How to Grill Burgers: Temperature, Time, & Cooking Guide
Because burgers are the quintessential dish for grilling season, knowing how to grill the perfect one is an essential step in becoming a true grill master. Burgers are the go-to dish for any grilling get-together. They are great for entertaining as they are a classic crowd-pleaser and easy for beginners and experts alike. A cornerstone of the cook-out, when your guests hear that you’re grilling, they will most likely expect a classic hamburger to be on the menu. The burger is anything but basic when done right. For a never bland burger, ignite your creative fire inside and explore new seasonings, toppings, and meat (or meatless!) options to surprise your tastebuds. Use your grilling skills to serve anyone who receives your cook-out invitation something beyond their wildest burger expectations. Check out Coyote Outdoor Living’s temperature, time, and cooking guide to perfect the art of grilling burgers.
Burgers are an excellent option for most grill types! You can use the Coyote Outdoor Pellet Grill or the premium S-Series grills for any burger, or you can try your hand at smash burgers on a Flat Top grill.
How to Grill Burgers
There are many ways to make your burger your own, but first, you’ll have to decide if you want to make the burger from scratch or buy pre-formed patties. Pre-formed patties have advantages, like cutting prep time, ease, and a wide variety of meatless and health-conscious options readily available at most stores. However, we have you covered if you want to take the personalized patty route.
For a heart-healthier option, consider going for extra lean ground beef. Extra-lean ground beef is anything labeled at 90% or higher and means that your beef is at least 90% lean protein by weight. We have some seasoning tips below for maintaining the juicy, rich taste that fat can add to your burger without sacrificing your lean-to-fat ratio.
Once you’ve selected your patties, it’s topping time. You can stick with the traditional American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion combo for a classic burger, or think outside of the box! Consider a Southwest-style burger with cotija queso, peppers, and guacamole – a perfect pairing with a black bean burger. Or, maybe you want your burger to go Greek with feta cheese and tzatziki sauce for a Mediterranean twist. Add some hummus and sundried tomato slivers for a Moroccan twist. The possibilities are as endless as your flavor style cravings.
How to Season Burgers for the Grill
For the classic American burger, season with salt and pepper. If you’re thinking about branching out of the ordinary, consider adding some flair with seasonings such as roasted red pepper or spicy cajun. Go with some oregano, fennel, and garlic to make it Greek-style. Southwest burgers need traditional Southwest seasonings like chili pepper, cayenne, and ground black pepper. Are you making your burgers Moroccan-infused? Ras el hanout seasoning is a must-add. Listen to your fire inside, steering you to the seasoning and spice options that will provide inspiration for your meal prep.
No matter which seasoning you try, check out our recommendations to make your burger the best.
- Working with the ground beef while still cold will help your patty cook crisply on the outside while maintaining a softer center.
- Add some shaved butter to the mix after picking your extra-lean ground beef! This option allows you to control just how much fat you’re looking to add to your dish and add some of that rich, restaurant-quality flavor. Instead of adding them with the meat and butter, hold off on the seasonings.
- Form your patties with love. You don’t have to hammer your future hamburgers to make your patties. Remember, the ground beef is on your side.
- Add your salt and seasoning after your patties are formed, rather than in your mix. The ideal time to add your seasoning is right before your burger patties go to the grill. Like you formed your patties with love, season your burgers with generosity.
- Grill them up. Not sure how long to grill burgers? Wondering about the ideal burger grill temp? No problem. You’re just one scroll away from all of the knowledge you need.
How Long to Grill Burgers
How long you grill your burgers is up to you, the size and thickness of your patties and your guests’ preference of how well done – or not – they prefer their burgers. Typically, red meat temperatures range from well done (no pink), medium (minimal light pink), medium-rare (some pink), or even rare (generously pink) as long as the internal temp reaches 160 degrees. In general, for burgers with an average thickness, follow this time guide for your desired levels of doneness:
- Grill your burger for 4.5-5 minutes on each side, 9-10 minutes total for those who prefer a well-done burger.
- Decrease your total cook time for each doneness preference, grilling medium burgers for 8 minutes.
- Cook medium-rare burgers for 6-7 minutes.
- Grill rare burgers for about 5 minutes or until the meat reaches the minimum internal temp of 120 degrees.
Grill Temp for Burgers
Although some prefer a pink burger, USDA standards deem any ground beef under 160°F as unsafe to eat. The internal temperature guide per each preference is as follows:
- Well-done: 160°F to 165°F
- Medium-well: 150°F to 155°F
- Medium: 140°F to 145°F
- Medium-rare: 130°F to 135°F
- Rare: 120°F to 125°F
Burgers on a Pellet Grill
To grill your burgers on a pellet grill, pick out your pellet flavoring, set your pellet grill to 425-450F and let them cook for 10-12 minutes for medium-done burgers. Although grilling your burgers on a pellet grill is slightly different and takes a little longer, using a pellet grill like the Coyote Outdoor Living Pellet Grill has its benefits. Because of the variety of pellets, you can infuse even more flavor into your meat. Try apple pellets for a burger loaded with applewood smoked bacon or apricot pellets for a lighter flavored burger topped with avocado and lime juice!
Best Grilled Burgers – Bo’s Land & Sea Burger
Looking for more burger inspiration? Try this recipe from Bo Jackson and Chef Chad Wyrosdick of Papa’s Raw Bar in Lighthouse Point, FL. from the Seasoned & Savory Cookbook.
- Rock salt – 1 pinch
- Ground black pepper – 1 pinch
- Tomato – 2 slices
- Lettuce – 1 leaf
- Drunken Goat Cheese – 1 – 2 oz wedge
- Prosciutto – 2 thin slices
- ProCrab All Natural Mexican Jumbo Lump Crab Meat – ½ pound
- Burger – 8oz Bo’s Burger Seasoned Angus Burger
- Bread Bun
- Top Naked Pro Crab
- ½ Crab Meat
- Sprinkle each side of the burger with rock salt and pepper (remember the patties are seasoned, less is best).
- Place Bo’s burger on a preheated grill and grill for about 3 minutes on each side (for medium-rare).
- After the 2nd side is cooked, add drunken goat cheese and let the cheese melt.
- Remove cheeseburger from griddle and place on toasted bun.
- Add 2 slices of prosciutto.
- Top with ProCrab All Natural Mexican Jumbo Lump Crab Meat.
- Add 2 tomato slices.
- Add lettuce leaf.
- Add sauce of choice – we use Chef’s house Crafted Hollandaise sauce.
Hawaiian Cherry Burger
For a burger that’s a bit more outside the box, check out this recipe by Leo Kelly, The Shirley Temple King, from the Seasoned & Savory Cookbook]. Serves 4.
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Teriyaki sauce to taste
- 4 slices cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 hard rolls, halved
- 4 canned pineapple rings
- Red onion, cut into four medium slices
- Maraschino cherries
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
- Stir together the mayo, teriyaki sauce, and honey in a bowl and set aside.
- Fire up the grill pan at medium-high heat.
- Grill the pineapple on both sides for about 5 minutes to create grill marks.
- Season the ground beef and make 4 burger patties. Cook them over medium heat on the grill for 4 to 5 minutes on the first side, then flip them over and place a slice of cheddar cheese on each patty and let it melt while the burger cooks through about 4 minutes longer.
- Place the rolls on the grill for about one minute.
- Spoon the sauce on the bottom of the rolls to soak into the bread. Place the patties on top and add red onion and a pineapple slice. Finish off each burger with a cherry on top!