grill cover

Tips for Getting the Right Temperature on Your BBQ

It is finally grilling season!

Whether you are waiting for water to boil on the stove top or you are barbecuing in your backyard, temperature always plays a vital role in preparing any kind of meal. Have you ever thought that temperature can have huge impacts on the food you eat? Well, it can have various impacts on the quality, freshness and flavor of the food. Also, if not monitored closely, the food cooked at the wrong temperature might cause you several health issues eventually. Experts suggest buying an instant read thermometer to measure food in real-time.

Significance of the Cooking on the Accurate Temperature

That said, according to US Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service, the accurate temperatures prevent food borne illnesses. Always ensure keeping the food to minimum internal temperatures as measured with a food thermometer before removing eatables from the heat source.

Here are a few ideal internal temperatures to cook food.

Product Minimum Internal Temperature & Rest time
Beef, Pork, Veal & Lamb Steaks, chops, roasts 145 F (62.8 C) and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes
Ground Meats 160 F (71.1 C)
Ground Poultry 165 F
Ham, fresh or smoked (uncooked) 145 F (62.8 C) and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes
Fully cooked Ham (to reheat) Reheat cooked hams packaged in USDA-inspected plants to 140 F (60 C) and all others to 165 F (73.9 C)
All Poultry (breasts, whole, bird, legs, thighs, wings, ground, poultry, giblets, and stuffing) 165 F (73.9 C)
Eggs 160 F (71.1 C)
Fish & Shellfish 145 F (62.8 C)
Leftovers 165 F (73.9 C)
Casseroies 165 F (73.9 C)

Before we continue with the tips to getting the right temperature on your BBQ, we must know what temperature is and what relation it has with the food.

What Exactly is Temperature?

Temperature – in technical terms, is the numerical measure of cold and hot as a result of detection of kinetic energy or the movement of molecules. Temperature is the most commonly measured perimeter that can be measured in different units including Fahrenheit (°F), Celsius (°C), and Kelvin (K).


What is a Normal Grill Temperature?

if you are using a gas, electric, or pellet grill, you can adjust the temperature easily, a charcoal grill takes more practice and involves opening or closing the dampers to regulate air flow. What you should know when it comes to grills is that the are designed to cook at higher temperatures than your stove top or a smoker. Most grills run at a minimum temperature of 400℉(204℃) and are designed to use the higher heat to sear the outside of whatever you are grilling quickly and keeping the juices inside. if you don’t have temperature dials on your grill, the tulle of thumb to have your heat correct is that you can only hold your hand above the grill at 12″ for 4-6 seconds. This tells you the grill is hot and ready to cook on. The temperature is approximately 650℉(343℃).

Charcoal vs. Gas – Which Grilling Method Is Better?

The debate pertaining to which is the best grilling method gas or charcoal involves various factors – from cost, flavor to convenience. Often, enthusiasts prefer the richest smokier taste on a charcoal grill. However, the charcoal grill emits a large quantity of carbon monoxide – hence, contributing to increasing pollution in the atmosphere.

Get It Hot

Grill 1

A pro tip is to preheat your grill 20 to 25 minutes before you start cooking. It will help you get the right temperature that can help you cook the food correctly. Your grill should be 300-350°F for medium, 350-400°F for medium-high, 400-450°F for high, and 250-300°F for low heat. A properly heated grill will help keep the insides moist, sears foods on contact, and help prevent sticking.


If you are opting for charcoal grilling for a memorable BBQ night, we’d recommend you go for additive-free lump charcoal that, which is highly effective. Conventional briquettes may contain sawdust and wood scraps as well as sodium nitrate, coal dust, borax. It may also contain additives such as lighter fluid or paraffin. Lighter fluid can have negative impacts on food and on your health eventually since it can release volatile organic compounds that are harmful.

Brush it off

When the grill is hot it would be easier to remove the debris, we would suggest you to use a long-handled brush in order to clean off charred debris from prior meals. Additionally, scrape again after use.

Oil It Up

To make sure that the food is cooked correctly at the right temperature it is essential to consider every tip and trick that can help you get your job done right. Oiling the grill is of utmost importance since the meat may stick on the clean grill even it is clean. You can reduce sticking just by oiling the hot grill. However, don’t ever use the cooking spray for this purpose. Always oil your grill with a vegetable oil-soaked paper towel. It would be better to hold it with tongs and then rub it on the grill to make it clean. This will help you cook the food at a maintained temperature eventually.

A Chimney Starter

Did you know that a chimney starter can help make a charcoal fire a breeze? For this:

  • Place a crumpled paper in the bottom of the chimney
  • Now, fill it with charcoal.

You would be amazed to know that in around 20 minutes the coal would be all ready to spread evenly in the bottom of the grill. Guess what? No perfect pyramid required, no lighter fluid!

Grill 2

Surface Temperature

It is important to recognize the temperature of the grill surface where you are actually cooking the meat. Some of the suggested grill temperatures by grill experts including medium-high are 2-3 seconds 400°-450° and high is 1-2 seconds 450°-600°.


It is important not to overcook your chicken since completely overcooked chicken can make it grainy and dry eventually. However, you will also be careful about cooking the chicken properly since the raw chicken may contain various bacteria that may harm your health as well.

All you need to do is to make sure that the chicken reaches the right temperature. The temperature that too is set for cooking chicken is 165 degrees. Nonetheless, different parts of the chicken may need different temperatures.


Beef is often considered difficult to get right into the grill. The safe internal temperature that you cook beef on is 160 degrees approximately. Know that the temperature below 145 degrees for cooking beef might end up being unsafe.


To cook lamb, it is essential to cook it at the right temperature to enjoy the best of the BBQs. An internal temperature to cook the lamb is 145 degrees. However, you may also consider cooking lamb on a little bit above 145 degrees.

Grill 3


As you know that cooking pork is always a challenge. 145 degrees would be a minimum internal temperature to cook the pork in the best way possible. However, if you are cooking ground pork such as burger patty the suggested temperature would be 160 degrees.

Getting cooked food at the right temperature is of utmost importance therefore always ensure that you follow the guidelines listed here to food borne illnesses.

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