How to Cook a Medium-Rare Hamburger on the Stovetop

Hamburgers made on the stove can taste just as good as, if not better than, hamburgers cooked on a grill. When frying up a burger that is anything less than well-done, your main concern is safety. Bacteria occurs naturally in meat products. Buy the freshest possible ground beef and store it below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Use ground beef within two days of purchase and cook it to a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 1

Form each hamburger patty with your hands to the desired width and about 3/4-inch thick. Season both sides of the patty with salt and pepper, to taste.


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Step 2

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high to high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, place one or more burger patties inside the pan.

Step 3

Cook the first side of the meat for approximately 3 minutes. It should look golden brown.

Step 4

Turn over the patties using a spatula, and cook them for an additional 4 minutes.


Step 5

Check each patty's internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. Remove the hamburgers from the skillet with a spatula immediately when they reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Things You'll Need

  • Skillet

  • Spatula

  • Pot holder

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • Ground beef

  • Salt and pepper, optional

  • Instant-read thermometer


Freshly ground chuck or Angus beef makes the tastiest hamburgers. Select meat that is 85 percent lean or leaner.

If you're making cheeseburgers, top each patty with a slice of your favorite cheese during the last minute of cooking.


A skillet’s handle can get hot, so use a pot holder.

When flipping the burgers, be careful not to splash hot grease.



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