What Temp is Medium Heat On A Grill? | BBQ Grill Temperature

What Temp is Medium Heat On A Grill? | BBQ Grill Temperature

Are you waiting to fire up your grill, but have some doubts about the techniques and temperature requirements needed for a great outcome? Well then, you’ve come to just the right place!

One of the most important things to keep in mind when grilling is the temperature at which your food must be on the grill and the duration of the cook as well.

As you know, both these aspects can vary depending on factors like the brand, fuel source, climatic conditions, the thickness of the meat, and much more.

However, having basic knowledge about all these facets of grilling is sure to go a long way. Grilling doesn’t have to be a stressful experience, it can be an enjoyable experience as well; let’s see how!

What is the Ideal Grill temperature For BBQs?

When it comes to grilling on a BBQ, one of the trickiest things is to get the temperature right. The cooking of the food lies in finding the right temperature of the grill.

Before you start a cook, ensure you have a thermometer and a clock or a timer at your disposal. If you’re using a charcoal grill and cooking steak, it would be ideal to keep the heat at 220 degrees for a medium cook, and at about 170-180 degrees for a rare piece of meat.

Chicken on the other hand would require the heat to be at 250 degrees Celsius.

Regardless of the heat, it is integral to keep an eye on the food and check on the temperature from time to time, as often, changing the temperature is the need of the hour.

5 Most Important Grilling Temperature Explained!

Low Heat

Grilling on a low and slow flame gives you the opportunity to spend the day outdoors and tune out of your routine everyday life. If you wish to cook meat in the most succulent manner, this is the way to go.

In order to get the best results out of your cook at low heat, it is imperative to have a top-notch barbeque.

Although a gas barbeque is a great option, a charcoal one is sure to enhance the flavor of the meat on the grill. It is also necessary to have patience as well, as cooking at the heat of 225 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit for hours on end can be a tedious job.

However, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to cherish.


It is a known fact that the temperature gauge on every grill is bound to vary. This is especially true if you wish to compare the grill of different companies and brands.

If you wish to cook your meal at low-medium heat, it is best to set the gauge approximately anywhere between 250-325 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you’re cooking over direct heat, you would want to consider replenishing the coal to maintain the heat at a constant point.

At this range, the heat begins to fade quicker, and replenishing can tend to be a tedious exercise.

However, the silver lining is that the cook is faster than when on a low flame, meaning, you will not be left hungry for too long.

Medium Heat

Cooking on medium heat would require you to keep the temperature anywhere between 325 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. This is often considered the perfect temperature to cook at, as it cooks the food well and also gives a pleasant sear to the meat.

Most meat, especially chicken and turkey love to be grilled at this temperature, as the tenderness and sear compare to no other form of cooking.

Cooking at this heat is bound to take you a mere one hour, and you will be all set to get your party started. If you’re looking for a temperature for quick results, this is the one to opt for.


Cooking at a medium-high temperature means that the flame must not exceed the 450 degrees Fahrenheit mark and never be lower than 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you choose to cook at this range, it is advisable to cook on the heat directly, so you can obtain the best results. The food items that cook perfectly on this heat include burgers, vegetables, fish fillets, etc.

Although the food will sear extremely well at this temperature, it is important to remember that it may still need more time on the heat to cook well and becomes tender.

Your food will require about 15 minutes on an uncovered grill for the most delicious results.

High Heat

Cooking on a high heat involves the temperature of the grill be at 450-650 degrees Fahrenheit. This is sometimes a heat too hot to cook anything with consistency and safety.

It is important to note that as the temperature increases, the heat tends to face faster. It is difficult to sustain heat at a high temperature and hence, cooking at high heat can prove to be an uphill task.

A thin fillet of pork or fish is what might benefit from this high temperature, but apart from these two things, cooking everything else on this extreme heat will not do justice to the delicious produce.

Above all, any food cooked at this heat needs to be on the flame for only about 5 seconds to gain maximum results.

Related: 9 Best Gas Grills Under $300 | Review & Comparison

Factors That Impact Grilling Temperature

Type of Food and its Thickness

While grilling, it is the first step to remember that the same temperature cannot be used for grilling different food. All food is dynamic and requires different amounts of heat to be cooked perfectly.

It is true that the weight of what you are cooking matters a great deal to determine the cook time and temperature, but it is not the only parameter to take into consideration.

The diameter and thickness of the produce also play a crucial role in determining the same.

For instance, if you have two pieces of meat weighing the same, they can take different times and temperatures to cook depending on their diameter and thickness.

Additionally, the ratio of fat to meat can be great determinants too. This is especially important if you wish to slow cook the meat to obtain the best result possible.

Grill Type in Use

Yes, it’s true; the type of grill you use can drastically impact the time and temperature at which you should cook your food to obtain the best results.

There are people who often think that grilling, smoking, barbecuing, etc. are the same.

However, they are all different methods of cooking on grills. Like mentioned before, the gauge on each grill differs from one instrument to another, and hence, it is extremely difficult to lay one’s finger on the exact temperature at which one should cook one food.

It is common for all brands to provide detailed manuals with accurate temperature guidelines that you can follow, that are unique to their specific grill.

It is integral to study this manual well before you go on to grill your food, as this will give you the most accurate information you need to ace your cook.

Image Credit: Irena Safarova | License: CC BY-SA 2.0

Direct vs Indirect Heat

Cooking food on direct heat simply means quickly grilling on a hot flame. Having the food in direct contact with the flame makes the cook go faster than ever before.

Cooking on the flame directly is bound to impact the temperature at which you will cook and also the time for which your food will need heat.

Direct grilling entails keeping the flame on high and grilling with the lid off, to gain the best results.

