Can you eat medium rare burgers | don’t equate burger to steak!

medium rare burger
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Burgers can be eaten medium rare. However, there are risks involved. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends cooking ground meat burgers to an internal temperature of 155 °F and holding it at that temperature for 15 seconds. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommend heating ground meat burgers to an internal temperature of 160 °F to ensure that any pathogens present in the meat at the time of cooking are killed.

Wondering about what meat you can serve medium-rare and why? I was wondering the same thing! That is why I created a complete list of all the meat you can eat medium-rare. Here it is!

Can you eat beef burgers medium rare

The short answer is yes. But, there are some things to consider. A ground beef burger is made from the less tender parts of sirloin, round, and chuck beef. Prime rib burgers are made from the front quarter of the beef between the sixth and twelfth ribs. Wagyu burgers, on the other hand, originate from Japan and are considered the best beef in the world. As for what they have in common, these beef burgers are all ground and formed into beef patties.

With traditional steak, bacteria collect on the surface of the meat. It is not necessary to cook the meat all the way through to kill the pathogens. Ground beef, on the other hand, is different. The different parts of the meat are ground, meaning some of the outer parts are now inside and some of the inner parts are now outside.

To effectively kill any possible pathogens inside the ground beef, it is recommended that the beef be cooked at 160 °F.

It is not illegal to serve beef burgers medium rare, but it is illegal under federal law to serve burgers contaminated with E.coli. That’s the risk associated with undercooked ground beef, as some pathogens can survive. Waiters are required by law to inform guests who want to eat their burgers medium rare of the risks involved.

Therefore, it is advised to eat ground burgers medium to medium-well. It is possible to eat a medium-rare burger (130 °F), but this comes with health-related risks. 

Below find a cooking temperature chart:

Rare – 120 to 125 °F

Medium rare – 130 to 135 °F

Medium – 140 to 145 °F

Medium well – 150 to 155 °F

Well done – 160 °F and above.

Opinions differ on this subject. However, the facts are clear. Ground meat should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 °F. This will ensure that any pathogens that may be in the meat are killed. 

Can you eat frozen burgers medium rare

raw burger patties

Undercooked frozen burgers are not safe to consume. With the rise of restaurants and gastro pubs in recent years, medium-rare burgers have become popular again. Many people are opting for burgers that are pink inside. The CDC and USDA are clear on this issue. Whether frozen or fresh, ground meat, and more specifically, frozen patties, should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 °F.

Eating undercooked frozen burgers can lead to food poisoning. The cooking temperature of a burger is up to personal preference, but some ground meat can not be eaten undercooked under any circumstances, such as pork and poultry.

How long to cook frozen burgers to medium rare on a charcoal grill

Grilling is an excellent way to prepare ground beef burgers and all burgers, for that matter. Grilling gives the burger a savory taste with an aromatic smoky flavor. All burgers can be grilled without having to thaw them first. Grilling frozen patties will produce the same juicy and flavorful patties as thawed patties.

Frozen patties can be placed on the charcoal grill. Preheat the grill to 325 °F. Wait until you can comfortably hold one hand a few inches above the grill for seven seconds. Turn the burger every five minutes for a period of 15 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 °F. And while a medium-rare burger temp may be more appetizing and tempting to some, 160 °F is the minimum safe temperature for ground meat.

So, while it is possible and often preferred to eat burgers at a temperature of 145 °F, it is not recommended because it can lead to pathogens inside the burger surviving the cooking process if it is not cooked at the recommended minimum temperature.

However, this is only a recommendation. A burger can be cooked to medium rare from frozen, by putting it on the grill and flipping it every 3 – 5 minutes for a total time of 20 minutes.

Can you eat pork burgers medium rare

The short answer is no. The minimum temperature for pork chops used to be 65 °F. Since 2011, however, the USDA has given the green light to cooking pork to medium or even medium rare. For a ground pork burger, however, this cooking temperature does not apply. You cannot eat a pork burger medium rare. 

