When it comes to hosting a small backyard barbecue, there is nothing like eating a flame-kissed, mouthwatering burger on a warm toasted bun with all of the traditional toppings to satisfy your cravings.
You can be the star of your party by learning how to perfectly cook hamburgers to all different doneness levels.
How Long to Grill Burgers at 400?
Lightly season your burger patties on both sides with pepper, salt, or your choice of seasoning. Cut the bun and spread both sides with butter before grilling the patties over direct medium-high heat. Close the lid, cook 9 to 11 minutes until the burgers reach 160-degrees Fahrenheit, and turn them once at the five-minute mark.
If you’re wondering what the small factors are that go into figuring out the best time to grill burgers, this is for you.
We’re going to give you a few tips, tricks, and general information that you can use to ensure your burgers turn out tasty and perfectly flame-grilled each time.
How Long to Cook Burgers on Your Grill
If you heat your grill properly before putting the burgers on, most burgers will usually take between 6 and 10 minutes to cook. This is especially true if you want to get a nice medium sear with a small hint of the pink inside when they finish cooking.
Take note that it can take less or more time to cook, depending on how big you made your burgers and what temperature the grill is at when you start the cooking process.
The USDA has guidelines for cooking ground beef that states that it has to reach a minimum of 160-degrees Fahrenheit before you consume it, but you can pull them off the grill when the interior temperature reaches 155-degrees Fahrenheit because they’ll keep cooking and the temperature will keep rising after you pull them. This is called carryover cooking, and it’ll get the beef to safe temperatures as it sits.
You should plan on cooking the burgers for three to five minutes on each side while flipping it over once to get the burgers to cook through while keeping a small bit of pink.
If you want your burgers to be medium-well or well done, you’ll need to cook them for a few minutes longer on each side.
Generally speaking, you should plan on cooking your burgers at the following times to reach your doneness levels:
- Rare: Five to six minutes total
- Medium-Rare: Six to seven minutes total
- Medium: Eight to nine minutes total
- Medium-Well to Well-Done: Over nine minutes total
Should You Add a Binder to Your Burgers?
It’s not uncommon for people to think that they have to add breadcrumbs, eggs, or something to make the ground beef stay together better once you get it on the grill, but it’s not strictly necessary.
For the best experience with your burgers, keep it to your chosen seasonings and the ground beef without a binder. Any hand-shaped patty that has 15% to 20% fat content will stick together on its own.
Is it Possible to Make Burgers a Few Hours Ahead of Time?
You can shape and season any burger patties up to six hours ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator as long as you cover them in plastic until you’re ready to go.
Ideally, you’ll let them sit out at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before you grill them to remove the chill.
The 5-6-7 Backyard Burger Grilling Method
Using this grilling method can help you nail down the perfect grilling time for your burgers, so they stay consistent.
- Medium-Rare Burgers – Grill them for five minutes on one side before flipping them to grill them for five minutes on the other side.
- Medium Burgers – Grill them for six minutes on one side before flipping them to grill them for six minutes on the other side.
- Medium-Well Burgers – Grill them for seven minutes on one side before flipping them to grill them for seven minutes on the other side.
How to Tell if a Burger is Done Without Using a Thermometer
Take a knife and go in at an angle in the middle of your hamburger. Hold the knife inside the burger for two to three seconds before taking it out and touching it to your wrist.
If the knife is cold, the meat is raw. A warm knife that is close to your body temperature is around medium-rare, and a well-done burger will leave a hot knife.
Tips and Tricks for Grilling the Best Burgers
There are several things you can do when you cook burgers to make sure they turn out consistently delicious each time you take this task on.
Get Slightly Fattier Meat Cuts – When it comes to getting flavorful burgers, having a small amount of extra fat is a good thing. Get cuts of hamburgers with 15% to 20% fat content for grilling burgers for the best results.
Season Well – Use freshly ground black pepper with coarse kosher salt to season the hamburger after you shape the patties. Mixing the seasoning in can overwork the meat and make it prone to falling apart. Season from at least 10-inches above the patty to get even coverage.
Even Thicknesses – Press your patties to a ¾-inch to an inch thickness with your hands, a burger press, or a flat-bottomed plate. Get a kitchen scale to weigh the meat to get burgers of the same size.
Wider Than the Buns – Burgers will shrink a little bit as you cook them, so you want them to start slightly larger at around ½-inch wider than the bun.
Don’t Press the Burgers as They Cook – It’s tempting to push on the burgers as they cook with your spatula to flatten them out, but all you’re doing is pushing the flavorful juices out. In turn, you can end up with dry burgers.
Start Using a Clean Grill – Yes, no one indeed likes to clean the grill each time they use it, but it’s essential to do so to ensure you get a clean slate to work on. This will stop any grease from transferring from previous food onto your burgers, and it’ll stop them from getting too dark.
Only Flip Once – Frequently flipping the burgers as the cook can result in dry burgers because all of the juices will run out. As long as you put your burgers on a preheated, clean grill, you only need to flip them once at the three to five-minute mark to finish cooking without losing the juice.
Grilling the best burgers should only take a few minutes on each side if you start on a preheated grill and know the level of doneness you want to achieve.
Doing so will give you perfectly charred, juicy, and delicious burgers each time you step up to the grill, and you can have your family and friends over to show off your grilling skills all summer long.