What Is the Perfect Time for Cooking a Burger?

White kitchen timer

Whether you’re making it into a hamburger or a simple burger steak, you want to cook a burger perfectly. All the other ingredients you need for a hamburger just have to be washed and sliced, but the burger patty is crucial. It is the ingredient that will dictate how delicious your hamburger is going to be. Everybody likes their burgers tender, savory, and juicy — cooked at the perfect amount of time, so it comes out just right.

The average time for cooking a ¾-inch (2 cm) burger is around 8 minutes on medium heat. Cook one side for 3 minutes, flip the burger and cook for another 5 minutes. Around this time, both sides of the burger should be golden-brown. Take the burger out of the heat, and let it rest for another 5 minutes. Following this method will make the perfect medium burger! Cook it for another 2 minutes if you want your burger well-done.

Keep in mind that the average time will change depending on things like your heat source, cookware, meat type, thickness, and the exact way you want your burger to turn out.

Heat Source and Cookware

Your choice of heat source and cookware will change the perfect cooking time for your burger reasonably. Let’s go over different heat sources and the recommended cooking time for different burgers.

Burger cooking types (grill, stove, oven)

Grilling

Grilling is by far the most popular way of cooking burgers. You can enjoy grilling burgers with family and friends on your backyard fire grill. But if you don’t have a standard fire grill, don’t worry! You can grill your burgers on a stovetop. This is the answer for those who live in apartments. You can still prepare a delicious grilled burger indoors.

Gas Stove

You can enjoy grilled burgers and make them using your gas stove. A great alternative to grilling if you do not have an outdoor grill, or when you want a delicious burger during winter. Grilling on your gas stove will not dry out your burgers compared to when you use an oven instead.

For this to work, you need a grill pan. Place your burgers on the grill pan and brush it with oil if you prefer, especially if you are cooking chicken and turkey burgers. You can skip the oil when it comes to beef burgers as these contain enough fat to cook the meat without drying it out. Set it to medium heat to avoid burning your burger!

When the grill pan is hot enough, put in your burger patties. You can test if your grill pan is hot by sprinkling droplets of water on top. When it turns to steam, you’re good! You can start cooking your burgers.

If you don’t have a grill pan, you can use a skillet or cast iron pan instead. Cooking time should be the same as long as you put your burgers in when the pan is hot.

For beef burgers, cook one side for around 3 minutes, then flip the burgers. You should see that the upfront side is a beautiful golden-brown color. Cook the other side for 4 minutes if you want it medium-rare, and cook for a few more minutes if you want it medium or well-done.

For chicken burgers, cook one side for 4 minutes, then the other side for 5 minutes.

If your burger is made out of turkey meat, cook one side for 5 minutes, then the other side for another 5 minutes.

Cook your veggie/vegan burgers for a maximum of 5 minutes per side.

Check if both sides of the burger is a nice golden-brown color. At this point, you can take out your burgers and let them rest for 5 minutes. Then you can put it onto your sandwich, add toppings, sauces, and cheese, and you have a perfect mouthwatering burger!

Electric Stove

What if you are using an electric stove? Just put your grill pan, skillet, or cast iron pan on the stove and crank the heat up. Set your stove heat to medium to heat your pan fast enough, but avoid burning the burgers. Make sure you brush your chicken and turkey patties with a bit of oil.

Once the pan is hot enough, line up your burgers. Make sure there is space in between so one patty won’t stick to another.

When handling beef burgers, cook one side for 4 minutes, flip, and cook the other side for another 4 minutes. Be sure to check the color of your burger before you take it out of the heat!

You can cook chicken, turkey, and veggie/vegan burgers around 5 minutes on each side.

Take out the burgers and let it rest for 5 minutes, then serve.

Fire/Charcoal Grill

When using a fire/charcoal grill, you can cook lots of burgers simultaneously, especially if you have a large grill. That’s the fun part of it! You will be able to serve burgers to lots of guests. Start by heating your coals until you see them turn from glow into a bright orange. If it’s taking a while for the burns to coal, start fanning it a little. Be careful not to extinguish the fire, though!

Once the coals are burning, you can begin lining up your burgers on the grill. By this point, your grill should be on high heat, and now you can cook one side of your burgers for 3 minutes. You’ll notice the burgers gradually turn to golden-brown, with some lines slightly charred. After 3 minutes, flip the burgers on the grill one by one and cook for another 3 minutes for medium-rare beef burgers. You can add cheese on top of the burgers and melt it for another minute.

