Everything you wanted to know about BBQing and Grilling!

What's the difference between Grilling and BBQ?

Many don't understand the differences, and even when they do they tend to use these two terms interchangeably. But to the best chefsbbq2 the differences are night and day.

Basically the differences between barbecue and grilling can be summarized in the following fashion:

Grilling involves cooking over intense heat (500 deg or more) for short (an hour or less) periods of time

Barbecuing means cooking over low heat (225 deg or less), with smoke, and for long periods of time

Direct grilling refers to the method whereby you cook directly over hot coals (see section below to determine how hot, hot, really is) usually with the cover off to maintain optimum temperature of the coals. This is true grilling because the essence of grilling involves the quick searing of the surface of the food. This ensures the charring and caramelizing that defines grilled food.

Indirect grilling is not true grilling, it's really more like oven roasting, but done outdoors on a grill. For this method the coals are heaped on two sides of the grill with an open space between them and often separated by a drip pan. The food is placed in the center of the grill and cooks indirectly with the grill covered to build up enough heat to roast the food. A general rule-of-thumb is that anything taking a short period of time should be grilled directly and anything taking longer should be grilled indirectly.

As with all rules there are exceptions. Take for example beef steaks. Steaks should be seared directly over the coals and then finished indirectly, off of the coals. The charts below suggest which method to use based on the type of meat as well as the particular cut.

Multi-Level grilling means maintaining different levels of heat in the same grill. This is accomplished by stacking the coals so as to produce two (or more) heat zones. This is ideal for foods that need to be seared over very hot coals then moved to a cooler fire to finish off the cooking.

Grill Temperatures

Here is a tried and true technique for determining if your grill is ready to cook. This terminology is widely accepted by grill chefs so now when the recipe calls for a "hot" grill you'll know just when yours is ready.

Very hot: You can hold your hand at grill level only 1 to 2 seconds.
Hot: You can hold your hand at grill level only 2 to 3 seconds.
Medium-hot: You can hold your hand at grill level only 3 to 4 seconds.
Medium: You can hold your hand at grill level only 4 to 5 seconds.
Medium-low: You can hold your hand at grill level only 5 to 6 seconds.
Low: You can hold your hand at grill level only 6 to 7 seconds.

Doneness Temperatures
The temperatures in the charts below are generally lower than those published by the USDA. This is due to their natural concern about food safety. However, most professional cooks feel the higher temperatures are unwarranted, and overly conservative. The temperatures found here are in keeping with those used in fine restaurants. For in-between doneness, for example medium-rare, split the difference shown here.

As mentioned earlier, the cooking times are approximate due to the differences in fire temperature from grill to grill. It is advisable to starting to check the meat with an instant read thermometer when you reach the low end of the cooking range.

Lastly, keep in mind that thewill rise after allowing the meat to rest for a 5-10 minutes after removing it from the grill (this is recommended). The temperatures given here tell you when to remove it from the grill not the final temperature before serving.


Grilling Beefgrill-beef

Steaks: Grill steaks for the time given in the chart or till desired doneness, turning once halfway through grilling time.

Cooking Method: Multi-Level - sear over high heat then finish over medium heat.
For searing, allow 2 minutes for 1-inch-thick steaks and 4 minutes for 1 1/2 - 2-inch-thick steaks. Turn steaks and move to a cooler medium heat to finish grilling, turning once halfway through remaining grilling time. The cooking times in the chart include searing.

Cut Thickness: Rare (125 deg) / Medium (140 deg) / Well (170 deg)
Flank steak 1-1 1/2 in. 10-15 min. rare 15-19 min. medium
New York strip 1 in. 8-10 min. 10-12 min. 12-14 min.
Ribeye 1/2 in. 5-7 min. 7-9 min. 9-11 min.
Steaks:Porterhouse, rib, ribeye sirloin, T-Bone, tenderloin, top loin
1 in.1 1/2 in. 6 -7 min. 12-15 min. 15-19 min.
2 in. 10-12 min. 17-19 min. 19-22 min.

Roasts: Place meat, fat side up, in center of cooking grate. Grill indirect for time given in chart. Use a meat thermometer to check meat for desired internal temperature.

