Grilling Time and Barbecue Temperature Chart | BBQ Temp Infographics

Aside from the food you’re going to cook, the grill temperature is one of the most important aspects of grilling. Without proper temp control, you will not achieve the best taste and doneness of your food. Regardless if you’re cooking a rare or medium rare steak, you still need to have full control over the heat level of your equipment. Otherwise, you’ll always be eating burned or unsatisfying meals.

Bear Claws Meat Shredder for BBQ
Bear Claws Meat Shredder for BBQ
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Take note that the temp gauge built at the dome of your grill isn’t enough to give you proper readings of your food’s temperature. Such a tool only reads the temperature within the grill’s atmosphere. However, it doesn’t have any means of tracking internal temperatures.


Grilling Time and Barbecue Temperature Chart Infographics


Waterproof Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer with 4.6” Folding Probe Backlight & Calibration Function for Cooking Food Candy, BBQ Grill, Liquids,Beef
Waterproof Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer with 4.6” Folding Probe Backlight & Calibration Function for Cooking Food Candy, BBQ Grill, Liquids,Beef


Grilling Temperature for Beef

When it comes to BBQ beef temperature, you have to be very specific with the cut you’re going to cook. Also, we have to consider if we’re going to cook the beef in direct or indirect heat.

Unlike pork or chicken, feel is stiffer and will take more time to cook. Another challenge is nailing the doneness of the meat. Below, we created a quick guide that you can use when cooking a variety of beef cuts.

Beef burgers temp400F (direct heat)160FAround 2 to 5 minutes for ½” thick cuts
Filet mignon grill temp360 to 400F (direct heat)130F to 170FAround 3 to 4 minutes for 1” thick cuts
Sirloin steak cooking temp150F (direct heat)130F to 165FAround 15 minutes for 3 to 4 lb. cuts
New York strip steak temp360F to 400F (direct heat)130F to 165FAround 4 to 10 minutes for 1” thick cuts
Flank steak temperature medium400F (direct heat)135F (medium rare)Around 10 minutes for almost all thickness
Kabobs temp350F to 400F (direct heat)135F to 160FAround 3 to 4 minutes for 1” cubes
Tenderloin temp400F (direct heat)145F to 170FAround 10 to 18 minutes for 4 to 6 lb. cuts
Rolled rump temp380F (direct heat)135F to 170FAround 15 to 22 minutes for 4 to 6 lb. cuts
Beef brisket temp360 to 400F (direct heat)165 F to 175FAround 1 hour per pound

Take note that this temperature chart contains the rules of thumb when cooking various beef cuts. Even the best temp to grill hamburgers and the best temperature to grill steak we recommend here may vary depending on the doneness that you prefer.

Specifically, the good temperature to cook steak is dependent on the doneness. As a supplemental guide to the chart above, here’s the cooking temperature and cooking time for steaks. Take note that the perfect steak temp will be different, but the grill temperature is the same at 400F. Also, this guide applies to 1” thick steak cuts:

Extra rare80F to 100FAround 4 minutes, turn then cook for 2 minutesDeeply red with a slightly warm feel
Rare120F to 125FAround 5 minutes, turn then cook for another 3 minutesBright red center with a pinkish exterior
Medium rare130F to 135FAround 5 minutes, turn then cook for another 4 minutesPink center but gets brown toward its exterior; hotter to touch
Medium well or Medium150F to 155FAround 6 minutes, turn then cook for another 4 minutesGrayish brown color with only a slight hint of pink
Well done160F to 400FAround 10 to 12  minutes, turn then cook for another 10 minutes or until inner temp becomes 170FGrayish brown all over


Additional tips when grilling beef

Grilling Temperature for Pork

For those who are cooking pork, it’s important to know the level of pork grill temp you’d use. Take note that pork has to be fully cooked due to safety issues. Unlike beef, you shouldn’t be served rare pork or medium rare.

The same with chicken, you have to cook pork until it’s brown. However, we have to avoid overcooking or your meals will be dry and too chewy.

So from temperature to cook pork chops on grill to BBQs, we prepared a temp of pork chops on grill guide below to help you prepare good tasting meals without giving someone stomach flu.

