These are good estimates of cook times when using a medium-hot (350° to 400°) to hot (450° to 600°) grill. Keep in mind that heat intensity varies, especially with charcoal or hardwood fires.

By Julia Rutland
June 11, 2010

Start with a clean grill, because food sticks to dirty grates. It's easier to clean a hot grate than a cool one—just make a few passes with a stiff wire brush after each use to keep the grill ready for your next cookout. Use tongs instead of a fork to turn food. They won't pierce the flesh, keeping juices inside.

Feel the Heat

Low                 225° to 250°

Medium-low     300°

Medium           325° to 350°

Medium-high    350° to 400°

High                450° to 600°


Ingredient                                                  Total Grilling Time

Boneless steak (1 inch thick)                       4 to 5 minutes per side (medium-rare),
                                                                    5 to 6 minutes per side (medium)

Hamburgers (1⁄2 to 3⁄4 inch thick)               4 to 5 minutes per side

Chicken breasts                                          4 to 6 minutes per side

Whole chicken, halved                                30 to 40 minutes per side over indirect heat

Pork tenderloin                                           25 to 30 minutes, turning occasionally, over indirect heat

Fish fillets (1 inch thick)                              4 to 5 minutes per side

Shrimp                                                       2 to 4 minutes per side