How Long to Grill Beef Patties for Juicy, Flavorful Burgers

Grilling up tasty beef burgers is a summertime treat. Getting the cooking time right is essential for burgers that are juicy, tender and safe to eat. This guide covers everything you need to know about how long to grill beef patties to perfection.

Overview of Cooking Times

  • Rare: 4-5 minutes per side
  • Medium-rare: 5-6 minutes per side
  • Medium: 6-7 minutes per side
  • Medium-well: 7-8 minutes per side
  • Well-done: 8-9+ minutes per side

These times are based on patties that are 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick, with a grill temperature of medium-high heat (375°F to 400°F). Thicker patties will need a few minutes longer per side. The cooking time can also vary based on the size and temperature of the patties and grill.

Always use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature rather than relying solely on time. And let the patties rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Keep reading for more details on how to perfectly grill juicy beef burgers every time.

How Long to Grill Burgers to Desired Doneness

Follow these approximate grilling times per side to achieve different levels of doneness for your beef patties:

  • Rare: Grill for 4-5 minutes per side, about 8-10 minutes total. The center will be bright red and cool.

  • Medium-rare: Grill for 5-6 minutes per side, about 10-12 minutes total. The center will be warm red-pink.

  • Medium: Grill for 6-7 minutes per side, about 12-14 minutes total. The center will be hot pink.

  • Medium-well: Grill for 7-8 minutes per side, about 14-16 minutes total. The center will be slightly pink.

  • Well-done: Grill for at least 8-9 minutes per side, or 16-18+ minutes total. The center will be brown throughout.

Flipping the patties only once during grilling prevents moisture loss. Resist the urge to press down on the patties, which can lead to dry, overcooked burgers.

If adding cheese, place it on the patties during the last 1-2 minutes of grilling so it melts perfectly.

Using a Meat Thermometer for Doneness

While the above times can provide a good starting point, using an instant-read digital meat thermometer is the best way to ensure beef patties are cooked to your desired doneness, regardless of patty size or grill temperature.

Test the center of the thickest patty and check the temperature:

  • Rare: 120°F to 125°F
  • Medium-rare: 130°F to 135°F
  • Medium: 140°F to 145°F
  • Medium-well: 150°F to 155°F
  • Well-done: 160°F+

The temperature will continue rising by around 5°F even after the patties are removed from the grill. So you can pull them off just below your target temp.

Let the patties rest for 5 minutes before serving so the juices can redistribute throughout the meat.

Factors That Affect Cooking Time

Many factors can impact the grilling time for beef patties including:

  • Patty thickness – Thicker patties require more time to cook through.

  • Patty size – Larger diameter patties take longer than smaller patties.

  • Fat content – Higher fat patties may cook slightly quicker.

  • Grill temperature – A hot grill cooks faster than a cooler grill.

  • Pre-cooking – Partially cooked patties require less time.

  • Frozen vs. thawed – Frozen patties need a few extra minutes per side.

  • Toppings added – Cheese and other toppings increase overall cooking time.

  • Cut of beef used – Ground chuck may cook differently than ground sirloin.

Judging doneness by temperature rather than time accounts for any of these variables. And resist the urge to peek by flipping repeatedly, which can dry out the meat.

Tips for Grilling Juicy Beef Burgers

Follow these tips for grilling the most flavorful and moist beef burgers:

  • Preheat grill – Allow grill to fully preheat on medium-high before adding patties.

  • Use 80/20 beef – Choose beef with 80% lean meat to 20% fat for flavor and moisture.

  • Handle gently – Gently shape patties without over-mixing to prevent toughness.

  • Make a dimple – Press a thumbprint in the center of patties so they cook evenly.

  • Season just before grilling – Salt and pepper or spice patties just before grilling, rather than mixing into meat.

  • Flip only once – Flip patties just one time during grilling for even cooking.

  • Use a meat thermometer – Check temperature instead of relying on time for accuracy.

  • Don’t press patties – Avoid pressing down on patties while grilling to prevent dryness.

  • Let rest before eating – Allow patties to rest 5 minutes after cooking so juices redistribute.

Grilling Frozen Beef Patties

For grilling frozen beef patties from the store, follow these guidelines:

  • Thaw first – Thaw patties overnight in the fridge for better texture and cooking.

  • Cook frozen – If grilling frozen, add 1-2 minutes per side to account for frozen center.

  • Use a meat thermometer – Check internal temp to confirm doneness.

  • Watch for flare-ups – Frozen patties may cause more flare-ups as fat drips on grill.

Grilling frozen patties directly without thawing is not recommended, as the cold center will overcook and dry out before the exterior browns properly.

Storing Leftover Grilled Burgers

For storing leftovers after grilling beef patties:

  • Let burgers cool completely, then refrigerate within 2 hours.

  • Place patties in a sealed container or resealable plastic bag.

  • Use leftover cooked burgers within 3-4 days for best quality.

  • Reheat leftover burgers on the grill or stove until hot, 165°F.

Properly storing grilled burgers prevents spoilage and foodborne illness. Reheat fully when ready to eat.

Grilling for a Juicy Burger

Grilling beef patties to perfection takes some practice. Allow enough time for the interior to cook through without overdoing the outside. Use a meat thermometer for the most accurate results.

With the proper grilling time and temperature, you can achieve the ultimate backyard burgers with a seared exterior, juicy interior, and big backyard flavor. Just don’t forget the toppings!

How Long To Grill Burgers (Gas Grill)


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.

Should you grill burgers with the lid open or closed?

When grilling burgers, you can achieve that perfect sear and juicy center by keeping the lid open. The high heat generated by the open flames quickly cooks the burgers, providing a delicious result in a short amount of time.

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