Preheating ensures that the grill grate is hot enough to sear the food, and can help loosen old debris. Always cover your grill during the preheating process. A charcoal grill will generally be ready about 30 minutes after the coals are lit. A gas grill will be ready after about 15 minutes of preheating.
To gauge the temperature of either a gas or charcoal grill, measure the amount of time you can comfortably hold your hand above the fire. Place your hand as close as possible to the grill without touching it. Use caution and care when doing this to prevent accidents and burns. Be sure that sleeves are pulled back, and that nothing flammable will approach the grill-you may want to remove jewelry. Count the number of seconds you can comfortably hold your hand there, being sure to pull your hand away before it hurts. Use the following chart as a guideline for grill temperature:
Very hot (you can hold your hand just above grill level only 1 to 2 seconds)
Hot (you can hold your hand just above grill level only 2 to 3 seconds)
Medium-hot (you can hold your hand just above grill level only 3 to 4 seconds)
Medium (you can hold your hand just above grill level only 4 to 5 seconds)
Medium-low (you can hold your hand just above grill level only 5 to 6 seconds)
Low (you can hold your hand just above grill level 6 to 7 seconds)
These methods help you determine When is the Grill Hot Enough, and Ready
Friends and Grill Heat
Friends of mine have tried many methods to ensure their grill is hot. They tried bare hands on the grill, placing ice cubes on the grates to see how fast they melt. Although I not really sure about that one. They've tried laying small pieces of paper on the grill to see how long it takes them to ignite. On that one you have to be really careful. I've seen where if the winds blowing and the paper is very light the wind can wisp it away and you may end up with a lighted piece of paper on your roof, so I don't really recommend using that form. I've also seen them sacrifice a piece of meat to determine if they get grill marks or how fast the grill marks are applied to the meat. Each of their methods is more of a guessing game than just using a standard meat thermometer which they never seem to have. So, with our method you can at least guesstimate the heat level by holding your hand above the grate for a specified period of time. But I will say, a key item to this method is whether or not you're using charcoal or gas in the grill. With charcoal this method seems to be more popular. With Gas it seems that most of the grills come with an onboard temperature gauge. The gauge might not be as accurate as you'd like but as they say it is at least something.
So, if you find yourself with a temperature gauge and just want and off the cuff method to determine heat levels then use our guide to get the job done.
This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 21 September, 2017.