How Long to Grill Beef Burgers for Perfectly Juicy Patties Every Time

Beef burgers are a beloved staple of summertime grilling. When cooked properly on the barbecue, they offer the perfect blend of charred, smoky flavor and juicy, beefy texture. However, grilling burgers can be tricky. It’s easy to overcook them, turning your patties into hockey pucks.

Undercooking brings health risks along with less than ideal texture. So how long should you grill beef burgers to achieve burgers cooked through but still moist and tender? This guide will walk you through tips for grilling beef burgers, from patty prep to build the best burger.

How Thick Should Burger Patties Be?

  • The ideal thickness for grilled beef burger patties is 3/4 to 1 inch.
  • Thinner patties will cook too quickly and can dry out.
  • Burgers thicker than 1 inch will require longer cook times to reach safe internal temperatures.

When forming patties, aim for a diameter of 3 to 4 inches. Gently shape the ground beef into rounds, being careful not to overwork the meat. Overhandling will lead to dense, chewy patties.

Make a slight indentation in the center of each patty with your thumb. This will prevent burger puffing and help the patties cook evenly.

Seasoning Your Burgers

  • For flavorful beef burgers, salt and pepper the patties just before grilling.
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper are all you need.
  • Avoid over-seasoning or adding things like eggs, breadcrumbs, or raw onions.

Seasoning meat too early can draw out moisture and result in dry patties. Instead, lightly coat both sides of the shaped patties with kosher salt and black pepper right before placing them on the hot grill.

How to Grill Burgers Perfectly

Grilling over direct high heat is key for getting a nice sear while cooking burgers in a timely manner. To ensure your beef burgers turn out juicy:

  • Preheat your gas or charcoal grill to high heat.
  • Clean and lightly oil the grates to prevent sticking.
  • Cook the patties directly over the heat, without moving them, to get grill marks.
  • Flip only once, at the halfway point.
  • Don’t press down on the burgers while they cook.

How Long to Grill Burgers by Doneness

Grilling times will vary based on patty thickness and your preferred doneness. For 3/4 to 1 inch patties, follow these guidelines:

  • Medium-rare: 6–7 minutes total.
  • Medium: 7–8 minutes total.
  • Medium-well: 9 minutes total.
  • Well-done: 10 minutes total.

A meat thermometer takes the guesswork out of doneness. Insert it into the thickest part of a patty. Cook to the following internal temperatures:

  • Medium-rare: 130 to 135°F
  • Medium: 140 to 145°F
  • Medium-well: 150 to 155°F
  • Well-done: 160°F and above

Adding Cheese for Cheeseburgers

For cheeseburgers, top patties with slices of cheese during the last 1-2 minutes of grilling time. Popular picks include:

  • American – classic, melty
  • Cheddar – sharp flavor
  • Swiss – nutty, melty
  • Pepper jack – spicy kick

Close the grill lid after adding cheese to help it melt quickly.

Toasting Buns

Don’t forget the buns! Place them cut-side down on the grill during the last 2 minutes of burger cook time. Grill until lightly toasted.

Building the Perfect Burger

Once buns are toasted, it’s time to assemble your masterpiece:

  • Spread the bun bottom with burger sauce like ketchup, mayo, or special sauce.
  • Top with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, etc.
  • Place the hot juicy patty on top.
  • Crown with the toasted bun top.

Now you can dig into the perfect backyard grilled beef burger! Follow these tips for succulent burgers worthy of any cookout.

Frequently Asked Questions about Grilling Burgers

Grilling the perfect burger may seem simple, but many common questions come up. Here are answers to some FAQs about getting ideal results when cooking burgers on the barbecue.

What is the best beef for burgers?

Choose 80/20 ground chuck for the most flavor and moisture. The fat content ensures tender and juicy (not dry or greasy) burgers. Ground sirloin makes leaner patties. Brisket and short rib burger blends are also fantastic.

Should you mix anything into the beef?

There’s no need to add anything like eggs or breadcrumbs to beef patties. Just use freshly ground chuck. Gently form into patties without over-mixing.

What about stuffing burgers?

While creative, stuffing burgers with ingredients like cheese or jalapenos can lead to leakage and uneven cooking. Toppings are best layered on just before serving.

Is pressing burgers a no-no?

Yes, resist pressing down on patties with your spatula while grilling. Pressing squeezes out flavorful juices and can toughen the texture.

How do you keep burgers moist?

