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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 04:43 AM
Original message
what's the best internal temp for a burger?
I want to make a burger that is juicy, but not bloody. What is the correct temperature to take it off the grill?

Thanks!
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Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 07:14 AM
Response to Original message
1. First, for juicy...
use 80% meat, 85% at very most. 90% is too dry, 70% will just flame out.

I like to mix mine with salt and pepper. If you really want to get into it, make the burger, then make a slit and shove in a pat of butter and reclose.

Never, never, NEVER squish the burger to get it to hurry up and cook.

I like mine medium rare; I don't measure temps anymore, but if I was, I'd be going for about 130 to 135, then take it off and let it sit for a few minutes. The temp will rise to 135 to 140 (it continues to cook after you remove it) - also the juices will redistribute.

Enjoy!
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wildflower Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Guilty of squishing here
I stand over it and squish it to death, in fact. :) Thank you for the tip!
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 12:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. I would just make
sure to follow the cooking temp instructions recommended for ground beef. Not sure what it is at the moment, but I think low and slow would get you a well done burger without a pink middle, and as long as you don't squish it, as Tab mentioned, the juices shouldn't be lost.

I would never follow his example of eating a burger anything but well done if it's from a commercial source. That's a good way to get sick or worse.
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Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. No burgers for you!!!

You're absolutely correct, though, that 160 (or 155 if pulled and let to rest) is the magic temp for killing bad stuff. The OP didn't specify how the burger should be cooked. Personally, I like mine medium rare and properly flavored.

Although you probably know this, not all do - the difference between cooking ground meat to 160 and solid (unground) meat to 140 is this - sickness is caused by unwanted material (specifically fecal matter) on the outside of the cut. On a steak, it doesn't matter, because you burn it off anyway. On ground meat, though, it gets ground, before cooking, thus you can have unwanted material on the INSIDE of the burger (sausage, hot dog, whatever), forcing you to bring the temp to 160 to kill it off.

I tend to buy meat from relatively clean vendors, and haven't had a problem, but if your source of meat is ever suspect, go to 160. I personally like medium rare, and will go out of my way to get meat that I can cook the way that I want.
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Nice post, burger nazi!
Edited on Mon Dec-29-08 06:05 PM by hippywife
And yes that is what the problem is. Burger is almost always contaminated so if it's from the grocery or sourced to one of the large corporate meatpackers, just always assume that it has to be cooked well done. But then I don't care to eat well done fecal matter, either. :puke:

ETA: I'm leaving your pizza crust thread alone.! :P
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Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-30-08 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. I wasn't promoting it as god's gift to pizzas
Just saying that in a pinch, it's edible, not half bad, as opposed to that Boboli crap or those cardboard-ish pizza shells.

If you recall, a few years ago I went on a quest of how to get a good home pizza. I ultimately decided that I really needed a wood-burning pizza oven, but as I haven't built that yet, a stone and preheating for a good hour serves as a replacement. That, plus white corn meal, an acceptable dough, and a few other tricks. So I can do a good pizza when I want to, but being sick, I'm cooking nearly nothing these days, so this was a nice shortcut.

Interestingly, I opened the bottom drawer of the oven (which serves as a warmer, and a place to store pans) and found probably five cups of dog food in there. Apparently some critter has made it its storage bin for the winter.
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-30-08 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I don't mind if you're not cooking
as long as you're able to eat fairly well. :hug:
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
3. 160 for most meat
I think it is a tad highter for ground beef

Juicy is more easily attained by higher fat content.
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Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-30-08 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. No, not really
160 is the number for beef.

As for poultry, poultry is 165, and unlike beef, I don't screw around with poultry - 165 is it. That said, those little "pop-up" thingies on Butterballs pop up at 180+. By the time they pop up, and by the time you notice it, your bird is well cooked - probably pushing 200 (thus avoiding them a lawsuit) but way overdone.
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flamin lib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-30-08 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
7. If you want a safe medium rare burger buy chuck roast
and have the butcher grind it for you. The contamination in ground meat comes from the processing plant where everything left over from the large cuts goes into the grinder. It's not possible to keep extraneous "stuff" (as in stuff happens) out of the mix.

Chuck is 80-85% lean, 'bout perfect for burgers.
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-30-08 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Chuck Also
comes from the shoulder ...
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-30-08 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Still not safe
because it's only as free from contamination as the last thing he put through the grinder. In addition, even chuck has inadequate fat to make a really juicy burger.

If you want to make sure it's safe enough to eat rare, buy the piece of meat and some extra fat, wash the exterior at home (yes, WASH, scrub that sucker down) and grind it yourself in a food processor or with a couple of knives on a cutting board. The texture will be a little different but it beats the hell out of a trip to the hospital.
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pengillian101 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-30-08 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Exactly right, Warpy
Still not safe = because it's only as free from contamination as the last thing he put through the grinder.
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Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-30-08 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Kinda like sex, isn't it?

I'm sure this will be a thread-killer. But I had to say...
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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 09:50 PM
Response to Original message
15. MOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But that's just me . . .
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 12:04 AM
Response to Original message
16. Like most of life's truly important questions, the answer is: "It depends".
Cooking a burger to a "SAFE" temperature depends on
what meat you're cooking, and where it came from...
and 'juicieness' is a factor of FAT CONTENT in any given burger.

The average burger meat in a grocery store comes from a cow
that spent its last monthts of life on a mile-square commercial
FeedLot eating garbage. (That's not just an expression- they really
do feed those cows garbage. They mix it with shredded newspaper for roughage.)

Given that the old "health standards" posted in USA slaughterhouses
are buried under an inch of dried blood and fecal matter after
eight years of BushCabal's "Too busy stealing to govern" philosophy,
I cook all my store-bought hamburger to 180 degrees.
And that means I buy the 75/25 mix- A big thick burger needs 25% fat
to stay juicy at 180 degrees.

But I'm also a hunter, so I'm cooking with some free-range venison
every so often.
Deer don't eat garbage, so it's safe to cook venison to the old
"medium rare" standard of 140 degrees...
but it's an incredibly LEAN meat, so it would be dry and tough without
careful preparation.

As I cut up the deer into roasts and steaks, every scrap of extraneous fat
gets saved in a bowl. And once the roasts and steaks are wrapped, all the
other bits of meat go into the grinder, and that bowl of fat scraps
is added carefully to the mix, one bit at a time.

My 'venison burgers' are about an 85/15 mix this year,
as best as I can guesstimate.
I cook them really quick in 1/4 inch of smoking-hot clarified butter
to an internal temp of 140 degrees, and then I yell "Come and get it!!"

They're about 7/8 of an inch thick, crusty on the outside
and pink in the middle, and they just MELT in your mouth.
They're about as 'tough' as a stick of room-temperature butter.
and much tastier.



I could never make such burgers from Supermarket beef. Cook that crap
to 140 degrees 3 times a week, and you'll be dead from 'food poisoning'
within 18 months. Or at least you'll be sick enought to WISH for death
to come and end your suffering, KnowhutImean?

But also, I could never cook venison burgers up to 180 degrees.
Even if you grind venson with 50% fat, it doesn't take the high
temperaturatures well. The fat absorbs all the heat, melts to grease,
and runs off, leaving you with a shrunken & shrivelled little
venison-burger that's just about as juicy as a piece of 1/2 inch styrofoam.

So, long story short (too late, innit?)...
it depends.
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