How Long To Grill A Burger

Are you ready to fire up the grill and sink your teeth into a juicy, mouthwatering burger? Grilling burgers is not only a delicious way to enjoy a meal, but it also brings out those tantalizing smoky flavors that can take your taste buds on an unforgettable journey.

But how long should you really grill that patty for optimal results? In this article, we’ll dive into the factors you need to consider when grilling burgers and provide you with cooking times for both thin and thick patties.

We’ll also share some expert tips on achieving the juiciest burgers and mastering different grilling techniques. Whether you’re a meat lover or prefer vegetarian or vegan options, we’ve got you covered with alternative burger patty ideas.

So get ready to become the ultimate burger grill master as we guide you through everything from safety tips to troubleshooting common grilling issues. It’s time to elevate your burger game!

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How Long To Grill A Burger?

What’s the Best Ground Beef to Use for burgers?

Ground chuck stands out as a versatile, widely available choice for crafting burger recipes. Ensure you select beef boasting a 20% fat content for the ideal 80/20 ratio, ensuring a burger that strikes the perfect balance between juiciness and avoiding excess grease. Feel like experimenting with a personalized blend? Feel free to ask your butcher to grind a combination of chuck with short ribs or brisket, embracing a uniquely tailored culinary experience.

If grilling beef patties isn’t your preference, the options are limitless. Explore alternatives such as chicken burgers, turkey burgers, or even salmon burgers! Opt for dark meat poultry, fatty fish, or ground pork or lamb shoulder. If you’re leaning towards a veggie burger, consider using black beans and quinoa. Keep in mind that poultry or seafood patties should be thoroughly cooked, as a medium-rare approach is not recommended for chicken or fish burgers. Otherwise, the guidelines below remain applicable, ensuring a delicious outcome regardless of the burger’s protein source.

How to season burgers?

Lay out the ground beef in a flat layer and generously season it with salt and pepper. If you have a hidden gem like Worcestershire sauce or chopped bacon as a secret ingredient, introduce it at this stage. Gently toss the ingredients together, being careful not to overmix. Once you’ve shaped the patties and are just about to hit the grill, give the exterior of the burgers another round of seasoning with salt and pepper for that extra flavor boost.

How to Form burger Patties?

How to Form burger Patties?

The key principle for achieving the finest grilled burger lies in the art of shaping. It’s crucial not to overwork the meat, as this could result in tougher patties.

Consider donning disposable rubber gloves to both handle the raw meat hygienically and prevent it from sticking to your hands. Take 5 to 6 ounces of meat and gently toss it from one hand to the other, shaping it into a ball. The resulting patty should match the width of your bun and measure about 3/4 to 1 inch in thickness.

For a quick and effortless alternative, divide the meat into even portions. Position one portion on the top of a deli container lid, and place a second lid on top of the meat. Apply even and firm pressure, observing as a perfectly shaped patty emerges.

To help the burger maintain its form during cooking, create a slight indentation in the center with your thumb. These patties can be prepared in advance and refrigerated for convenience.

How to cook burgers on the grill?

How to cook burgers on the grill?

Adjust your gas grill to high heat and allow it a few minutes to reach the desired temperature, or prepare a charcoal grill for direct heat. Ensure the grill grates are clean by brushing off any residual bits. Use a paper towel, tongs, and a neutral oil to lubricate the grates, preventing your burgers from sticking.

The duration for grilling your burger may vary depending on your grill’s temperature and the size of the patties. Regardless of your preferred level of doneness, consider the timing recommendations below as a helpful reference for your cookout, rather than a strict rule.

How long to grill burgers?

Burger Grilling Times

Burger Grilling Times

Doneness Total Grilling Time
Medium-rare 6–7 minutes
Medium 7–8 minutes
Medium-well 9 minutes
Well-done 10 minutes

While estimating grill times is a useful approach for achieving the desired doneness of hamburgers, employing an instant-read thermometer remains the most reliable method to ensure your burgers are cooked to perfection.

Tips for building better burgers

For achieving flawless cheeseburgers—because, let’s face it, who can resist a cheeseburger—add a slice of cheese onto the burgers right after flipping them and cover the grill for the final minute of cooking. While American cheese is a classic choice, renowned for its unmatched meltability, feel free to switch it up with cheddar for a sharper flavor or opt for pepper Jack, Swiss, Muenster, or any cheese that tantalizes your taste buds. Retaining heat within the grill ensures the cheese melts swiftly and uniformly, achieving that perfect gooey consistency as the burger completes its cooking process.

