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How to Tell When a Burger is Done

Burgers are an all-time classic no matter what time of year it is, but summertime is when people seem to enjoy them the most!

If you are the one behind the grill cooking up burgers for your friends and family it is important to know how to tell when a burger is done so that no one gets sick or even worse overcook the burger.

You do not want to be responsible for that! Before you check a burger to know if it’s done you should learn how to grill burgers.

The best way to tell if a burger is done is by using a thermometer. This is going to give you the most accurate assurance that your burger is cooked.

You want the internal temperature to read no less than 155°F. Let the burgers rest for about 10 minutes and the internal temperature will rise to the 160°F mark.

If you do not have a thermometer then you can cut a little slice into the top middle of the burger and look to see if the center is brown. If you see any pink then it isn’t quite done yet.

grilling burgers

What to look for to know if your burger is done

Cooking ground beef until it is no longer pink is really important in order to avoid food-borne illness. Now, I know you are probably thinking, but I eat steak medium or medium-rare all the time!?

Ground beef is different because, well, it’s ground. This means that the meat has been introduced to all kinds of bacteria in the grinding process which can lead to food poisonings and other illnesses if it isn’t cooked to 160°F.

At this temperature, the bacteria can’t survive and get cooked off.

Here is a post about how to cook ground beef that might be helpful for you in other recipes that include ground beef. You will never cook up your ground beef any other way again. See what the best buns for burgers are here.

So let’s jump right into it and go over a few different ways to tell if your burger is done.


This is really the best way to give you a definitive answer to whether or not your burger is fully cooked or not. It is really simple and pretty black and white.

Make sure that when you insert your meat thermometer that you stick it into the center of the burger and only go into the middle.

This is going to be the last part to cook so to make sure that your burger is completely cooked you want the center to get to at least 155°F.

I say 155°F because once remove them from the heat and let them rest they will get to 160°F. This is the safest and recommended temperature from the FDA.

Color of the burger

When you think your burger is done you will want to check the middle of it to make sure that it is cooked through. If you don’t have a thermometer then this is a good way to check.

When you are cooking your burgers you will notice that the red juices starting to come up to the surface. This is the juices and moisture is cooked out of the meat.

Looking at this picture of a raw hamburger, you can see that you don’t want this color inside the beef.

After you flip them and let them cook for a few more minutes you will want to make a small cut in the burger from the top into the center and look to see if there is any pink.

You want it to be a light almost greyish brown color to know that it is done.

Feel of the burger

Another way you can tell if your burger is ready to come off the grill is by how it feels.

Using a spatula push down on the patty and if the juices run clear then you should be good to go.

This method isn’t my go-to method solely because you really can’t see if the inside is up to the correct temperature or not. But if the juices aren’t red then you should be good.

I have some other great tips on how to keep burgers from falling apart and how long to grill frozen burgers.


A thermometer is the best way to know when a burger is done. If you don’t have a thermometer then 2nd best way is to see the inside of the burger.

If it is no longer pink and looks cooked throughout then you should be good to go.

The raw burger is typically pink or red in the middle. If you have any red juice then you are dealing with a raw burger. Burger can also be brown if was most likely spoiled.

The best way to know if you dealing with a raw burger is if looks cooked throughout and what the temperature is when it comes off the grill.

An undercooked burger will be pink inside and will not be fully cooked.

The burger is one of those things if you’re not grinding your beef then ut can be scary with bacteria getting to the beef.

A great way is to check the temperature that should be 165 degrees if it is coming off the grill. If it has already been grilled then you want to see if the beef is consistent color, brown throughout.

Veggies burgers should have a consistent color throughout, and you want to make sure the temperature of the burger off the grill should be 165 degrees to be fully protected from it being undercooked.

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