From chicken to burgers to salmon and veggies, we’ve got you covered for everything you want to serve up this grilling season.   

By Lauren Wicks
July 15, 2019

Grilling may seem as simple as tossing your favorite meat or veggies over an open flame until it earns some char marks, but there’s much more to it than that. It’s important to give food those all-important grill marks, without losing juiciness or overpowering the flavor of your marinade. 

We’ve created this comprehensive guide for exactly how long to grill just about anything, so that you can be a confident grill master this summer season and beyond. Plus, we’re sharing some of our favorite grilling recipes for each!

How to Grill Chicken

Jennifer Causey

It’s important to grill chicken to its USDA Safe Minimum Internal Temperature of 165 degrees. Grilling times for chicken vary greatly, depending on if you’re grilling it with the bone or not. 

  • Bone-in Breasts, Thighs, and Drumsticks: Grill covered over indirect heat for 40-50 minutes, turning occasionally.
  • Boneless Breasts: Grill over direct heat for 5-6 minutes per side.
  • Cutlets: Grill over direct heat for 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Wings: Grill covered over indirect heat for 25-30 minutes, turning occasionally.

We have more than 50 delicious grilled chicken recipes to keep your grill fired up this summer (and we humbly suggest trying out our General Tso’s Chicken on the grill ASAP!)

How to Grill Pork

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez

We are a big fan of baby back ribs in the summertime and think they taste best at home on the grill. It’s important to cook pork to at least 145 degrees, unless it’s ground (which needs to be cooked to 160 degrees). 

  • Tenderloin: Grill over direct heat for 6-8 minutes per side, turning occasionally. Then cover and cook over indirect heat for 10-12 minutes.
  • Chops (¾- to 1-inch thick): Grill for 4-6 minutes per side.
  • Ribs: Grill over direct heat for 5 minutes. Then cover and grill over indirect heat for 10-12 minutes.

Our Turmeric Pork Chops With Green Onion Rice are a fan-favorite here at Cooking Light, and our Easy Herbed Pork Tenderloin makes any meal seem more sophisticated.  

How to Grill Beef

Caitlin Bensel

There are few things better than a juicy steak hot off the grill, and it’s important to maintain its juiciness while cooking it properly. These grilling times are for a medium-rare steak and medium burger, so you may want to let your meat cook a little longer if you prefer a less pink interior. Like pork, steaks also require a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees.

  • Steaks (½- to 1-inch thick): Grill over direct heat for 4-6 minutes per side (think flank or skirt steak).
  • Steaks (1- to 1 ½-inch thick): Grill over direct heat for 4-5 minutes per side. Then cover and cook over indirect heat for 4-10 minutes (think strip steak, ribeyes, or a London Broil).
  • Burgers (¾- to 1-inch thick): Grill over direct heat for 5-6 minutes.

Our Spice-Crusted Flank Steak would taste even juicer when thrown on the grill—the potatoes would even taste great, too! And when it comes to burgers, our Bahn-Mi Burgers will have all of your neighbors asking for the recipe. 

How to Grill Shellfish

Antonis Achilleos

Nothing says summer like fresh seafood on the grill, and we can appreciate the quick cooking time of shellfish when entertaining! Shellfish require a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees. 

  • Shrimp: Grill over direct heat for 1-2 minutes per side.
  • Scallops: Grill over direct heat for 1-2 minutes per side.

If you’re bored of coleslaw and baked beans, look no further than our Brined Shrimp With Charred Corn Salad for a unique summer side. And our Grilled Scallops With Remoulade are an easy but impressive main. 

Looking for even more grilling know-how?

How to Grill Fish

Photo: Caitlin Bensel

Whether you’re cooking up your own fresh catch of the day or whatever was at your local grocery store, it’s important to keep your cooking time short and sweet. Fish needs to be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees, which usually only takes a few minutes.

  • Fillets (¾- to 1-inch thick): 3-5 minutes per side.
  • Steaks (¾- to 1-inch thick): 3-5 minutes per side.

Impress your friends this summer with our easy-peasy Barbecue-Style Bourbon-Glazed Salmon With Firecracker Slaw for a healthy twist on a favorite festive meal. Try our Grilled Mahi-Mahi With Lemon-Parsley Potatoes for a simple-yet-delicious dinner in just a few minutes. 

How to Grill Lamb

Caitlin Bensel

We love grilling lamb with a refreshing, herby marinade or sauce in the summertime. Lamb also has a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees.

  • Chops (½- to 1-inch thick): Grill over direct heat for 3-4 minutes per side.
  • Chops (1- to 1 ½-inch thick): Grill over direct heat for 4-6 minutes per side.
  • Ground Lamb: Grill over direct heat for 2-3 minutes per side. 

Our Grilled Lamb and Feta Pita Sandwiches are a much lighter version of our favorite greasy gyros—packing less than 300 calories. 

How to Grill Veggies

Christopher Testani

We definitely tend to eat more veggies during grilling season, thanks to the amazing texture and flavor the grill brings to fresh and seasonal veggies.

  • Onions (½-inch thick rings): Grill over direct heat for 5-6 minutes per side.
  • Mushrooms: Grill over direct heat for 4-5 minutes per side (think whole button or portobello mushrooms).
  • Bell Peppers, Squash, Eggplant, and Zucchini (½-inch thick slices): Grill over direct heat for 4-5 minutes per side.
  • Corn Cob, Husked: Grill over direct heat 6-7 minutes per side.
  • Corn Cob in Husk: Grill over direct heat 14-15 minutes per side.
  • Romaine Hearts: Grill over direct heat for 45 seconds to 1 minute per side.

Our Roasted Summer Vegetables, Farro, and Herb Dressing is perfect as-is, and you can always throw a little grilled steak or chicken on top of this dish if you want some more staying power. And if you’re searching for a vibrant summer appetizer, look no further than our colorful Grilled Vegetable Stacks. 

How to Grill Fruit

Antonis Achilleos

Grilled fruit adds an extra-special flavor to desserts, kebabs, and meat dishes. We stock up on extra peaches and pineapple at the farmers market to turn them into glorious sweet treats on the grill.

  • Watermelon: Grill over direct heat for 1-3 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your slices.
  • Peaches: Grill over direct heat for 2 minutes per side.
  • Pineapple Rings: Grill over direct heat for 5-6 minutes per side. 

Our Hot-Sweet Grilled Watermelon has become one of our summertime staples, and you’d be missing out if you didn’t try our Grilled Pineapple Lemonade or Grilled Peaches With Vanilla Mascarpone before summer’s end. 

 

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