Equally crucial: don’t neglect your hamburger buns (no leaving them in the dust, i.e., their plastic bag). Display some affection for the buns by placing them on the hot grill for a few minutes, fostering a delightful char and toasty texture. To elevate the burger experience, crown the buns with a special burger sauce. A classic blend might include mayo, ketchup, a hint of relish, and a touch of Worcestershire. Alternatively, embark on your own condiment adventures and personalize your burger sauce to suit your preferences.

How to Grill Burgers, Step-By-Step

Step 1: Leave the Burgers In the Fridge Until Your Grill Is Ready.

Embarking on an internet exploration, you’ll encounter conflicting guidance on burger preparation: some advocate letting your burgers reach room temperature, while others insist on cooking them straight from the fridge. To dispel the confusion, we sought insights from our test kitchen. Recipe developer Emily Weinberger shares her approach: “I always cook mine straight from the fridge. It enhances stability and makes grilling easier. Allowing the burgers to sit at room temperature can result in quicker fat rendering, leading to premature flare-ups on the grill, potentially leaving your burger overly charred.” Test Kitchen Executive Chef Ginevra Iverson concurs, emphasizing, “As the burgers warm, particularly those with higher fat content, they tend to render too quickly, resulting in a drier burger.”

Step 2: Preheat the Grill.

 Preheat the Grill.

Perhaps you’re pondering: what’s the optimal grill temperature for burgers? The goal is to cook burgers swiftly, ensuring a crispy exterior and a juicy interior. To achieve this, preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat directly. Oil the grate using a neutral-flavored oil such as canola or vegetable. Once the oil starts to smoke, indicating it’s sufficiently hot, it’s time to place the burgers on the grill.

Step 3: Add the Burgers to the Grill.


Add the Burgers to the Grill.Retrieve your burgers from the fridge and generously season the exterior with salt and pepper. Place the burgers on the grill with the indentation side facing up and allow them to cook undisturbed. Remember, the less handling, the better the burger. If you desire a juicier burger, refrain from pressing down on them during the cooking process.

Step 4: Flip the Burgers.

Flip the Burgers.

Flip the burgers when they easily release from the grate without sticking. An additional indicator is when the bottoms are visibly marked, typically around the 5-minute mark.

Step 5: How Long to Grill Burgers.

Now, proceed to grill the burgers on their second side. If you’re preparing cheeseburgers, introduce the cheese during the final minute of the cooking process and cover the grill to allow it to melt. But how long should you grill burgers? For 8-ounce burgers cooked over medium-high heat, refer to the following guidelines:

– Medium Rare Burgers: Grill for approximately 7 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees F.

– Medium Burgers: Grill for about 8 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F.

– Well Done Burgers: Grill for around 9 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees F.

Step 6:Top the Burgers and Eat Immediately.

Top the Burgers and Eat Immediately

Move the burgers onto a plate, position the patties on buns, add your preferred toppings, and indulge in them promptly. Skip the resting step, as suggested in certain recipes; since you won’t be slicing the burgers like traditional meat, it’s preferable to enjoy them while they’re still piping hot, rather than waiting for the juices to redistribute.


In conclusion, the journey to grilling the perfect burger encompasses a wealth of tips and techniques, ensuring a delightful culinary experience. From selecting the ideal ground beef with a balanced fat content to exploring alternative patty options, this guide caters to various preferences, including meat lovers and those seeking vegetarian or vegan alternatives.

The meticulous process of seasoning and shaping the burgers is highlighted, emphasizing the importance of not overworking the meat for optimal results. Grilling temperatures, times, and methods are detailed, offering a comprehensive roadmap for achieving desired levels of doneness.

Delving into the realm of cheeseburgers, the guide unveils the secrets to achieving the perfect gooey consistency through the artful addition of various cheeses. Additionally, it emphasizes the often overlooked but crucial step of grilling hamburger buns for a delightful char and toasty texture.

Expert insights are shared on the debate surrounding whether to grill burgers straight from the fridge or at room temperature. The consensus among recipe developers and test kitchen executives leans towards cooking burgers straight from the fridge to enhance stability and avoid premature fat rendering.

The step-by-step guide provides clarity on preheating the grill, adding the burgers, flipping, and determining the optimal grilling times based on desired doneness. Crucially, it dismisses the notion of resting the burgers, advocating for immediate enjoyment while they are piping hot to preserve their succulence.

In essence, this comprehensive guide equips you with the knowledge and skills needed to become the ultimate burger grill master. So, whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or a newcomer to the grilling scene, it’s time to elevate your burger game and savor the delicious journey to perfection!