Backyard Grilling Cheat Sheet

How to grill burgers, steaks, chicken and veggies to perfection on your backyard grill.

This summer and most likely this weekend, you’ll be firing up that grill in the backyard for at least a few meals. Below is a simple cheat sheet you can reference before putting on that apron and refilling the propane or charcoal to make sure your dish is cooked to perfection.

IMPORTANT: Salt and pepper are the building blocks of seasoning regardless of what you throw on the grill. Salt and pepper each side of your beef, pork or poultry before putting on the grill. Salt again when you turn them over. It helps bring out the natural flavors as well as add seasoning. You’ll thank me later.

How to Grill Burgers
Grill for 3-5 minutes per side depending on the thickness and size of the burgers.
Tip: DO NOT EVER press down on the burgers while they are grilling. It makes all those juices that keep your burger tasty spill right out.

How to Grill Hot Dogs
Grill for 5 minutes unless you really like your hot dogs blackened.
Tip: Rotate each hot dog after 2.5 minutes to get grill marks on both sides and add a few small knife cuts across the hot dogs to help them cook evenly without bursting.

How to Grill Steaks
With steaks up to 1 inch thick grill for 3 minutes on each side at high heat for medium rare cook.
With steaks over 1 inch thick grill for 5 minutes on each side at high heat for medium rare cook and rotate steaks clockwise after 2 minutes before flipping to get criss-cross grill marks.
Tip: Position steak across grill grates at a 45 degree angle to get a nice grill mark and when you take them off the grill, let the steaks rest for a few minutes before digging in to allow the juices that bubbled up to the top to settle back into the steak.

How to Grill Tenderloin
Grill for 4 minutes per side at high heat, then indirect heat for about 8 more minutes.
Tip: If you don’t care about grill marks on your tenderloin consider cooking it on top of foil for easier handling and clean up.

How to Grill Chicken Breasts
Grill for 5 minutes per side at high heat.
Tip: Before placing on the grill try to cut the chicken breasts to each be equal in size to ensure they cook evenly.

How to Grill Vegetables
Grill for 2 minutes on each side.
Tip: Grilling vegetables for too long will turn them into mush so you simply want to add some grill marks and char to them. Make sure the grill grates are hot so it will add marks to the veggies.

Remember, don’t keep opening and closing the grill once you put food on it. That releases the heat and makes the cooking temperature inconsistent. Let your grill do its work.

And again don’t forget the salt and pepper for seasoning!

Husband. Father. Socializer. Mets Lifer. TV Aficionado. Consumer Engager.

David Marine is the Chief Marketing Officer at Coldwell Banker, where he oversees the brand’s marketing efforts and content strategy including acting as managing editor for the Coldwell Banker blog and heading up video production efforts. While CMO by day, David runs a three ring circus at night as he is the father of 4 boys. He also happens to be married to Wonder Woman. True story.

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