The time it takes to cook the perfect burger depends on several factors like personal preference, method of cooking and the type of meat you are using. Beef burgers don't need to be cooked well done to be safe to eat, some pink is okay as long as they are not rare. The following gives some guideline cook times for burgers, but they might vary depending on your stove top or grill temperature or the size of your patties.
Recommended meat for beef burgers is usually beef chuck between 80 and 90 percent lean. It is recommended to make your patties the same size so that you can just cut into one while cooking to check how done it is. Pink in the middle is okay, so just cook it as long as it takes to get to how well done you prefer your burgers. Safe internal temperature for beef is 160 degrees, the same for ground lamb or pork.
Turkey or Chicken Burgers
Turkey or chicken burgers should be done all the way through so those patties might need to be cooked an extra minute or so on each side. Just make sure to have similar sized patties and check one to ensure it is done all the way through. Safe internal temperature for turkey and ground chicken is 170 degrees.
If you are using a gas or charcoal grill make sure the grill is at high heat but not so hot it ignites the fat of the burgers. Then cook the burgers on the first side until they start to juice and are golden brown with some char marks on one side. For medium-sized beef patties, this should be around three to four minutes, for turkey around five. Then flip the patties and cook the same amount on the other side. At this point you can check either by cutting into one or by using a thermometer to see if they are done to your liking.
Jeff Swensen/Getty Images News/Getty Images
If you are cooking your burgers in a sauté or fry pan, heat oil in the pan until it begins to shimmer. Then cook the patties approximately for the same amount of time as you would on the grill, but this depends on the heat of your stovetop so follow the same criteria. Check to make sure the patty is golden brown and starting to slightly char before flipping it. After approximately the same amount of time on the other side check the color inside or the temperature with a meat thermometer before removing the burgers. Total cook time for beef should be approximately six to eight minutes, or ten minutes for turkey or chicken burgers.
Maggie Mertens is a freelance writer currently located in Washington, D.C. She has written for numerous media outlets since 2006. Her work has appeared in publications such as the NPR Health Blog, Seattle Weekly, the San Diego Reader and the Daily Hampshire Gazette. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and Italian studies from Smith College in Northampton, MA.