Cooking Method: Indirect
Cut Weight: Rare (125 deg F) / Medium (140 deg) / Well (170 deg)
Brisket, fresh 5-6 lbs 2 1/2-3 hrs
Eye of round, 2-3 lbs 50 min-1 1/2 hr 1-1 1/2 hrs -2 hrs
Rib eye, 4-6 lbs 1-1 1/2 hrs rare 1 1/2- 2hours Medium
2 -2 1/2 hours well done
Rib roast, small end 4-6 lbs 1 1/4-2 1/4 rare
2 1/4-23/4hours for medium 2 3/4-3 1/4hour for well done

Sirloin roast, boneless 4-6 lbs 1 1/2 hours rare 2- 2 1/2 hours medium 2 1/2 - 3 hours
Half Tenderloin 2-3lbs. 45- 50 min
Whole Tenederloin 4-5lbs. 50 min-1 1/2hrs.
Tip 3-5 lbs 1-1 3/4 hrs rare 13/4- 2 1/4 hours medium 21/4- 2 3/4 hours well done
Tips 6-8 lbs 1 3/4-2 1/2 hrs rare 21/2- 3 hours 3-31/2 hours well
Top round 4-6 lbs 11/4-13/4 hours rare 1 3/4- 2 1/4 hours medium 2- 2 1/2 hours well

Grilling Porkgrill-pork

Chops And Steaks: Place chops on cooking grill. Grill for the time given in the chart or till desired doneness, turning once halfway through grilling time.

Cooking Method: Grill directly over medium heat. The thickest cuts may need to be moved off heat (i.e. indirect) to finish.

Cut Thickness Rare Medium (145 degrees) Well (170 degrees)
Blade steak 1/2 in. 10-12 min. 12-14 min
Chops 3/4-2 inches 10-14 min.medium 14-19 min well
Loin, rib, and shoulder 11/4-11/2 in. 35-40 min. 40-45 min.
Roasts: Place the meat, fat side up, in center of the cooking grate. Grill indirect for time given in chart. Use a meat thermometer to check meat for desired internal temperature. For best results cook to medium, not well done.

Cooking Method: Indirect

Cut Thickness Rare Medium (145 degrees) Well (170 degrees)
Ham, fully cooked
Slice 1 in. 12 min.
Boneless portion 3/4 lbs. 50 min.-1 hr
4-6 lbs. 1-2 hrs.
Smoked picnic 5-8 lbs. 1-2 hrs.
Whole ham, bone-in 10-12 lbs. 2-23/4 hrs.
Loin blade or sirloin roast 3-4 lbs 1-2 hrs. 2-3 hrs.
Loin center rib roast, backbone loosened 3-5 lbs 1-2 hrs. 2-2 1/2 hrs.
Rib crown roast 4-6 lbs 3/4-2 hrs. 2-3 hrs.
Country-style ribs 3-4 lbs. 1 1/4- 1 1/2 hrs
Loin back ribs or spareribs 3-4 lbs. 1-1 1/4 hrs.
*Tenderloins (see note below) 3/4-1 lb.
Top loin roast, boneless
Single loin 2-4 lbs. 3/4 - 1 1/4 hrs.medium 11/4-1 hrs. well
Double loin 3-5 lbs. 1 1/2-1 3/4 hrs. medium 13/4- 2 1/2hrs. well
*Tenderloins: Tenderloins are the exception to these guidelines. They should be cooked like steaks, seared over high heat and finished over medium heat to an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

Grilling Poultrygrill-chicken

Boneless breast, turkey patties and turkey tenderloin steaks: Grill over medium heat for the time given in chart, turning once halfway through grilling time.

Cooking Method: Direct
Type Of Poultry Thickness/Weight Medium (170 ) Well(180�)

Chicken breasts, skinned and boned 4-5 oz. ea. 10-12 min.
Turkey patties (ground raw turkey) 3/4 in. thick 10-12 min.
Turkey tenderloin steaks 4-6 oz. ea. 10-12 min.
Poultry pieces (with or without skin): Grill over medium heat for the time given in the chart. During the last 10 minutes of grilling time, brush with sauce, if desired.

Whole birds: Place whole chicken or turkey, breast side up, in center of the cooking grate. Grill for the time given in the chart or until registers 180 degrees. When checking for doneness with a meat thermometer, insert in the center of the inside thigh muscle, making sure the probe does not touch the bone.

Cooking Method: Direct for pieces. Indirect for whole birds.
Type Of Poultry Thickness/Weight Medium (170 degrees) Well (180 degrees)
Broiler-fryer chicken, halves 1 1/2-2 lbs. 1-11/4 hrs.
Broiler-fryer chicken, whole 3-4 lbs. 1 1/4 -13/4 hrs.
4-5 lbs. 13/4-2 hrs
5-6 lbs. 2-21/2 hrs.
Chicken breast halves, thighs,
and drumsticks From 3-4 pound bird. 35-45 min.
Adjust slightly for
larger bird.
Cornish game hens, halves 1/2 -3/4 lb. ea. 40-50 min.
Cornish game hens, whole 1-11/2 lbs. ea. 45-60 min.
Turkey, boneless, whole 2 1/2-3 1/2lbs. 1 3/4-2 1/4 hrs.
Turkey, *unstuffed, whole 6-8 lbs. 11/4-2 hrs.
10-12 lbs. 2-3 hrs.
14-18 lbs. 3-4 hrs.
Turkey breasts, half 3-4 lbs. 11/2-2 hrs.
Turkey breasts, whole 4-6 lbs. 11/2-21/4 hrs.
6-8 lbs. 2-31/2 hrs