Smoked pork ribs temp250F to 400F (indirect heat)170F to 180FUp to 6 hours for 4 to 6 lb. serving
Grilled pork tenderloin temp400F (direct heat)145FAround 10 to 25 minutes (rest for 3 minutes)
BBQ pork chops temp325F to 350F (indirect heat)145FAround 2 to 8 minutes (rest for 3 minutes)
Pork loin kabobs temp350 F to 400F (direct heat)135F to 160FAround 2 to 4 minutes (rest for 3 minutes)
Ground pork patties temp400F (direct heat)160FAround 2 to 5 minutes for ½” thick cuts (rest for 3 minutes)
Pork ribs temp350F to 400F (indirect heat)145FAround 30 minutes to 2 hours for every 2 lb. serving (rest for 3 minutes)
Uncured ham temp285F (indirect heat)140FAround 6 to 10 minutes for 1/2” thick slices
Pork belly temp225F to 300F (indirect heat) 165FUp to 4 hours for 2 to 4 lb. serving
Pork sirloin temp400F (direct heat)145FAround 15 minutes while rotating every 2 minutes
Pork sausage temp150F (direct heat)160FUp to 30 minutes, turn every 10 minutes

Regardless if you’re cooking with pork loin temperature grill or pork chop temp on grill, you have to ensure that everything is fully cooked. Also, letting the meat rest for 3 minutes is necessary so the juice will settle before you slice it.

As for the internal temp for pork tenderloin on grill, never go below the suggested cooking temp. Unlike beef steaks, there’s no other level of doneness to pork, only well done.

Also, for the best temperature to grill pork chops, you should allow residual heat to continue cooking once you pull the meat out of the grill.

Checking Temp on BBQ Pork Chop

Another thing that we have to highlight here is the difference between cooking ground pork and whole pork. Ground pork should be cooked until the internal temperature reaches 155F. As for other burger cuts, it should be cooked up to 160F.

Additional tips when grilling pork

Grilling Temperature for Lamb

Next in this guide is grilled lamb temperature. Since lamb is a sheep that’s less than a year old, the meat is softer and has little fat. These two characteristics are very important considerations when grilling lamb meat. Also, it’s quite normal for lamb meat to vary in color, somewhat ranging from pale red to bright pink.

This shouldn’t be mistaken to mutton, the meat from sheep that’s older than a lamb. Usually, mutton cuts came from sheep that’s at least three years old.

Overall, grilled lamb meat is great for burgers, barbecue, and more. But before grilling this type of meat, brining is necessary so it will be easier to break down its proteins. Also, braising and oven roasting are the preferred methods here since lamb meat is more tender than other meat types.

If you plan to cook lamb, we recommend that you check this grilled lamb chops temperature guide first:

Lamb ribs400F (direct heat)145F to 160FAround 4 to 6 minutes, rest for 5 minutes
Lamb steak400F (direct heat)145F to 160FAround 3 to 6 minutes, rest for 5 minutes
Lamb chops400F (direct heat)145F to 160FAround 3 to 6 minutes, rest for 5 minutes
Ground lamb patties400F (direct heat)160FAround 2 to 5 minutes, rest for 3 minutes
Lamb kabobs350F to 400F145F to 160FAround 2 to 4 minutes, rest for 3 minutes
Lamb sirloin400F (direct heat)145F to 160FAround 3 to 6 minutes, rest for 5 minutes
Butterflied lamb400F (direct heat)145F to 160FAround 40 minutes to an hour, rest for 5 minutes

Take note that the temperature for grilled lamb chops is the same regardless if you’re cooking shoulder or loin cuts. Also, take note that for all the mentioned lamb cuts, the thickness should be 1 inch, in exception to ground patties that should only be half an inch thick.

Additional tips when grilling lamb

Grilling Temperature for Poultry

BBQ chicken temp setting and cooking timeI’m a big fan of grilled chicken and it’s a dish I always come back to on every grill party I attend. It has tender meat and very versatile when it comes to flavoring.

Aside from chicken, the likes of turkey, duck, goose, ostrich, and emu also offer a mouth-watering option on the table. However, you have to ensure that you cook it right. Because like pork, an undercook poultry meat can wreak havoc to a person’s stomach. Also, poultry has to be fully cooked to kill any bacteria that could be harboring on it.

So to help you out, we created a guide here for grilling chicken breast temp and other cuts. Also, we have included other poultry meat as well as the best temperature to grill chicken in different cuts.

Chicken thigh temperature grill350F (direct heat)165F to 180FAround 10 to 15 minutes, rest for 15 minutes
Chicken breast temp350F (direct heat)165F to 170FAround 6 to 8 minutes, rest for 15 minutes
Chicken drumstick temp350F (direct heat)165F to 180FAround 8 to 12 minutes, rest for 15 minutes
Chicken wings temp (also include winglettes)350F (direct heat)165F to 180FAround 8 to 12 minutes, rest for 15 minutes
Whole unstuffed chicken temp350F (direct heat)165F to 180FAround 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, rest for 15 minutes
Turkey grill temp (whole)350F (direct heat)165F to 180FAround 2 to 3 hours, rest for 15 minutes
Turkey breast temp350F (direct heat)165F to 175FAround hour to 1 hour and 45 minutes, rest for 15 minutes
Turkey roll temp350F (direct heat)165F to 175FAround 1.5 to 2 hours, rest for 15 minutes
Ostrich/emu patties250F (direct heat)160FAround 3 minutes, rest for 15 minutes
Ostrich/emu filet or kabob temp350F (direct heat)154F to 150FAround 3 minutes, rest for 15 minutes

As you see, the type of cut will affect the BBQ chicken temp setting and cooking time. Also, the resting time of chicken is probably the longest than other meat types. This is due to the fact that the residual heat will keep on cooking the meat even after being removed from the grill. It applies to all grilled poultry cuts, be it for grilled chicken internal temperature, BBQ chicken temperature, or grilled chicken thighs temp.

