I have a long standing question: If I prepare burger patties or similar cutlets and I follow the 10 min 70°C rule (which obviously is motivated by hygienic reasons) then the patties inevitable become as dry as a fart (as we say). If I buy a high quality burger in some good restaurant the patties are usually juicy and the meat in general has a slightly pinkish tone in the centre of the volume. I cannot imagine that they had the 70°C for 10 min inside by any means.

So my question: How to do it properly? Is it always a compromise in between safety and taste? We eat meat seldom so we only buy high quality beef, freshly minced at the butchers store, if that is of importance to the question.

  • 4
    I’ve never heard of holding it at 70°C for 10 minutes. I don’t even think that I cook my burgers for a full 10minutes. The USDA recommends cooking to 160°F, which is about 71°C, but not holding it at that temperature for an extended time.
    – Joe
    Nov 24, 2023 at 19:23

2 Answers 2


"We eat meat seldom so we only buy high quality beef, freshly minced at the butchers store, if that is of importance to the question."

It's extremely important -- properly butchered high quality (and properly stored) beef can be eaten raw with very little risk for most people. Otherwise no restaurant would ever sell tartare without having you sign a liability waiver beforehand. That being said, there is more trust involved the rawer/rarer you get. The butcher doesn't often know what happened before they got the meat (again, they trust their source is good), and even good butchers can make mistakes, etc.

But even if you are buying typical grocery store whole-cut meat the risks of anything serious happening are very low so long as you are cooking it at all. Pre-ground packaged beef is a bit more risky to not cook well-done and preformed frozen patties are typically the riskiest.

All that being said beef in general is very safe and even if significantly undercooked is much less risky than improperly handled poultry, leafy greens, rice, and many other things. Especially because people tend to be paranoid and greatly overestimate the risk from beef while being completely ignorant to the dangers of cross-contamination of uncooked dishes (particularly salads) or leaving cooked rice in the danger zone for extended periods of time.

As for your question, it's all a matter of personal preference. Some people love hockey puck beef! They are wrong, but they still exist. Generally, most people like hamburgers where you have a strong crust on the outside and the interior is in the medium to well done range. But I certainly wouldn't "hold" it at the higher temps for any amount of time. Cook it high and fast (but not so much that the interior is still raw [unless you like that]). But it's all dependent on a ton of factors. Smash burgers are still delicious despite being well done because the burnt crust adds lots of flavor and texture and the toppings moisten it up. But you probably wouldn't want a thick pub burger cooked to the same temp.


I have to admit I don't either measure the temperature nor the exact time a burger is cooked for; I use experience & a prod with a finger. When it looks & feels right, it's done.

I would very much doubt a burger ever gets 10 minutes total, let alone being held at that for an additional 10 minutes. That's what I'd call more-done-than-well-done, to put it politely. Murdered or cremated might be closer to the phrase I'm looking for;)

There are many online guides to cooking burgers, this one includes temperatures…

How to Cook the Best Pan-Fried Burgers on the Stove

How Long to Pan-Fry Burgers
Here’s a guide for the cook time and temperature of 1-in. burger patties:

Medium-rare (warm, red center): 6 minutes, or 130 to 135°F [54 - 57°C]
Medium (warm, pink center): 7 to 8 minutes, or 140 to 145°F [60 - 63°C]
Medium-well (hot, slightly pink center): 9 minutes, or 150 to 155°F [65 - 68°C]
Well done (brown all the way through): 10 minutes, or 160 to 165°F [71 - 74°C]

From which you can see that by the time you reach 70° or so, you're already almost in well-done territory. Holding at that for another 10 minutes is just going to leave you with an over-cooked chunk of dry meat.

If you don't like your meat tough as old boots, you'll just have to risk it. The 'safe' temperatures are really for people with immune deficiencies, and are for temperatures attained & held for a couple of minutes to be sure, not a full 10.

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