Medium rare hamburger patties on the grill

Can You Eat Burgers Medium-Rare?

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If you’re a person who has a special spot for burgers, you probably already know that the patty inside plays a major role in offering the greatest flavors. But if you’re feeling experimental and want to diversify your tastes, you might try out the different dimensions of the patty. Medium rare burgers are a popular choice. But, can you eat medium-rare burgers? 

Yes, you can eat medium-rare burgers safely. A proper medium-rare burger will not have any surviving bad bacteria that can cause you harm. But the proper procedure is a must when cooking medium-rare. So much so that restaurants need special licenses to even be allowed to cook medium-rare meat.  

There is a lot of speculation regarding medium-rare burgers. Some do not even know which temperatures are ideal to make them. So, with this article, I will provide all that you need to know about medium-rare burgers. I would recommend thoroughly reading the whole thing.  

Are Medium Rare Burgers Safe?  

Usually, the juicy texture of medium-rare meat is a delightful experience for everyone. Yet, in the case of burgers, the execution can be slightly tricky. 

The ground meat contains pathogens scattered all over the surface during its processing, including the muscle tissues. So, after further grinding, the pathogens are pushed even further into the surface of the meat. The bacteria associated with this can often lead to food poisoning.  

The bacteria can be salmonella, e-coli and listeria. It has also led to the hospitalization of a lot of people.  

Safely Preparing Patty for Medium Rare Burgers 

Healthily cooking medium-rare burgers is not a complex task. As long as you have the correct timing and temperatures, you are good to go. There are two primary methods to cook meat safely.  

Home grinding  

Since the meat is prone to having a lot of bacteria at the butcher’s, you can grind them at home. You can do so by purchasing specific cuts of the meat. 

It is good to use sirloin and brisket, in the case of beef. Later, boil the meat sections in water for a minute which is crucial in killing off residual bacteria. Lastly, use your meat grinder to ground the meat and turn them into a patty.  

Sous vide the meat  

This is an optional aspect of burger cooking. The process is a bit difficult but it ensures that you get the juiciest medium-rare burger. 

Just make your patties, put them in an air-tight sealed bag and pasteurize them in a sous vide machine for 2 hours. You can then cook them in the oven or stove to add the seer. 

Cooking the patty 

After pasteurizing the patties, you can take them out anytime you want and cook them to make your burger patties. You can do it with the traditional stove or you can use an oven. Let’s check out how you can cook burgers using these two methods. 


The stovetop is probably the simplest way to cook a burger. Here’s how you get medium rare on a stovetop: 

  • Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. 
  • Prepare your patties with your preferred seasoning and sauce. Mix everything evenly.  
  • Place them on the skillet and cook for 4 minutes for each side. 
  • Make sure you flip them only once. 


You can wrap the burgers in foil paper and place them in the oven to cook them at 140 °F. Here’s how you do it.

  • Preheat the electric oven at 330°F. Grease a baking sheet with butter or oil. 
  • Prepare your burger patties the way you want with seasoning and sauce. Make sure everything is mixed properly. 
  • Place the patties on the cooling board in a way that one does not touch the other. 
  • Cook them for 12 minutes. Flip it and cook for an extra 12 minutes. Or you can use a meat thermometer and see when the temperature reaches 140°F. If you want to add a slice of choice, add it at the final minute of the cooking. 

Ideal Temperatures for Burger Patties  

Temperatures play an essential role in cooking the perfect burger. Constantly check if you have started with the right temperature and see if you are adjusting it correctly or not.  

  • Below rare (it is better to avoid this one): 120 °F  
  • Medium rare: 130 °F  
  • Medium: 140 °F  
  • Medium-well: 150 °F  
  • Well-done: 160 °F  

Meats That Should Not Be Eaten as Medium Rare Burgers 

It can be tempting and adventurous to experiment with food, you should too but when it can be potentially harmful to your health, a line should always be drawn. 

Lamb: Some people take the risk sometimes but it is better to not eat lamb because ground lamb is said to contain destructive bacteria even after being cooked at the right temperature. This leads to food poisoning. 

Turkey: Ground turkey has a texture that is dry, chewy, and often has a salty taste. So, not only does it not provide a good flavor, it can make you sick as well. This is because turkey falls under the category of poultry meat. As a result, they are the kind of meat that requires to be cooked all the way through at a temperature of 165 °F. If not, the bacteria in the meat remains. 

Pork: The preparation of pork burgers consists of pork shoulder and at times, pork loin, too. Hence, after cooking, if there is the removal of this fat, the overall meat becomes a bit gangly which is not good for your taste buds and will definitely not offer a good taste. 

Chicken: In the meat processing of chicken, most of the time, antibiotics are used. As a result, the chicken is not salmonella-free until it is cooked properly. As a result, using chicken as a patty will always lead to food poisoning. 

Things To Consider While Preparing the Medium Rare Burgers  

Just maintaining the time and temperature of the meat will not be enough in all cases. It is better to take additional precautions.  

  • Ensure that your kitchen area is clean so that the bacteria from any external factors do not enter the meat. You should always keep your knives, sink, cutting boards, and countertops pristine with soap water.  
  • Constantly wash your hands.   
  • Always use a meat thermometer to confirm that the temperatures are accurate.  
  • Instead of leaving the meat at your counter, always put it in the refrigerator. This prevents the chances of bacteria growing in perishable foods.  
  • Keep raw meat away from the other cooking and groceries because it can contaminate them. 
  • If your patty has been left under the sun for too long before grilling, it is better to go for a well-done patty.  

How to Know if Your Burger is Medium Rare?  

Meat thermometers serve this very purpose, I know. Yet, when you poke the thermometer, it allows the juices to escape. This reduces the flavor of the overall burger. So, there is another method called the finger test. The procedure goes like this:  

  • Open the palm of your hand and relax it.  
  • Press the tip of your thumb and the tip of your index finger together.  
  • Due to the pinching of the fingers, the area between your thumb and palms will swell a little.  
  • Press on this bloated area with the index finger of your other hand.  
  • The texture you will feel with your fingertips is the same as that of a medium-rare patty.  

This manual method will help you differentiate from raw meat and will help prevent health issues. However, this method does not mean you should stop the usage of thermometers. Utilize both for the best results.

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