When is my Hamburger Cooked?

Do you find yourself asking, "When is my hamburger cooked"?

The surest way of determining the degree of doneness of meat is by inserting a meat thermometer into the centre of the thickest part. This works well with thick cuts of meat and can sometimes work with thick, well-bound, patties too but be careful not to break up the patty.

Here are some internal temperature guidelines:
    Beef: Rare 140F/60C : Medium 160F/70C : Well Done 175F/80C
    Pork: 160F/70C
    Poultry: 175F/80C
Unfortunately this does not always work so well with thinner or less stable patties. Here, the easiest way to determine the degree of doneness is by the firmness of the meat.

During the cooking process the meat changes colour, juices become clear, the meat shrinks and the patty becomes firm.

Don't press down too hard on the patty with the spatula, you'll lose all those wonderful juices. Just lightly 'feel' the degree of firmness with the edge of the lifter regularly. The more cooked the meat becomes the firmer the patty gets. Make a small incision in the centre and take a peek if you're not sure. Relate the firmness of the patty to what you see and you'll soon start to get the hang of it. When the centre is firm the patty is done.

Before long you will know just how firm the patty should be for your preferred degree of doneness.

For a more detailed description of this method please check out Internal Meat Temperatures


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