These Are The Right Temperatures You Need To Grill Meats + Veggies

Here's how you can barbecue anything when the red-hot charcoal is ready.

ILLUSTRATOR Jon Tolentino

Yes, you can grill anything over charcoal, but to do that well, you'll need to know how to cook different kinds of food on the grill. The charcoal that's fired up in your grill isn't going to stay red hot throughout the entire time you're grilling. That's why you need to know which food is best to put on the barbecue first, when the charcoal is at its hottest temperature, and which is better to save for last, or when the heat isn't as intense as when you first started out.

 

Here's a quick guide on what to put on the grill to maximize the heat of your charcoal:

 

Temperature: High Heat

What to Cook: steaks, burgers, bell peppers, corn, onions, potatoes

 

Because of the intense heat the charcoal is producing, this is the best time to take advantage of it and do some searing, so put the steaks and burgers on the grill first. Not only will you produce the notable grill marks steakhouses perfectly put on theirs, you will be infusing the meats with some of its charcoal flavor. This is also the best time for charring corn on the cobs, bell peppers for perfectly roasted bell peppers, caramelizing sweet onions, and baking potatoes, camote, and pumpkin wedges wrapped in foil.

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Temperature: Medium Heat

What To Cook: pork chops, chicken, marinated meats, hotdogs, pineapple

 

Once the charcoal has tempered down its heat is the perfect grilling temperature for most foods. This is also the ideal time to put those cuts of meat that will need to be cooked through. That means thick cuts of pork, chicken (boneless as well as bone-in), and fish and seafood. Fish and seafood should be cooked at this level of heat to prevent it from cooking too quickly and increase the chance of overcooking the delicate flesh. Hotdogs are already cooked so too-high heat will just burn the casing while marinated meats, especially those with sugar in it, will benefit from the not-too-hot heat while still cooking at a high enough temperature to cook it through.

 

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Temperature: Low Heat

What To Cook: eggplants, carrots, asparagus, tomatoes

 

When the coals have begun to slowly die out and the heat is low, this is when the most delicate of vegetables can be added. This is the perfect time to gently cook eggplants that turn tender and mushy, ready-to-eat carrots, and other fruits and vegetables with thin skins that cook quickly. Because the heat is low and the charcoal ashen, you may have to close the lid or cover the grill to preserve the heat the few remaining embers is emitting and let the last of the heat do its job of cooking your food. 

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The heat is on and with this easy guide on how and when to grill your favorite food on the barbecue, your grilled meal will always be cooked to perfection. 

 

 

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