Also, you have to be watchful as smaller poultry cuts tend to cook faster than other meat types. As for whole poultry, it’s best to use a smoker for even cooking. Always follow the recommended BBQ chicken internal temp.

Additional tips when grilling poultry

Grilling Temperature for Seafood

When it comes to seafood, you have to use high heat to ensure that it’s fully cooked. Take note that you should only use fresh seafood to prevent contamination and potential illnesses.

The good thing about grilled seafood is that it can be consumed straight from the grill. There’s no need for resting time than you’d do in red and white meat cuts.

Just make sure that you always start clean with the grill and avoid stocking seafood for days before cooking it.

Overall, seafood is very easy to cook and it’s less messy than meat. Here, we created a temp guide you can follow. Take note that all seafood items should be cooked in direct heat:

Whole grilled fish temperature400F140FAround 12 minutes
Grilled salmon temperature400F to 500F125F to 130FAround 4 minutes on each side
Grilled tuna temperature400F140F to 145FAround 6 minutes on each side
Lobster tail temperature grill400F145FAround 8 minutes for 10 oz. size
Shrimp temp400F145FAround 6 minutes
Tuna steak cooking temp400F140F to 145FAround 6 minutes on each side
Halibut grilling temp400F to 500F135FAround 5 minutes on each side
Clam grill temp400F145FAround 8 minutes for medium-sized clams
Fish kabob temp400F to 450F145F to 150FAround 10 to 15

Take note that the best temp to grill salmon will vary if you’re preparing it as a steak. Some eat tuna and salmon steaks in medium doneness. However, we highly discourage this if your supply of tuna and salmon isn’t fresh. In this case, the temperature to cook salmon on grill is one for the fully cooked type.

Also, the temperature to grill shrimp is the same even if it varies in size. However, the cooking time might be shorter.

Additional tips when grilling seafood

Grilling Temperature for Veggies

Any grilled fish or meat won’t be complete with a side serving of freshly grilled vegetables. Unlike meat and seafood, veggies are quick-cooking and must be prepared fast to prevent burning or too much wilting.

From the classic method of cooking potatoes on the grill to preparing cauliflower, mushrooms, etc., the following temp guide will be very useful.

VegetableGrill temperatureFood temperatureGrilling time
BBQ tomatoes temp350F (indirect heat)n/aAround 3 minutes
BBQ mushrooms temp350F (indirect heat)n/aAround 7 to 9 minutes
Corn grill temp350F (indirect heat)n/aAround 4 to 5 minutes
Asparagus grill temp350F (indirect heat)n/aAround 4 to 5 minutes
Bell pepper grill temp350F (indirect heat)n/aAround 4 to 5 minutes
Cabbage temp350F (direct heat)n/aAround 10 minutes
Eggplant temp350F (indirect heat)n/aAround 5 minutes
Cauliflower temp350F (indirect heat)n/aAround 10 minutes
Zucchini temp350F (direct heat)n/aAround 5 minutes
Onions temp350F (indirect heat)n/aAround 2 minutes

Again, vegetables are very easy to cook and grill. You can place it beside the meat you’re cooking and take it out after a few minutes. You can settle it on a warming rack so it remains hot before serving.

Additional tips when grilling vegetables

Important considerations when grilling food

Aside from the grilling temperature of specific food items, there are more aspects to consider. The following are important considerations if you want to enjoy sumptuous grilled meals.

Thickness of the food

As much as you want to cook large servings at once, very thick meat cuts are no-nos. We recommend sticking to a maximum of 1.5 inches when preparing your meat cuts. That way, you can easily cook the food, especially if you want a certain doneness.

Nevertheless, this is only applicable for meat cooked in direct heat. The likes of whole chicken, rolled turkey, pork belly, and briskets can be thick since it’s cooked using indirect heat. And since the heat is distributed evenly all over the grill, the meat will be cooked properly. Just take note that the thicker the meat gets, the longer it takes to cook.

Type of food

As we have discussed above, the grill temperature and BBQ cooking times will vary depending on the type of food you’re cooking. Vegetables, being the softest food item, are the fastest and easiest to prepare.

On the other hand, beef and lamb will demand more time. This is the same case with poultry since many of its cuts have to be cooked with indirect heat.

So before you start grilling, make sure that you have considered the type of food you plan to cook. This is especially true if you’re hosting a grill party and has to feed a lot of guests.

