Medium Rare Burger – Internal Temperature Guide

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Making juicy and delicious burgers is one of my favorite pastimes. And though simple, there’s no doubt a science to making burgers medium rare.

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I’ve dedicated this post to informing you on how exactly to achieve the right temperature for your medium rare burger patties, as well as what might affect your ability to cook up the perfect meat.

Medium Rare Burger Temp – Internal Temperature Guide

Table of Contents

Ideal Medium Rare Burger Temperature

When you cook burgers, it’s important to pay attention to internal temperature to ensure the inside of the ground beef (or any other type of ground meat) is cooked correctly.

The general rule is, medium rare burger temperatures range from 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit.

What to Use to Measure Meat Temperature

First things first, and that’s that you need to have the proper tools on hand in order to measure your burger’s internal temperature correctly.

It’s typically a good idea to check a internal temperature chart. However, if your goal is simply to make a juicy medium rare burger, we’ve got the info you need right here.

In order to achieve the ideal temperature of 130-135 degrees F, you’ll need to use some sort of tool to ensure that the meat is at the correct temperature. That’s why investing in a meat thermometer is a good idea.

There are typically two types of meat thermometers you can use:

  • A temporary meat probe (one you put in the burger temporarily)
  • A cooking meat probe (you’ll leave these in while the burger is cooking)

Depending on your cooking method, you may simply wish to use the type of meat probe that goes in after the meat is finished, especially for cooking methods that require flipping.

Use your best judgment depending on your cooking method as to which of the two types of probes to use.

Remember also that when it comes to probe thermometers, there are several varieties within each category. Some give manual readings, while others give digital. Some are waterproof, and some are not.

Again it is best to choose which kind will be best for you in accordance with your needs and how you plan to cook up your medium rare burgers.

Cooking Considerations When Attempting Medium Rare Burgers

When cooking medium rare burgers, there’s several factors you’ll want to keep in mind.

Yes, medium rare burgers need to achieve an internal temperature of 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit. But there’s a method to the madness when it comes to achieving this temperature along with the perfectly charred outside we all associate with a good burger.

A few aspects you should consider when attempting to make medium rare burgers include:

  • Diameter
  • Thickness
  • Temperature (of meat prior to cooking)

Two more things will remain virtually the same no matter which cooking method you choose, and they are:

  • Weight – A burger patty will typically weigh about 4-6 ounces which is the equivalent of about a quarter pound (or slightly over). This will flex and flow of course, depending on how large and thick you want your burgers to be.
  • Fat content – The fat content in your medium rare burger won’t affect cook time as much, but it will affect the results. Expect meat with less fat to be much less juicy, leading to drier medium rare patties. Shoot for 80/20 for the perfect burger cooking results.
Medium Rare Burger Temp – Internal Temperature Guide

Cooking Methods For Perfect Medium Rare Burgers

Now that you know what internal temperature we are shooting for to achieve perfect medium-rare burgers, let’s go into more details concerning cooking methods.

We’ll also get into what may affect the way you cook your burgers in relation to each cooking type.

1. Frying Pan (or Cast Iron Pan)

Using a pan (whether a non stick or cast iron pan) to cook burgers is a tried-and-true method for achieving a crisp outside and juicy inside on your medium rare burger. It doesn’t require any fancy tools or equipment.

Just a good ol’ standard frying pan, a bit of oil, a spatula, and a meat thermometer is about all you need to pull off amazing burger patties with this method.

Cooking method

  1. When frying up a medium rare burger in a frying pan, start on medium high heat.
  2. Pour a little oil in the pan (make sure the oil has a higher smoke point) and wait until the oil is hot.
  3. Once hot, carefully place your patties in the frying pan and cook on each side for about 3 minutes.


  • Diameter – Know that how big or small the patties are is up to you. Just know that the diameter will likely affect the thickness of the burger, and will also affect your ability to put more or less burgers in the pan. Always leave at least 1-inch of space between medium rare burgers when frying them in a frying pan. This will allow enough air to circulate to create a crispy outside and still juicy inside.
  • Thickness – While the diameter of your burger patties won’t necessarily affect your medium rare burger, the thickness certainly will. If you make your burger patties thicker, you can expect to have to cook them for longer on each side. You may need to spend up to 4 minutes or more cooking each side, but that will really depend on how thick your burgers are. I like to keep our burgers about 1/2 -inch thick. Feel free to make your patties thicker … just know they’ll need to spend a little more time on each side if you do. That’s why a meat probe thermometer really comes in handy!
  • Temperature – When cooking your burger on the stovetop, it’s best to keep them cold before use. Both cold burgers and room-temperature burgers will follow the cooking directions I gave above. But if your burgers are frozen, the same method may take much longer on each side (even up to 15 minutes) before you get the results you desire. You’ll also want to make sure the inside isn’t ice cold. Be sure to keep that food thermometer handy to monitor the temperature of the inside of the meat.
Medium Rare Burger – Internal Temperature Guide

2. Grill (or BBQ)

Cooking up burgers on the grill is another great way to eat medium rare burgers. This method gives a unique smokiness not easily achieved by other cooking methods.

