Every year, Americans eat a staggering 50 billion hamburgers. Yes, that’s billion with a “b”!

There’s no doubt that we as a society love our burgers. From tiny sliders to the world-record-winning 1,800-pound cheeseburger, we’re always on the quest for that perfect burger.

The question is: How do you cook a burger at home?

We’ll discuss how to get the perfect temperature and much more, so keep reading below.

How to Prepare Your Burger

Of course, the most important ingredient is your burger patty. Beef is the classic choice, but you can also make burgers out of chicken, turkey, salmon, or your favorite veggie mix.

Make your patties about 3/4″ thick (or, if you like them on the rare side, go for 1″). Any thicker than that will make it difficult to cook correctly.

Season your burgers with salt, pepper, and any other spices you like. If you’re feeling creative, try mixing in cheese, bacon, jalapenos, or mushrooms right into the patty. If you need inspiration, Becks Prime offers more info about different mix-ins, toppings, and side items.

Pro tip: Create a small indentation in the center of each patty to ensure the burger remains flat.

Understanding Burger Temperatures

Just like your steak, you probably already have a preference for how you like your burger cooked. Fast-food joints usually serve their well-done, but you have some wiggle room if you’re preparing burgers at home.

Here’s a brief overview of your temperature options. You need to buy instant read thermometer to ensure you are cooking your burget at the right temperature.

  • Medium-rare (130F): reddish-pink center
  • Medium (140F): pink center
  • Medium-well (150F): slightly pink center
  • Well done (160F): gray center with no pink

As long as you’re using high-quality beef, it’s perfectly safe to eat your burger medium or even medium-rare. If you’re using poultry or fish, you’ll definitely want to cook it all the way through to well done.

How to Cook a Burger (Perfectly)

So, how do you achieve your desired cooking temperature? Preheat your stovetop to high or fire up your grill and then follow this guide for a 3/4″ thick patty.

  • Medium-rare: Cook for three minutes, then turn and cook an additional four minutes
  • Medium: Cook for three minutes, then turn and cook an additional five minutes
  • Medium-well: Cook for three minutes, then turn and cook an additional six minutes
  • Well done: Cook for three minutes, then turn and cook an additional seven minutes

The best way to tell if the burger is cooked to your liking is to use a meat thermometer. Insert it into the side of the burger rather than the top to get a more accurate reading.

If you don’t have a thermometer, the other option is to slide the burger patty onto a plate and cut in to it. If it’s too pink for your preferences, throw it back on the grill or in the pan for another minute or two.

Cook the Perfect Burger for Dinner Tonight

Are you ready to contribute to those 50 billion burgers that will get eaten this year? If so, bookmark this article and refer back to it any time you cook a burger at home.

We don’t know about you, but all this talk of burgers has made us hungry. Head over to our food blog for other great articles about cooking, baking, and dining out!