Pork burgers are made from pork shoulder and sometimes pork loin. Pork burgers are slightly healthier than beef burgers and can be lean if the fat is trimmed off.

The USDA recommends the same cooking temperature for ground pork as for ground beef, 160 °F. This temperature can be reached by cooking the meat over medium heat for 5 – 7 minutes on each side.

Can you eat turkey burgers medium rare

Turkey meat is lean meat and a great source of protein. Turkey meat is often praised as the better choice between turkey and red meat because of its positive effects on heart health. Ground turkey meat has a drier texture, may be described as chewy, and tastes like salted turkey.

Turkey burgers fall into the poultry meat category. This means that these burgers need to be cooked all the way through. You should not eat a half-cooked turkey burger. The USDA, CDC, and FDA all agree that the internal temperature of a turkey burger should reach 165 °F. This will kill any bacteria in the meat.

It is essential to use a calibrated meat thermometer when cooking to check the internal temperature constantly. This way, you can ensure that the burger is cooked properly. It is not recommended or even popular to eat medium-rare turkey burgers. 

Can you eat lamb burgers medium rare

The USDA states that all ground meat should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 °F, and that includes lamb burgers. Eating insufficiently cooked lamb burgers can lead to food poisoning, as the ground lamb may still contain harmful bacteria after cooking.

The taste of a lamb burger can be described as spicy, sweet, mineral, and very juicy. Lamb burgers are delicious and very healthy as they contain a lot of protein and minerals.

And, while most people prefer their burgers medium rare, it is also possible to eat lamb burgers medium rare, but the USDA advises against it. Therefore, it is not recommended to eat medium-rare lamb burgers, but it is possible if the patron is willing to take the risk of becoming sick.

Can you eat venison burgers medium rare

Venison is a term for meat that comes from deer or antelope. Venison is obtained from animals such as axi deer, elk, moose, reindeer, black buck, sika deer, fallow deer, Nilgai antelope, and antelope.

The taste and texture of venison can be described as rich and earthy. Venison is a very lean meat with little to no marbling. If overcooked, it tends to become rubbery and gamey. 

Unless the venison is braised or mixed with bacon to add more fat, the proper temperature is “medium rare” as this will make the meat moist and tender. The USDA advises eating all ground meat to an internal temperature of 160 °F. However, most people prefer to eat venison medium rare because it is terrible when cooked through.

Therefore, it should be noted that when meat is ground, surface bacteria are distributed throughout the burger meat, which may still contain pathogens if not cooked properly. To reiterate, it is possible to eat venison medium rare, but it is not advised.

Can you eat bison burgers medium rare

Bison is a burger found only in North America and, as the name implies, is made from the meat of a bison. Bison meat has a more delicate flavor than beef and is low in fat. Due to its high iron content, the meat can be described as earthy tasting. The meat does not have a gamey flavor when cooked. Rather, it has a strong yet sweet flavor.

Bison meat can become overcooked quickly. If you prefer well-done meat, you should not serve bison. The perfect temperature for bison ground beef is medium rare. However, the recommended minimum temperature for cooking ground bison meat is 160 °Faccording to the USDA. Also, bison should be cooked over low heat and for a longer period of time. Ideally, a bison burger should be brown on the outside and still pink on the inside.

While it is possible to cook and consume bison meat at a temperature of 145 °F, consumers must understand and be aware of the fact that the lowest safest temperature, according to the USDA, is 160 °F.


While it may not be illegal to sell undercooked burgers, it is not necessarily safe either. The public should make informed decisions about the cooking temperature and preference for ground meat burgers. Knowing and understanding the dangers associated with consuming undercooked meat is the first step to making an informed decision. 

Rok Jurca

I am a kind of person that would sneak a taste out of grandma’s pot when I was barely tall enough to reach it. I grew up in kitchens full of love and liveliness and have spent my whole live learning, experimenting and succeeding in the art of cooking. At Pro Family Chef, every day is an opportunity for a new meal and a brand new flavor. I created this website to connect people that love to cook, with the products designed to make their cooking easier, hassle-free and rewarding every time.

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