Turkey drumsticks 1/2 - 1 1/2 lbs. ea. 3/4- 1 1/4 hrs.
Turkey hindquarters 2-4 lbs. ea. 1-11/2 hrs.
Turkey tenderloin, whole 1 in. thick 14-15 min.
Turkey thigh 1-1 1/2 lbs. 50-60 min.
*Be sure to fully defrost turkey before grilling. When defrosting turkey in the refrigerator, allow 24 hours for every 5 lbs.

Grilling Fish and Seafoodgrill-fish

Cooking Method: Direct
Cooking time is gauged by the heat of the fire, the width of the fish at its thickest part, and the distance of the grill from the heat source.
For most shellfish and steaks, use a medium-hot grill.
The rule-of-thumb for steaks is 10 minutes per inch at four inches from the heat source.
For peeled shrimp, scallops and calamari use a hot grill
Tuna steaks should be seared on a hot grill and finished on a medium grill
Whole fish should be cooked at a lower heat.
All times in the guideline chart below reflect total cooking time. To test for doneness, cut into the center of the fish at its thickest part. If it is opaque throughout but still moist, it`s done. Another test is to press the flesh; if soft, it`s not done; if hard and firm, it`s overdone; if firm but springs back, it`s done. Shellfish should also be just opaque and will be dry if overcooked.

These grilling times are approximate, so you need to keep a close eye on the fish to keep it from overcooking. Because it doesn't hold heat, fish needs to be served immediately, hot off the grill.

Thickness Weight Grilling Time
Whole Fish
1 to 11/2 inches 1/2 to 1 lb. 12 minutes
2 to 2 1/2 inches 3 to 5 lbs. 20 to 30 minutes
3 inches 5 to 7 lbs. 30 to 40 minutes

Steaks and Fillets
1/2 inch 4 to 6 minutes
3/3 inch 6 to 8 minutes
1 inch 10 minutes

Shrimp large 4 to 6 minutes
Lobster whole (11/2 - 2 lbs.) 8 to 10 minutes
Lobster tail (10 ounces) 8 minutes
Crab whole (2 lbs.) 10 minutes
Clams medium 6-8 minutes

Grilling Vegetablesgrill-veg

Cooking Method: Direct over medium heat

The trick with vegetables is getting them to cook through at the same time - not always an easy task since we frequently like to eat a variety of different veggies together but their grilling times vary widely. Following these guidelines should help. After a time or two you'll be able to judge how to apply them to your particular grill and preferred degree of doneness.

Make sure you marinade the veggies plenty of recipes here at Recipezaar/ Food.com or brush them first with oil to prevent sticking. You may thread them on skewers, lemongrass or rosemary twigs, use a grilling basket or place them directly on the grill. Cook them in a closed grill and turn once, halfway through the cooking time.

Thickness Grilling Time
Scallions ends trimmed 5 minutes
Tomatoes 1/2" slices 5 minutes
Summer Squash 1/4" slices 10 minutes
Zucchini 1/4" slices 10 minutes
Eggplant 1/4" slices 10 minutes
Asparagus thick end trimmed 10 - 15 minutes
White Mushrooms whole 10 minutes
Bell Peppers 1" wide strips or rings 10 minutes
Onions 1/2" slices 15 minutes do run a skewer through the slices for easy flipping
potatoes 1/4" slices 15 minutes

These are Estimating Grilling Times !
We all like our foods the way we like them!
So please use these as a guideline only.

*Remember safety first, we recommend you always check internal temperature with a thermometer!

Recipes by Gina - Recipe of the Moment

Rosemary and Parmesan Crusted Veal Chop

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups Japanese panko crumbs
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
  • Salt, pepper
  • 6 large veal chops

  • In a medium bowl, stir together butter, panko crumbs, cheese, onion and rosemary.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste.
  • Sprinkle each cutlet with one-fourth teaspoon salt and a good pinch of pepper.
  • Place the cutlets on the grill rack. 
  • Cook, turning them once, for 5 to 8 minutes (115 degrees for medium rare).
  • The veal will continue to cook a little while standing after grilling.
  • Distribute the crust among the chops, coating each top generously. 
  • Place chops in the broiler and cook until the crust is golden brown, watching carefully, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.

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