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How to Grill (Almost) Every Single Food

Grill season is upon us. Make the most of your grill with this guide to grilling everything, from meat and poultry to vegetables and foods you didn't even know you could grill.

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grilling foodTaste of Home

Cooking food over fire is hard to beat: food gets a delicious char, your house doesn’t heat up, and you feel satisfyingly primal turning food over flames. Undoubtedly, there are pitfalls, too: we’ve all eaten a burger that’s black outside and raw inside. Learn how to grill just about any food just right with our quick-and-dirty guide.

First, a quick tip: no matter what you’re grilling, you’re going to want to invest in a good thermometer. The best kind is the one that delivers an accurate reading fast. Our Test Kitchen cooks recommend this one from Thermoworks. We’ve also got a printable guide to safe cooking temperatures.

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Marinated grilled chickenTaste of Home

How to Grill Chicken Breasts

Buying bone-in or boneless poultry will affect your grilling method.

Boneless: Grill five to six minutes per side. Go ahead and grill over direct heat to get the best sear, since they’ll cook nice and quick they won’t dry out unless you overcook them (so keep a close eye, and take the temperature frequently).

Bone-in: Grill 40 to 50 minutes, covered, over indirect heat, so the meat doesn’t dry out over the long cooking time. Flip periodically to ensure even cooking.

Temperature when done: 165º F

Find our step-by-step guide to grilling chicken breasts.

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grill chicken wings, thighs and moreTaste of Home

How to Grill Chicken Thighs, Wings, and Drumsticks

Typically sold bone-in, these parts will take longer to cook. Keep them away from direct heat to avoid the meat drying out. They’ll be especially tasty if you marinade the meat first, or slather with sauce as you cook.

Wings: Grill 20 to 30 minutes, covered, over indirect heat.

Thighs and drumsticks: Grill 40 to 50 minutes, covered, over indirect heat. Flip periodically to ensure even cooking.

Temperature when done: 170-175º F (Make sure to take the temperature in the thickest part of the bird, near the bone.)

Find our step-by-step guide to grilling chicken thighs and wings.

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Taste of Home

How to Grill Burgers

Form patties that are about 1/2″ thick, with a light hand: overhandling burger patties makes the meat tough. (Here are 8 more mistakes to avoid.) Cook them over medium heat: hold your hand about four inches over the grill; if you can keep it there for four to five seconds before pulling away, the grill is at medium temperature.

1/2″ beef burger patties: Grill 5-7 minutes per side over medium heat.

Temperature when done: 160º F

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Taste of Home

How to Grill Steak

A perfectly grilled steak is a thing of beauty: charred to a delicious crust outside, juicy and tender inside. Technique matters here, so make sure to peruse our guide to common mistakes if you’re a novice.

1/2″ to 1″ thick steak: Grill 4-6 minutes per side.

1″-1.5″ thick steak: Grill 4-5 minutes per side over direct heat, then 4-10 minutes longer over indirect heat.

Temperature when done: 135ºF for medium-rare, 140ºF for medium, and 145ºF for medium-well.

Read our step-by-step guide to grilling steak.

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Taste of Home

How to Grill Pork Chops

When you’re tired of chicken, pork chops are a great, versatile alternative. Look for thicker chops to stand up to the higher heat of the grill without drying out.

3/4-inch to 1-inch thick chops: Grill 5-7 minutes per side.

Temperature when done: 145º F

Read our step-by-step guide to grilling pork chops.

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Taste of Home

How to Grill Ribs

Ribs are a barbecue essential. To test for doneness, twist a rib bone just a little bit; you should feel it give easily but not fall apart from the meat. If the meat falls off the bone, your ribs are overcooked.

Baby back (about 4-1/2 pounds): Grill ribs, covered, on an oiled rack over indirect medium heat 1-1/2-2 hours, turning every 30 minutes.

Temperature when done: 145°F

Get our full guide here.

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Taste of Home

How to Grill Lamb Chops

 

Juicy lamb is one of the most flavorful meats out there. We love chops with a dijon and herb crust like this recipe for Rosemary-Thyme Lamb Chops.

½-inch to 1-inch thick chops: Grill 3 to 4 minutes on each side (for medium rare).

1-inch to 1 ½-inch thick chops: Grill 4 to 6 minutes on each side (for medium rare)

Temperature when done: 135ºF for medium-rare, 140ºF for medium, and 145ºF for medium-well.

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Nicely grilled sausages on a whole background.Shutterstock / indigolotos
Shutterstock / indigolotos

How to Grill Brats

If you haven’t tried grilled brats, get on it! They’re a quintessential midwestern food.

Pre-cook brats in a saucepan filled with simmering beer or water for 10-15 minutes. Then grill for 10-20 minutes.

Temperature when done: 160ºF

Find our step-by-step guide to grilling brats.

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Taste of Home

How to Grill Shrimp and Scallops

Shrimp is one of our favorite foods, and these grilled recipes prove that it’s almost as versatile as chicken.

Grill 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Temperature when done: Scallops should turn from translucent to opaque, white, and firm. Shrimp is safe to eat when the flesh turns pink.

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Taste of Home

How to Grill Fish Fillets and Steaks

Fish is a healthy alternative to grilled meats. If you’re stumped on flavor ideas, try these 10 recipes.

1-inch thick fillet: Grill 3 to 5 minutes per side, turning carefully.

Temperature when done: The meat should turn opaque and flake when you scrape a fork over the top.

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plank grilled salmon

How to Grill Plank Salmon

Plank grilling imparts tons of flavor to fish, with a minimum of seasoning required. Plus, the fish is less likely to flake apart when cooked on a plank instead of straight over the grate.

Salmon filets: Grill, covered, for 10-15 minutes.

Temperature when done: The fish should be flaky and opaque.

Read our step-by-step guide to plank grilling.

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grilled cornTaste of Home

How to Grill Whole Vegetables

Many vegetables can be grilled whole quite easily. Here are a few popular choices:

Corn: Grill unshucked corn for about 30 minutes, until the husk is blackened. Find a step-by-step guide here.

Peppers: “Roast” peppers over the grill in a snap. Place clean, whole peppers over the grill and cook until the skins have blackened and crisped, the interior is meltingly tender, about 10 minutes. (Grill a bunch of peppers at once, peel them when cool, and you can freeze them and use them for months!)

Romaine lettuce: Strange, but true: you can grill lettuce! Grill for about five minutes, until wilted and charred. Tasty in a Caesar salad or one of these other grilled salad recipes.

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How to Grill Sliced Vegetables

Vegetables, whether mixed together or solo, are delicious grilled. If you’re new to grilling veggies, heed these key tips.

Tender veggies, like mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, and peppers (1/2-inch slices): Grill 3 to 5 minutes on each side.

Hearty vegetables, like onions and carrots (1/2-inch slices): Grill 5 to 6 minutes on each side.

Mixed vegetables: Toss sliced veggies in oil and your choice of spices. Grill them in a basket (so they won’t slip through the grates) until they’re tender, between 8 and 12 minutes in total, tossing occasionally.

Think you’re a grillmaster? Have you tried these surprising foods to grill?

Note: Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Kelsey Rae Dimberg
A former in-house editor at Taste of Home, Kelsey now writes articles and novels from her home in Milwaukee. She's an avid cook, reader, flâneur, and noir fanatic. Her debut novel, Girl in the Rearview Mirror, will be published in June 2019 by William Morrow.

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