Cooking Method

  1. To cook your medium rare burger on the grill, allow it to cook at 450 degrees F over direct heat.
  2. Wait until it reaches about 125-130 degrees F. (Yes, this is slightly lower than the recommended internal temperature mentioned above, but your burgers will likely continue cooking even once you pull them off the grill).
  3. Take burgers off the grill. Taking them off a bit early will allow the meat to come to temperature while the burgers rest.


  • Diameter – I recommend about 6 ounces per burger no matter the diameter. For a burger this size, cook them for about 3-4 minutes per side over direct heat as mentioned above.
  • Thickness – Make your 6 ounce burger about 3/4 inch thick in order for the cooking instructions above to be the most accurate. Otherwise, thinner burgers will take less time, and thicker burgers will take slightly more time.
  • Temperature – When grilling your burger, it’s best to do so from room temperature. This will keep your burger patties moist and juicy. If you want to cook your burgers from cold on the grill, just know that it may render a drier result, and also, the cooking time may increase. For frozen burgers, expect to grill them much longer to achieve the proper internal temperature. Grill your burgers about 15 minutes total over direct heat before checking the internal temperature for between 125-130 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Burger Grill Press

Cooking Method

When using a burger grill press (or even a panini press) to make a medium rare burger, you’ll need to keep a close eye on the burger patties while cooking. This is because the grill will cook the burger from top to bottom and will also take less time to cook.

  1. Place your burger patties on the grill grates.
  2. Check at about 4-5 minutes for levels of doneness using a meat thermometer.


  • Diameter – Strive for 3-4 inches in diameter when making a burger on a grill press.
  • Thickness – Make the thickness of the burger about 3/4 inches (or thinner) for best results on burger grill press. Always make your patties the exact same thickness. Otherwise, your grill plates will rest on the top of the largest ones, and the rest of your burgers will remain uncooked.
  • Temperature – Keep your burgers cold when using a grill press, much like you’d do on the stovetop for best results. For frozen burgers, add an additional few minutes or cook until the burger patties have reached 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to check your burgers often in order to know when the correct internal temperature has been reached.
Medium Rare Burger Temp – Internal Temperature Guide

The Perfect Medium Rare Burger: Now You Know!

As you can see, there are multiple cooking methods that can help you to arrive at perfectly cooked medium rare burgers. No matter which cooking method you use, just be sure to adhere to hamburger temperature guidelines, as these will help you achieve a medium rare hamburger safely and perfectly.

Also, be sure to note that other ground meat types, including ground turkey, chicken burgers, or other types of ground poultry or fish may require different internal temperatures and cook times. Many of these burger types may not be safe to eat at medium doneness. Check the internal temp for each type before cooking!


Is 145 degrees safe for burger?

145 degrees F yields a medium-rare to medium done burger. Though the recommended temperature for a cooked burger is 160 degrees F, this is a done burger. Don’t consume a burger that is 130 degrees F or less.

How long do you cook a burger for medium-rare?

Cooking time can depend on the size and thickness of the patty. Usually, it’s 3 minutes each side.

Medium Rare Burger Recipe


Easy Medium Rare Burgers Recipe

If you’re like me, medium rare is your definition of perfectly cooked beef. Here’s my recipe for homemade medium rare burgers!

This recipe is cooked on a grill.

  • Author: Anna
  • Yield: 2 burgers 1x
  • Category: meat
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1 pound (450g) ground beef 
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4 burger buns


  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • onion
  • cheese
  • bacon
  • pickles/relish
  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • mayonnaise


  1. Preheat your grill to high heat. If you’re using a stovetop skillet or griddle, preheat it over medium-high heat.
  2. Divide the ground beef into 4 equal portions and gently shape each portion into a patty, handling the meat as little as possible to avoid overworking it. Make the patties slightly larger in diameter than your burger buns because they will shrink as they cook.
  3. Sprinkle each patty with salt and black pepper on both sides. You can add other seasonings to taste, like garlic powder or onion powder if desired.
  4. Place the patties on the hot grill or in the skillet/griddle. For medium-rare burgers, cook them for about 3-4 minutes on each side. This will result in a pink center with a warm, red interior. Adjust the cooking time if you prefer your burgers slightly more or less cooked.
  5. While the burgers are cooking, split the burger buns in half and lightly toast them on the grill or in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes until they are slightly crispy.


  1. Once the burgers are cooked to your desired level of doneness, remove them from the grill or skillet.
  2. Allow them to rest for a couple of minutes to let the juices redistribute. While they rest, you can prepare your preferred toppings and condiments.
  3. Place the cooked patties on the bottom half of each bun. Add your choice of toppings and condiments, such as lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise.
  4. Place the top bun on each burger to complete the assembly. Serve your medium-rare burgers immediately while they’re still hot and juicy.


  • Meat is preferably 80% lean, 20% fat.
  • If you want to melt cheese on your burgers, place a slice of cheese on each patty during the last minute of cooking. Cover the grill or skillet to help melt the cheese.
  • The actual cooking time may vary depending on your grill or stove and the thickness of your patties.
  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure your burgers reach an internal temperature of at least 135-140°F (57-60°C) for medium-rare.

Keywords: homemade medium rare burgers

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By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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