Choosing quality beef and avoiding overhandling are key. Grill over direct high heat, flip only once, and cook to proper doneness for juicy burgers.

Should you grill burgers covered or uncovered?

Uncovered, direct high heat is ideal for getting a nice sear on beef burger patties. Close the lid just briefly at the end if melting cheese.

What are the best toppings for burgers?

Traditional lettuce, tomato, and onion are classics. Pickles, bacon, sautéed mushrooms, and avocado also pair nicely. Special sauces take burgers to the next level.

Is it safe to eat burgers less than well-done?

Burgers can safely be cooked to lower temperatures like medium-rare or medium if quality ground beef is used. Use a thermometer for accuracy.

What are smash burgers?

Smash burgers are pressed very thin on a hot griddle or skillet while cooking, creating crispy edges and lots of flavor. They cook fast.

Can you grill frozen burgers?

It’s best to thaw frozen burger patties in the refrigerator before grilling. Grilling frozen ones directly could lead to uneven cooking.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

It’s easy for grilled burgers to go wrong without proper technique:

✘ Using lean ground beef – Look for 80/20 chuck for flavor and moisture.

✘ Overworking the meat – Gently shape without over-mixing to prevent dense texture.

✘ Seasoning too early – Salt just before grilling so burgers won’t dry out.

✘ Pressing while cooking – Don’t press patties or you’ll lose juices.

✘ Flipping repeatedly – Flip only once for best results.

✘ Adding uncooked onions – Raw onion makes burgers mushy. Caramelize instead.

✘ Undercooking – Use a meat thermometer to ensure safe doneness.

Grilling Times for Other Types of Burgers

While beef is the most popular, you can grill up tasty burgers using other meats and plant-based ingredients. Keep these grilling times in mind:

  • Turkey burgers – Cook through, 10-12 minutes
  • Chicken burgers – Cook through, 8-10 minutes
  • Veggie burgers – Cook through, 6-8 minutes
  • Portobello burgers – Grill gill-side down, 5-7 minutes
  • Salmon burgers – Cook through, skin-side down, 6-8 minutes
  • Lamb burgers – Cook to medium, 8-10 minutes

Always check internal temperatures for poultry, seafood, and veggie patties. Beef burgers like bison and lamb can be cooked to lower doneness, like beef.

Cooking Burgers on the Stovetop

While the grill may be preferred for cooking beef burgers in the summer, you can also pan-fry them indoors on the stovetop with excellent results. Here’s how:

  • Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Use a cast iron or nonstick pan.
  • Add a tablespoon of oil or butter.
  • Cook patties 4-5 minutes per side.
  • Flip only once during cooking.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check doneness.
  • Optionally, finish by baking in a 375°F oven.

The keys are using a hot pan to develop a nice crust and resisting the urge to press or smash the patties. Let them cook undisturbed before flipping.

In Summary

Grilling burgers in the backyard is one of life’s great pleasures. For best results, start with thick patties made from flavorful ground chuck. Grill over high heat, resisting the urge to press or flip repeatedly. Cook to the ideal doneness for your preferences, using a meat thermometer for accuracy.

With juicy, well-seared patties and perfect buns and toppings, you’ll serve up burgers that rival any cookout joint. Just be prepared for the crowds flocking to your barbecue once word gets out!

How Long To Grill Burgers (Gas Grill)


How long do you grill burgers on each side?

Place the burgers on the hot grill and cook for 3-5 minutes to sear on the bottom. Flip and cook for another 3-5 minutes on the other side, until you reach your desired degree of doneness. Plan on 5-6 minutes total for rare, 6-7 minutes total for medium-rare, 8-9 minutes total for medium, and 9+ minutes for well-done.

How long to cook hamburgers on grill at 400?

For a 1/2 inch thick burger patty, you can expect to grill it for approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side on a hot grill (around 400-450°F) for a medium-rare burger, and 4 to 5 minutes per side for a medium burger.

Do you grill burgers on high or medium?

This Is the Best Temperature for Grilled Burgers Grill your burgers over too high a heat and you’ll end up with dry, burnt burgers; too low and they’ll be placid and rubber. The sweet spot for grilled burgers is 375°F to 400°F, which for most gas grill is medium-high heat.

Do you grill burgers with lid open or closed?

Thin pork chops, shrimp, and burgers tend to cook quickly. Leaving the grill lid up will slow the cooking process by reducing the temperature around the meat. For thicker cuts, you want to close the lid to keep the temperature high and even.

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