How Hot is It?

How do you know how hot your charcoal grill is? You can rely on lid thermometers and remote probes (and I often do), but it’s hard to beat the “hand test” for a quick check on how the coals are doing.

Put your open hand, palm down, about 5 inches from the grate and see how long you can comfortably hold it there.

2 to 4 seconds – this is high heat, 450°F to 550°F. Great for searing steaks.

5 to 7 seconds  – this is medium heat, 350°F to 450°F. Good for general grilling – burgers, chicken pieces, or veggies.

8 to 10 seconds  – this is low heat, 250°F to 350°F. Use a drip pan or some kind of heat barrier and this temp this is great for ribs and pork butt.

One thought on “How Hot is It?”

  1. When I first started smoking, the old guy teaching me on a small offset taught me to try to place my hand on the steel top and if I could hold it there for a few seconds then I was good. That worked but I learned to just calibrate my lid top thermometer frequently after a burn or two, ha ha.

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