How To Keep Burgers From Burning (Turning Black)

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If you are having trouble with your burgers burning and turning black, then this article is aimed at helping you to fix that problem. Here, we will give you some information to help you figure out why your burgers keep burning, and a good temperature to set your burgers to, to help you cook almost any type of burger, without it burning it.

When restaurants cook their burgers in general, they usually set the temperature to one general setting and leave it there and never change it. The same thing is true for different/special burgers that they cook too for the most part. The temperature that we found to be effective for cooking burgers of any type without burning them is 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

We cook pork burgers, beef burgers, and turkey burgers at this temperature. None of them burn when using a non-stick flat-top grill.

Also, another thing to mention, is the type of grill/pan that you use to cook your burgers. It can have an effect on the burgers. Certain surfaces, like cast iron, actually have a higher chance for cooking the burger to black on the outside before the inside has a chance to even turn grey or brown. Cast iron is made for cooking food at high temperatures. It gets really hot really fast, which is the reason why cooking oil might sometimes be needed to cook burgers on them. They cause many foods to easily stick to their surface, because the heat conducts so well in cast iron.

Cast iron is used to cook meat and develop a crust on the outer layer of the meat. In this case, it would be on the burger. This layer of crust is desired by some, but can make the outside of the burger appear black. If you don’t want this black layer on the outside of the burger (a crust), then don’t cook the burgers on cast iron. If you have to cook the burgers on a cast iron surface, then you may have to frequently flip the burger to try to keep that crusted layer on the surface of the burger from forming.

To cook burgers in a cast iron skillet, turn the heat down on the stove to medium. This is basically around the temperature of the specified magic number for all burgers that was mentioned earlier. For grills that have cast iron grates or surfaces (which a lot do), keep those burgers out of the fire and high heat. There has to be a less heated section on the grill that the burgers can cook on so that the burgers don’t burn.

Charbroilers can get really hot, as they can be one of the hottest grills on the market. Some grills unfortunately only have one section and one temperature setting for cooking food on them. If this is the case, then don’t lose hope. The solution to this is to make the burger patties a lot thinner. Take the burger meat and flatten it as much as possible to get the heat to penetrate the middle of the patty, and cook that inside too.

When a burger patty cooks, it works like a pancake. It takes time for the center of the burger to cook, so it is important to make sure that the outside isn’t affected in such a way that it cooks way too fast. The outside of the burger will always be the most cooked part of the burger, regardless of the heat; because it is the first thing that makes contact with the heat, and it is the most exposed.

Once the burger patty hits the surface of the grill or pan, that outside already begins to cook. However, the solution isn’t to turn the heat up on high to cook the center, as it still will have an effect on the outside layer, as well as cooking the middle faster. Also, unlike a pancake, meat is thicker, which means it takes even more time for the heat to penetrate to the middle of the burger and cook it.

So the focus has to be shifted away somewhat from making sure the middle is cooked by raising the temperature. Instead, the focus should be on finding the right temperature where the inside can be cooked without the outside getting overcooked and turning black before the meat in the center even has a chance to turn from red to pink.

Burger Size And Temperature

The size of the burger also has an effect, but from what we have tested with cooking pork, turkey, and beef burgers, is that the thickness of the burger is not the main reason to why a burger should have to be adjusted drastically in its temperature. We have been able to cook thin and thick burgers alike, using the same temperature, without them turning black on the outside or burning.

Usually for burger thickness, only the time of cooking changes when it comes to cooking a thin burger patty versus a thicker burger patty. If the temperature has to be changed, it is only a small adjustment up or down, depending on the thickness. Thinner burgers would go up in temperature, while thicker burgers would go down in temperature for their cooking. As stated, usually the temperature doesn’t have to be adjusted, just the time it takes to cook the burger patty.

The burgers of every type that we have cooked were able to come out barely brown on the surface (even after extensive cooking to cook the inside), with a well cooked inside that is nearly brown or brown (depending on personal preference of wanting a medium rare to well done burger).

The temperature that we use is (375 degrees Fahrenheit) low enough to keep the outside from burning or turning black for the burger patty, yet high enough to cook the inside of the burger thoroughly.

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