthwatering and juicy BBQ burgers every time!
When it comes to BBQ burgers, some like them rare, some like them well-done and most folks like it somewhere in the middle. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or feeding a crowd, knowing grilling times will help you to nail the perfect doneness!
The most important tip is that each burger grills up differently. Plus, everyone wants burgers cooked to their liking. So you’ll need to take a few things into account as you fire up the grill!
How Long to Cook Burgers on Grill
Let’s face it. Many factors can affect grilling time, from the temperature of your grill to the thickness of the burger. In general, a typical 4-ounce burger or quarter-pounder will take 3 to 4 minutes per side to reach medium doneness. That’s 6 to 8 minutes in total.
By inserting an instant-read thermometer into the center of the burger, you can confirm it has reached your desired doneness against the grill time chart below.
If you don’t have a thermometer, you can also do the (less accurate) finger test. When you think the burger is done, press it in the middle with your index finger. It will start to provide some resistance when medium and be quite firm when well-done.
Burger Grill Time Chart
The following table covers how long to grill burgers on each side for a typical grilling temperature of 400°F:
|Doneness||Internal Temp||Burger Grill Time*|
|Rare||125°F||2 minutes per side|
|Medium-rare (warm, red center)||135°F||2 to 3 minutes per side|
|Medium (warm, pink center)||145°F||3 to 4 minutes per side|
|Medium-well (slightly pink center)||155°F||4 to 5 minutes per side|
|Well done (little or no pink center)||165°F||5 to 6 minutes per side|
Note that the USDA recommends cooking beef burgers to an internal temperature of 160°F and chicken or turkey burgers to 165°F. If you’re going lower, ensure your ground beef is very fresh and from a reputable source to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
Frozen Beef Burger Grill Times
Are you grilling frozen burger patties? You’ll need top grill them for 10 minutes upfront in order to thaw then. Then, you can start the timer following the grill time chart above.
I strongly recommend using an instant-read thermometer with frozen burgers, as there can be more variation in grilling times. For example, burgers coming out of a deep freeze will take longer than your regular freezer.
Other Burger Grill Times
Here’s what you need to know for grilling other types of burgers:
Fresh or thawed chicken burgers will need 4 to 5 minutes on each side before they’re ready to eat. If you’re cooking frozen chicken patties, give it 7 or 8 minutes. You’ll know it’s fully cooked when it reached 165°F
Like chicken burgers, turkey takes about 4 to 5 minutes on each side before it’s fully cooked. Again, look out for an internal temperature of 165°F.
Due to its higher protein content, bison meat needs a little more time on the grill than beef does. Cook your bison burgers for 5 minutes on each side for a medium burger. Check for an internal temperature of at least 160°F.
Veggie burgers will need anywhere from 3 to 8 minutes on each side depending on the ingredients. Check the package instructions for specific instructions.
How Long to Grill Burgers on Charcoal
If you’re using a charcoal grill, you can still follow the guidelines above as long as the grill is preheated to 400°F. Beef burgers on a charcoal grill will take 3 to 4 minutes per side to reach an internal temperature of 145°F, or medium doneness.
How Long to Grill Burgers at 400
The best grilling temperature for BBQ burgers is 375 to 400°F. For a typical 4-ounce burger, here are the grilling times at 400:
- 2 minutes per side for rare
- 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare
- 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium
- 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-well
- 5 to 6 minutes per side for well done
For larger 6-ounce burgers, add 1 to 2 minutes more per side.
How to Cook Burgers on the Grill
While grilling can seem intimidating at first, it’s actually easier than you might think. Whether you’re using a gas or charcoal grill, you’ll want to first preheat it to 400°F. While that’s happening, you can prepare the burger patties.
When the grill is hot enough, wipes the grates with oiled paper towels or nonstick cooking spray. This is to prevent sticking. Then you can place the burgers onto direct heat and close the lid.
Cook according to the burger grill time chart. I only recommend flipping once and inserting an instant-read thermometer to check doneness. Avoid cutting into the burgers, as juices will escape and cause the burger to dry out.
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How Long to Grill Burgers
- 2 pounds ground beef, 80% lean or extra-lean, cold
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons onion, finely grated
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 6 hamburger buns
- slices cheese
- slices tomato
- onion slices
- Preheat the grill to 400°F. Clean the grill grates thoroughly with a wire brush.
- Add ground beef to a medium bowl. Add the garlic, onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Mix briefly with a fork just enough to combine.
- On a work surface, divide the mixture into six equal-sized balls. Using your hands, shape the balls into patties and create a slight divot in the center of each (to compensate for expansion during cooking).
- Grease the grill grates by wiping with oiled paper towels or spraying with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place the burgers onto direct heat and close the lid. Grill for 2 to 5 minutes depending on your desired doneness (see note). Open the lid and flip the burgers.
- Grill for 2 to 5 minutes more. Check doneness by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the center of each patty: 125°F is rare, 135°F is medium rare, 145°F is medium, 155°F is medium-well and 165°F is well done.
- Optional: Add the cheese to the burgers during the final minute of cooking to let it melt. Toast the buns by placing on the BBQ rack away from the flame for one minute or less.
- Place the buns on a serving platter facing up. Place the burgers onto buns and add optional toppings to serve.
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