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Here’s a quick and easy chart to understand grill temperature! This cheat sheet shows what temperature to target for low, medium and high heat.

Grill temperature

Firing up the grill and not sure what temperature to target? Here’s a cheat sheet to help you break down what a recipe means when it says, “Preheat a grill to medium heat.” For as much as we grill in the summer, we decided to put together a chart to help you (and us!) remember what temperature to target.

Grill temperature cheat sheet

LevelTemperature (°F)What to Cook
High heat450°F to 650°FSearing steak
Medium high heat375°F to 450°FVegetables
Burgers, poultry, seafood
Medium heat350°F to 375°FBBQ meat and poultry
Low heat300°F to 350°FSlow cooked meats

How to check grill temperature: a grill thermometer!

How to check grill temperature? You’ll need a grill thermometer for the task. Most grills have grill thermometers that are built in. Or you can grab a standalone thermometer: they’re cheap and easy to use! Here’s a grill surface thermometer: place it on a rack to monitor the temperature.

What type of grill do you recommend?

There are many different types of grills, and we’ve cooked with almost all of them! Here are some pros and cons to each:

  • Charcoal grill. Charcoal grilling has the best flavor! A charcoal grill is very inexpensive. You’ll have to start the fire using a chimney, and it takes about 30 minutes to preheat.
  • Gas grill. Gas is quicker and easier to work with, but the flavor is not as good as charcoal. It’s quicker to preheat as well.
  • Digital charcoal grill. The grill we own now is a digital charcoal grill: it’s a combination between the flavor of charcoal and the ease of use of gas. Here’s the grill we recommend.

Grilled recipes

Grilling is one of our favorite ways to cook around here, and we have the recipes to prove it! Here are some of our favorites to try:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. When grilling a sirloin steak the recipe says start out on high heat and then reduced to medium. How do you turn a charcoal grill down to medium?