Feel free to extend the grilling time of your burger if you want to grill it until it is medium or well-done. You can tell that your burgers are cooked once all sides are brown.

When cooking chicken burgers, make sure to grill one side for 4 minutes, then another side for 4 minutes. Chicken can dry out faster than turkey burgers.

With turkey burgers, cook one side for 5 minutes, then flip and cook the other side for another 5 minutes.

Grill your veggie/vegan burgers for 5 minutes per side max. But watch out for the color! It should be a beautiful golden-brown on both sides.

Take the burgers out of the grill and let it rest for another 5 minutes before you serve it.

Oven Broiling

Another alternative is oven broiling, for those who do not have a grill. Broiling and grilling cook your food in the same way but differs when it comes to the heat source. The heat comes from below when grilling, while the heat comes from the upper part of the oven in broiling.

Set your oven to broiling mode, set it to high temperature, and preheat for 6 – 8 minutes until the temperature reaches 425 °F (220 °C).

Once the oven is hot, place your burgers on top of the grated pan, set it in the oven, and place your broiler pan below for easy cleaning. You can also use the juice from the burgers that will drip into the broiler pan for gravy. The juices are useful if you’re making burger steak.

Spray or brush the patties with oil. Make sure your top grated pan isn’t too close to the upper side of the oven to avoid burning the burgers!

Broil the first side of your burgers for 4 minutes. After that, open the oven and flip the patties. Broil for another 4 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 °F (70 °C). Let the burgers rest for 3 minutes. Voilà! Medium-rare to medium burgers!

For chicken, turkey, and veggie/vegan burgers — broil for 1 – 2 more minutes to guarantee that the insides are cooked.

Meat Type

As mentioned, the perfect cooking time for burgers varies depending on the heat source and meat type. Here’s a table compressing the information above for your reference.

Meat TypeHeat SourceVariable TempThicknessMedium-rareMediumWell-done
BeefGrillMedium – High¾ inch
(2 cm)
6 – 7 mins8 mins10 mins
ChickenGrillMedium – High¾ inch
(2 cm)


8 mins
TurkeyGrillMedium – High¾ inch
(2 cm)


10 mins
Veggie/VeganGrillMedium – High¾ inch
(2 cm)


6 – 10 mins
Meat TypeHeat SourceInternal TempThicknessMedium-rareMediumWell-done
BeefOven160 °F (70 °C)¾ inch
(2 cm)
8 mins10 mins10 – 12 mins
ChickenOven160 °F (70 °C)¾ inch
(2 cm)


9 – 10 mins
TurkeyOven160 °F (70 °C)¾ inch
(2 cm)


9 – 10 mins
Veggie/VeganOven160 °F (70 °C)¾ inch
(2 cm)


6 – 10 mins

How Well You Want Your Burger

This part only applies to beef burgers. You must cook chicken, turkey, and veggie/vegan patties well.

When dealing with beef burgers, people have preferences. You can have the burgers done medium-rare, medium, and well-done. It is advisable to follow the perfect cooking time indicated above, but you can also determine how done your burgers are by looking at them!

After flipping your beef burger, check out the color of the sides. Even though it has turned into a slight golden brown, you will still see a thin, pinkish line in the middle. The line indicates that your medium-rare beef burger is ready. Cooking your burger beyond this point will result in a medium to a well-done patty.

Conclusion

There is no fixed time for cooking burgers because your ingredients and preference play a part in the perfect cooking time. You can rely on this guide for making sumptuous burgers and even look for additional tips if you want an amazing, perfectly-cooked burger. You can also use tools like a food thermometer to create the perfect burger.

Good, old ways like listening to the sizzle of your pan or making sure your patties reach a perfect golden-brown color on each side can be indications of perfectly-cooked burgers as well, in addition to this guide. As long as your burgers turn out exactly how you want them, they are perfect!

For an added twist on this classic favorite, you can serve your perfectly-cooked burgers with variations of cheese, eggs, pineapple, and even avocados. Serve in between buns with tomatoes, onions, and lettuce for a fulfilling snack with your loved ones.

Scott Wagner

I'm Scott Wagner, one of the guys behind BestBurgerGuide.com. I am totally passionate about the world of Burgers and BBQ, especially when I have friends visiting my backyard during a summer sunny day! Here I decided to share my passion with you!

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