How Long Can Grilled Burgers Sit Out

Grilling burgers is a great way to enjoy a summer cookout with family and friends. But have you ever wondered how long those delicious burgers can sit out before they become unsafe to eat?

It’s important to understand the food safety guidelines established by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in order to keep your family and guests safe from foodborne illness.

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at how long grilled burgers can safely sit out. We’ll also explore what happens when food stays at room temperature for too long, and provide tips for storing grilled burgers properly.

So let’s get started!

The US Department of Agriculture Guidelines

According to the US Department of Agriculture, there are guidelines you should be aware of when it comes to food safety.

When cooking and serving grilled burgers, you shouldn’t let them sit out at room temperature for more than two hours. This includes the time spent preparing and grilling the burgers as well. After two hours, bacteria that can cause foodborne illnesses can start growing on the burgers.

To prevent this from happening, it’s best to keep your grill clean and cook your burgers right away after they’ve been taken off the grill. If you plan on serving leftovers, make sure they’re kept in an airtight container or in a refrigerator until you’re ready to eat them again.

Following these simple steps will help make sure that your grilled burgers stay safe to consume and enjoyable for everyone!

Refrigeration and Food Safety

You may be wondering how quickly you need to refrigerate food after grilling – let’s discuss food safety! Generally speaking, the US Department of Agriculture recommends that all perishable foods should be refrigerated within two hours of being cooked. This is important for ensuring that bacteria doesn’t have the chance to grow on the food and put your health at risk.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when dealing with grilled burgers:

– Immediately separate any raw meat from cooked meat while grilling
– Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot (i.e., above 140°F) throughout cooking and serving
– Use a thermometer to check internal temperatures of meats before serving them
– Refrigerate any leftovers within two hours of cooking or discard them immediately
– Reheat leftovers completely before eating (to an internal temperature of 165°F)

By following these simple steps, you can make sure that your grilled burgers stay safe and delicious!

Storing Grilled Burgers

After grilling, it’s important to store burgers properly in order to ensure they remain safe and delicious. Start by allowing them to cool down for at least 10 minutes before transferring them from the grill or cooking surface to a container or plate. This will help prevent bacteria growth.

It’s also important that you cover the burgers with an airtight lid or wrap if storing in a refrigerator. If you plan on eating your grilled burgers within two hours of grilling, then they can stay out at room temperature as long as necessary.

But if you want to save any leftovers, try to refrigerate them within one hour after grilling and consume them within 3-4 days. Freezing is another option and can extend their shelf life up to three months; however, this may affect their texture upon thawing so it’s best used for longer storage periods only.

Keeping Food Out of the Danger Zone

Staying on top of food temperatures is key to keeping your meals safe and delicious – don’t let your food fall into the ‘danger zone’!

The danger zone is a temperature range between 40°F and 140°F. When food stays in this range for more than two hours, bacteria can start to grow quickly.

This means that if grilled burgers are left out at room temperature, they should be consumed within two hours or discarded. To ensure food safety, it’s important to keep hot foods like burgers above 140°F, and cold foods below 40°F.

If you plan on serving grilled burgers later, you can keep them warm in an oven at a temperature below 140°F until ready to serve. Taking these precautions will help keep everyone safe from any potential bacteria-related illnesses!

Foodborne Bacteria and Illness

Eating food that’s been contaminated with bacteria can lead to serious illness, so it’s important to take steps to ensure food safety.

Bacteria are all around us and some types can make you ill if consumed. Foodborne illness occurs when we eat something that contains harmful bacteria or toxins produced by those bacteria.

It’s common for raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs to contain harmful bacteria which can cause food poisoning if not handled properly. The same holds true for grilled burgers; they should be cooked at a high enough temperature and for a long enough time to kill any bacteria before being served.

Once the burgers have been cooked, they should be served as soon as possible. Leaving them out in temperatures between 40°F and 140°F – known as the “Danger Zone” – allows bacteria to grow quickly resulting in potential food poisoning.

If grilling outdoors on hot days, keep a timer handy so you know exactly how long your burgers have been sitting out. In general, it’s best not to leave cooked burgers out for more than two hours; after that point discard any remaining burgers instead of risking foodborne illness.


It’s important to make sure that your grilled burgers don’t sit out for too long. According to the USDA, you should never leave food out of refrigeration for longer than two hours.

After two hours, bacteria can start to grow and cause foodborne illnesses. To keep your burgers safe, store them in a refrigerator or cooler right away.

If it’s been more than two hours since you grilled them, it’s best to toss ’em and order some takeout instead!

So when grilling burgers, remember: time flies when you’re having fun – but not when it comes to food safety!

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