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Nov 1, 2007 12:49 PM

Medium rare burgers? [Split from Ontario board]

I still don't get this facination with "pink burgers" and medium rare burgers. While I don't like my burgers well done, I do understand that temperatures of 160 F are required to kill eColi. In the case of beef, that's medium.
Keep in mind that the internal meat of a burger is still "surface meat" due to the forming of a pattie from ground beef, so it must be cooked 160F not on the surface, but throughout, yielding a not so pink burger.

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  1. Much safer to reach 160F and I am with you on not requiring a pink centre. I just need a juicy (NOT FATTY) burger. I added that for the others who make a big deal about it. At home though I like to keep some pink as it does add flavour.

    1 Reply
    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. It's simple. Pink burgers taste good. I'm not going to expound on this at length once again. Burger doneness is NOT legally regulated in Toronto. Food handling is regulated, but that's a subject for a different board. Burgers should be available cooked to taste. Medium rare burgers taste good. Well done burgers - to me - do not. Handle the meat safely and sell me a burger I can enjoy. (Your well done burger can be contaminated easily after it has been overcooked, but that, too, is a matter best discussed elsewhere.)

        5 Replies
        1. re: embee

          You may be interested that at Burger Shack in Toronto, I was able to order a medium-rare burger.

          1. re: Roberto7

            Location please...

            And was it any good?

            1. re: embee


              It was very good. If you search Chowhound you'll find a lot of comments and praise. I was shocked when they asked how I'd like it cooked. I ordered med-rare and it was very moist and pink. Be careful- they have two types of patty: 1) pre-formed and 2) hand-formed. Make sure you order the hand-formed. Great fries and huge onion rings too! Give it a try and post back what you think.

              Burger Shack
              233 Eglinton Avenue West (near Oriole Pky)
              Toronto, ON
              (416) 487-1974

          2. re: embee

            Cry me a a restaurant manager, i understand the laws prohibiting rare and mid rare burgers and completly agree. Consider this: When we get shipments of ground beef, we have NO CLUE how it was handled before it arrrived at our door step. therefore it does not matter how safe we are, how clean we are or what precautions we take; if there are any low levels of Ecoli present, we are not equipted to know that. If it smells good to me and the texture and color does not set of any red flags, i am going to sell it! The only precaution my placed of business can take is to AT LEAST cook it Medium to well to ensure the guest is protected from any potential
            Ecoli which might be presents and not easily detected. Whenever we have allowed the guest to make these decisions and they became sick, we always see the restaurant getting sued and in the end, everyone why take the chance on risking life and livelyhood? Selfish are people who don't consider the entire issue!

            1. re: Sayyid08

              You taking said precaution would guarantee that I would never order a burger at your establishment, and would encourage others to do the same.

          3. 160 is way past medium in my book. those are McDonald temps.

            2 Replies
            1. re: vinovino

              I don't think 160 is McDonald temperature. :) But with good quality meat (ground chuck), not one of those non-descriptive ground beef, you can cook up to 145 for medium rare.

              1. re: baekster

                Although I cook to a lower temp than 145 F at home, I can live with a 145 restaurant burger. The "guideline" in Toronto is approx 160 (more likely a close metric approximation). A 160 burger is very well done. The point is that it's a guideline and not the law.

            2. It's because meat tastes better when it's cooked more on the rare side. I buy chuck roast at the supermarket and grind it myself at home to skirt most of the potential issues.

              Likewise, it's safer to eat cookies once they've been baked, but that doesn't stop me from eating the cookie dough.

              2 Replies
              1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                Yup. That's what I do...although I have the butcher grind it after I pick out the chuck. :) I don't have a meat grinder at home.

                1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                  Here here! I don't eat burgers at restaurants any longer. When I want a good one, I'll do like you and grind it myself. I've even like to partake of a few few slices of raw beef with my dog.

                  There are about a zillion more things out there to truly worry about than eating a nice medium rare hamburger.