The rush of flavor you get from biting into a burger is not to be missed. Juicy, tender, and delicious – there’s nothing better than biting into a burger!
There’s a pink spot on the middle of the burger! Is it raw? Should I eat it?
When it comes to burgers, how pink is too pink? As long as the internal temperature of the meat has reached 160°F, a cooked burger that is pink on the inside is safe to eat.
Here’s all you need to know about the color of your burger, how to tell if it’s done, and how to cook burgers on the rare side!
Is It Safe To Eat A Burger That Is Pink On The Inside?
The proper cooking of meaty foods is essential, especially when it comes to burgers – they should not be overcooked or they will be tough, nor should they be undercooked.
When it comes to burgers, color is not a reliable indicator of their doneness. Some burgers remain pink even after they are fully cooked, while others take on a brownish hue very early on in the cooking process.
Regardless of the color of the patty, the internal temperature of a perfectly cooked burger should be 160°F.
Incorrectly cooked or undercooked burgers can cause foodborne illnesses. These illnesses are caused by pathogens and bacteria present in the meat.
Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever, stomach cramps, fatigue, chills, and aches are all symptoms of food poisoning.
There is no need to worry if you ate an undercooked burger. You will likely start feeling better within 12 to 48 hours. The worst-case scenario may take as long as a week.
Be sure to seek immediate medical attention if your symptoms are severe and do not subside within a few days.
Why Is A Pink Steak Safe To Eat, But Not A Pink Burger?
People may argue that if it’s safe to eat a medium-rare steak, why not a medium-rare hamburger?
There is a reason for this, and it has to do with the type of meat used.
A high temperature kills bacteria on the surface of whole cuts of meat, such as steaks.
If you cook your steak to a minimum temperature of 145°F and allow it to sit for 3 minutes, you should be safe to eat even if it is pink inside.
When ground beef is used to make burgers, any germs on the surface of the beef are mixed in with the ground beef mix.
In order to eat a burger safely, it should be cooked all the way through to reach a safe minimum internal temperature.
For beef burgers, it is recommended that they be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F, while for chicken and turkey burgers, it is recommended that they be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F.
Rare Vs Raw Burgers
There is a difference between a raw burger and a rare burger in terms of their internal temperature.
Burgers that are rare have an internal temperature of 125°F, while those that are medium-rare are cooked for a bit longer till they reach 135°F.
A raw burger, on the other hand, is one whose internal temperature has not reached the minimum acceptable level.
It is possible to get food poisoning from rare burgers just as well as raw burgers since they are not cooked properly all the way through.
A meat thermometer is the best way to check the internal temperature of the burger since color is not a good indicator of doneness.
Ensure that the meat thermometer is inserted in the middle of the burger patty in order to accurately measure the temperature.
The temperature of the burger should be measured for another 10 seconds if you are using a regular food thermometer.
It is easier to do if you are cooking the burgers yourself, but if you aren’t, you may have to rely on visual inspection.
If you are at a restaurant, ask for a well-done burger to ensure it is fully cooked.
Burger Internal Temperature Chart
Based on the level of doneness of a burger, here are the internal temperatures:
Finished LevelInternal TemperatureRare125°F Medium-rare135°F Medium-well155°F Well-done 160°F
How To Keep Well-Done Burgers Juicy
It is because most people believe that well-done burgers will be too dry that they are reluctant to eat them.
While cooking your burger to the right temperature will ensure a perfectly juicy burger, overcooking it can turn it into a hockey puck.
When cooking burgers, keep these things in mind so they stay moist and juicy while still being safe:
The sourcing is as important as the technique. Avoid extra-lean ground beef; instead, choose ground beef with a higher fat content for a moister patty.
Adding a bit of moisture to lean ground beef will help it stay juicy and tender. You can use water or add ice cubes for added moisture.
Ensure the patties are formed gently and compressed as little as possible. Overworking the meat can result in tough patties.
In order to prevent the burgers from puffing up during cooking, make a divot in the center of each patty. Use your thumb to gently make the indentation.
Keep the spatula strictly for flipping the patties once. You may be tempted to press the burgers with a spatula as you cook, but resist the urge!
The burgers will continue to cook for some time after they are taken off the heat, so remove them from the stove or grill when they are almost done.
Make a classic Juicy Lucy by stuffing the burger with cheese!
In order to make the burger juicy, add fatty and moist condiments such as ripe tomatoes, bacon jam, aioli, and sliced avocados.
Best Practices For Handling Ground Beef
You should always handle meat properly so that it is safe to eat, regardless of how you like your burger.
The culprit is the meat and how it is handled, not the way the burger is cooked, that often leads to illness, even after a burger is cooked to the recommended internal temperature!
Whether you plan to cook meat or not, it can contain a variety of bacteria.
Here are a few best practices to follow when handling raw ground beef for hamburgers:
Ground beef should never be left at room temperature as it can become a breeding ground for bacteria.
Ensure that you thoroughly wash your hands, utensils, and any surfaces that come in contact with raw meat.
Ensure raw ground beef is properly sealed before storing it in the fridge or freezer to prevent cross-contamination.
- Label the meat properly so that it is not stored for longer than suggested.
- Thaw frozen ground beef overnight in the refrigerator, never at room temperature.
- Raw ground beef should never be refreezed.
Now that you know all about pink burger patties and whether they are safe to eat, here are a few additional questions we thought you might have!
How to properly store ground beef?
After purchasing, ground beef needs to be kept cold or frozen as quickly as feasible. If you intend to use it right away, keep it in its original packing.
Use chilled ground beef within two days of receiving it. Ground beef that has been frozen can be kept for up to 4 months.
Why do hamburgers contract after cooking?
When burgers are cooked, they shrink and lose their shape because the muscle fibers take on a different shape and the water is pushed out of the cells.
The meat’s protein molecules are wound together before to cooking. They start to stretch and uncoil during cooking before recombining into longer units.
Can cooked hamburgers be frozen?
You may freeze cooked burgers for up to 4 months, regardless of whether you’ve pan-fried, barbecued, or baked them in the oven.
Allow the burgers to cool on the countertop after they are fully cooked. They should be individually wrapped in aluminum foil to keep air out, put in a freezer bag, labeled, and put in the freezer!