On the other hand, is the indirect method of grilling that involves keeping the food and the flame at some distance from each other.

This allows you to cook the food at a slightly lower temperature as compared to grilling on the flame directly. This method takes about 20 minutes, whereas direct heating takes only about two to three minutes.

Provisions For Rest

Allowing the meat you are cooking to rest is probably one of the most underrated and unpopular opinions among most grillers. However, it is one of the most important steps when it comes to perfecting a cook.

It is essential to remember that after the meat has come off the grill, it must be left to rest for at least 10 minutes before it is cut up and ready to serve.

The resting time for every meat differs, just like the cooking time differs. Some meats also require more time on the heat than on the resting slab, and others are just the opposite.

This is sure to be an important factor in determining the temperature at which you will cook your food. It is important to be well informed before you fire up your grill to gain the best result.

Cooking Method

As you are well aware, you can use various methods to cook your food over a grill. For example, you can not only grills but also roast on a grill. Impressive, isn’t it?

Roasting involves cooking your food in a box insulated with heat and maintaining it at a set temperature. The box retains the heat well and cooks the food with the help of the heat stored in the box.

The best part about this method is that the additional juices stay in the box and add to the flavor of the meat. Grilling on the other hand requires one to cook over a gas or charcoal flame.

The food requires to be cooked on high heat in the method, as it utilizes this heat to cook and make the meat tender. As you can see, both these methods require different degrees of temperature and time over the flame in order to be cooked perfectly.

How To Judge Temperature of Your Grill

Using Hand Test Method

Here’s what you can do to test the temperature of your grill with the help of only your hand. You can place your hand about four or five inches away from the rack when cooking and keep a mental count of how many seconds you can keep your hand there without discomfort.

If you can keep it for about six seconds, this means your grill is at low heat, typically, 250 degrees.

If you can keep your hand near the grill for only about three to four seconds, it means your grill is at about 350 degrees, i.e. at medium heat, which is the most preferred temperature.

If you can keep your hand there for only one second, your grill is at a high temperature, usually between 450 to 500 degrees. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

How To Judge Temperature of Your Grill
Image Credit: Mike McCune | License: CC BY 2.0

Using Hood Thermometer

A hood thermometer is basically a thermometer that is in-built in the hoot of your grill set. It is important to note that although this is an accurate measure of temperature.

It is not designed to measure the temperature of the surface you are cooking on. The distance between the grates of the grill and the hood often tends to have an impact on the temperature displayed on the thermometer.

Research suggests that the grates are usually about 75 to 100 degrees hotter than what the thermometer indicates and this could have a negative impact on your cook if you are no aware.

This is not to say that you should not use this method of judging the temperature of your grill, but it shouldn’t be the only method you use.

Measuring Surface temperature

For this purpose, experts suggest using a special thermometer meant for the cooking surfaces exclusively, as they are designed to give you the best outcomes.

It is important to opt for such a thermometer, as it measures the temperature of only the surface of the grill, and not the air temperature, like other tools available in the market.

It is true that they tend to get greasy and dirty from being so close to the heat source and animal fat, but they last for about two to three months and do their job well.

This is a great device to invest in; as it is accurate and bound to help you ace your cook.

What Is The Best Temperature For BBQ Chicken?

Chicken is one of the most popular meats to BBQ. Not only is it easy to cook, but it is also not extremely time-consuming and tiring. Additionally, it is also a meat that is extremely succulent and delicious.

It is important to lay your finger on just the right temperature a chicken requires to be cooked, and you can be on your way for the best BBQ of your life.

What Is The Best Temperature For BBQ Chicken?

How Long Should Grill Chicken at 300 degrees?

There are a wide array of factors that contribute to laying a finger on exactly the right temperature and time for which one should keep the chicken on a grill.

Whether you plan on cooking the whole chicken on its back or in the beer can method, it the temperatures at which individuals usually prefer to cook chicken on a grill.

If you choose to cook your chicken at 300 degrees, you can rest assured that this will be a slow and long day in the backyard. This is because, at this temperature, the chicken will take up to two hours to cook, depending on the size, diameter, and fat content of the bird.

The duration also depends on how well your grill is at heat retention. However, this is the average amount of time for which you can expect to grill a chicken for at 300 degrees.

How Long To Cook Chicken on Grill at 400 degrees?

Wouldn’t you be surprised if I told you that cranking up the heat by a mere 100 degrees has a drastic impact on the time for which you would need to keep the same chicken on the grill?

Well, that is the case indeed.

Grilling at 400 degrees means that the grill is not set at medium to high heat. In that case, all you need to do once you pre-heat your grill is grease the surface of it and place the chicken onto it.

Next, you will have to set a timer to ensure you keep the chicken for about five to seven minutes on each side. This method not only ensures that the meat is cooked until tender, but it also gives the chicken delicious char marks that enhance the flavor.

How To Know When BBQ Chicken is Done?

First things first, the simplest thing for you to do is check the temperature of the chicken with the help of a thermometer. It is important to remember to pierce the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat and closest to the bone, to determine whether the meat is cooked perfectly.

The finger test is also one that is effective but can be done correctly only by highly experienced individuals. This method can be sued as a backup, as it is not the most reliable method out there.

Additionally, you can also pierce the meat to check the color of the juices that pour out.

If the juices are clear, it means the chicken is perfectly cooked. However, if the juices have even a little tint on red or blood, the chicken probably needs more time on the grill.

Wrapping it Up!

Although grilling is a therapeutic experience, it can be a little tedious to do if you are a beginner, or if you’re grilling for the first time.

Now that you know a lot more about the process and its intricacies, you are well-informed to fire up a grill and know your way around it like a pro. So, why wait any longer? Get grilling today!

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