How to Precook Hamburgers for a Cookout

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Grill burgers faster by precooking them in the microwave.
Grill burgers faster by precooking them in the microwave. (Image: Sean Murphy/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Do not make your hungry guests wait for their hamburgers to cook on the grill. Precook the patties to reduce the cooking time. When cooking the patties before grilling, avoid holding the partially cooked patties for any length of time before fully cooking them as this increases the chances for the growth of dangerous bacteria.

Things You'll Need

  • Hamburger
  • Microwave-safe dish
  • Plastic wrap or paper towel
  • Meat thermometer

Lightly dampen your hands and shape the hamburger into patties. Place the patties into a microwave-safe dish.

Cover the dish with plastic wrap or a paper towel to prevent splattering. Cook the burgers on "High" for five to six minutes.

Leave the hamburgers in the microwave for one to two minutes after the cooking time completes so the carryover heat finishes cooking the patties.

Insert a meat thermometer into the side of each patty. Transfer patties immediately to the grill if the internal temperature is below 160 degrees. If the internal temperature is at or above 160 degrees, the hamburgers can be refrigerated and reheated on the grill.

Finish cooking or reheat fully cooked hamburgers on the grill to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees to avoid food poisoning.

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