Type of grill

One important thing to know when it comes to temperature control is that the type of grill you use will dictate how easy it would be for you to cook. Below, we took a quick rundown on each type of grill and how you can set the right grill meat temperature:


Gas and electric grill

If you’re looking for a grill that’s very easy to control in terms of temperature, you should get a gas or electric grill. These grills have knobs that allow you to set the temperature consistently. Also, you wouldn’t have to deal with the mess of charcoal and ashes.

Also, gas grills can provide a more accurate temperature, not to mention that it can easily achieve high heat within minutes.

On the other hand, electric grills save you from the hassle of connecting a propane gas tank to your grill. Unlike charcoal grill, electric grills can retain consistent temperature even on windy conditions.


Gas and electric grill

Although charcoal grills are messy, it’s the only grill that allows you to achieve the smoky flavor. However, controlling BBQ grill temperature is tricky and challenging with this grill.

The common problem among charcoal grills is it can produce too much heat if you dump too much charcoal at a time. For beginners, charcoal grills mean burned food or raw insides.

Nevertheless, there’s a workaround on this type of grill. You have to mind three things: the vents, the amount of charcoal at a time, and the layering method of the charcoal.

For better temp control, use a small amount of charcoal at a time. Just add more if the lumps have started to turn into ash.

As for layering the coal, an even distribution will give even heat. But for some meat types like beef and pork, you can make use of two different heat zones by adding more charcoal on the other.

Use large lumps of charcoal if possible as it burns slower than chips. This is very helpful if you’re smoking meat for hours.

Kamado grill

Kamado grills are somewhat egg-shaped grills with a ceramic body. This is very popular for those who love smoking whole chickens, turkeys, briskets, and more. And to monitor the barbecue temperature, it comes with a built-in temp gauge on the lid. Also, it has an adjustable vent at the top.

Since Kamado grills are heavily made of ceramic, it can trap heat and smoke better than typical charcoal grills. However, refilling the charcoal on a Kamado is quite difficult as you’ll have to open the grill and lift the grate. But overall, it’s made with a deep structure where you can dump large amounts of charcoal at a time.

Take note that you need to use temp probes with this grill as you’re not supposed to open it frequently.


Smoker grill

Smoker grill, on the other hand, are combo types that have the traditional grates as well as a firebox for flavored wood. When it comes to setting the BBQ temp, this is quite the same with charcoal grills.

Again, the key here is controlling the amount of charcoal you add at a time. Take note that smoker grills are useful for hours of indirect heat. It can cook whole turkeys, chicken, and large chunks of beef or pork.

The only biggest challenge with smoker grills is keeping the smoke intact during windy days. Also, it takes practice to master, especially when cooking large amounts of food at a time.

Direct heat vs. indirect heat

When grilling various food items, you’ll come across terms like direct and indirect heat. This refers to the food’s contact to the heat source, which is the grill’s surface.

Direct heat vs. indirect heat

Direct heat

Direct heat is grilling the food on top of the grill surface. It has full contact to the heat source that allows you to achieve grill marks. Also, direct heat is used on cooking burgers, steaks, some vegetables, sausages, seafood, and more.

If you want a crispy and seared texture, direct heat is the one to use.

Indirect heat

On the other hand, indirect heat refers to cooking food by means of smoking or wrapping the food in foil. This is often used in smoking chicken, turkey, and other types of meat. Through this, the food will be cooked evenly without the risk of burning the outsides prematurely.

Indirect heat grilling is also ideal if you want to pack your food with a smokey flavor using various flavored wood.

Resting time

Resting time refers to a few minutes of letting the grilled food sit so the juices and residual heat will settle. This way, your food will taste better and the juices won’t be wasted once the food is sliced.

Usually, grilled veggies and seafood don’t require any resting period and can be eaten straight from the grill. Meanwhile, beef, lamb, and pork requires around 3 to 5 minutes of rest. On the other hand, poultry requires about 15 minutes of rest regardless of the cut.

Also, the resting time prevents burns and allows you to enjoy the food even more.


Grilling is a delicious way of preparing your food. But for you to enjoy every bite, you have to ensure that the food is cooked properly. This is possible through setting the grill temperature properly based on the type of food you’re cooking. Also, you have to monitor the internal temperature of the food using meat probes. With that, you won’t be disappointed with the taste and doneness of your food.


Cook's Illustrated Meat Book: The Game-Changing Guide That Teaches You How to Cook Meat and Poultry with 425 Bulletproof Recipes
Cook's Illustrated Meat Book: The Game-Changing Guide That Teaches You How to Cook Meat and Poultry with 425 Bulletproof Recipes

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1 Comment
  1. I really like your charts that show how to cook beef and poultry with the temperatures and the girl temperatures and the grilling time how can I get ahold of those charts at least for beef and poultry

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