Can You Use A Meat Thermometer For Grill Temp?

Food temperature should be regularly controlled to keep germs under control. Temperature is critical to ensuring that food quality is not compromised. And that it does not deteriorate. For these reasons, grill temperature is pretty important.

You wonder “Can you use a meat thermometer for grill temp?”. You want to make sure your grill temp is good enough? Stay tuned to find the answer with Sunset Bar and Grill.

Can you use a meat thermometer for grill temp?

No, you can’t. 

You can use a thermometer to check for grill temperature. But people don’t design meat thermometers to use it that way. If you want to check your grill temp, use a grill surface temp thermometer!

Do you want to use meat thermometers to check the meat temp while grilling? We don’t recommend it. Flare-ups can happen every time while grilling. It can damage your thermometer badly.

You can’t use it to check the meat temp while grilling. It means that you should not use it to check the grill temp too. It’s too dangerous for you to use in that case.

Keep in mind that you can still use a thermometer to check grill temp. But you have to have a specially designed one to do that. Such as grill surface temp thermometers. They are fine to use. But please follow the instructions carefully while using those.

What is a meat thermometer?

A meat thermometer is a handy tool. This useful culinary utensil resembles a pointed stick affixed to a temperature dial.

A digital meat thermometer

A digital meat thermometer

A meat thermometer may be used to assess the temperature of beef tenderloin, roasted turkey. People use them for grilled chicken breasts, entire roasted fish, and other foods too.

This device is essential for cooking a big portion of meat. Such as whole ham or turkey, pork tenderloin. You can use it for roast chicking, meatloaf too. When cooking these dishes, you may need a perfect temperature. This device can help you adjust the heat perfectly.

But remember that this device is just for checking meat temperature. It should not be used to check grill temp.

Why is grill temperature important?

Grilling may be a difficult task, especially for inexperienced cooks. As a result, it is necessary to comprehend why it is important to cook at the proper temperature. Therefore, the temperature of the grill is critical in this case.

As you may be aware, grill temps are often high. That implies that if you grill at high temp, your food will have a brown color. However, there is a distinction between browning on the exterior, and cooking on the inside.

Grilling at high temps usually results in browning on the exterior of the meat. Food that is undercooked, cold, or dried is not edible. It is critical that you cook at the proper temperature. You can only do so if you know how to check the grill temp.

How to use a grill surface thermometer to check grill temperature?

As previously stated, you can use a grill surface thermometer to have a more precise result. In this section, we will give you instructions to use this device. Please follow it carefully:

Using a grill surface thermometer to check the temp

Using a grill surface thermometer to check the temp

  • Step 1: Preheat your grill to a high temperature.
  • Step 2: Place your thermometer in the center of the grates. Leave it there for 5 minutes.
  • Step 3: Note down your first reading. Remember, this is your starting point. You will be comparing it with the future readings.
  • Step 4: Move the device to the upper right corner of your grill. To do this, you should use a meat hook or a spatula. After about 30 seconds, read the number.
  • Step 5: Repeating with the top and left corners of your grill. Remember to note down the readings from each corner.
  • Step 6: Repeat the process three times for the bottom and the center of your grill. Take note of everything you read.

Now, after doing this, you can know where the hottest and coolest areas of your grill. Depending on the amount of heat necessary, cooking various types of dishes gets easier. Thus, you will no longer rely on trial and error approaches to prepare your meal.

“Hand Test” to check your grill temp

If you don’t have a thermometer, you can still check your grill temp. We will show you how the ‘hand test’ works in this section.

To use this method, make sure that the space between your hand and the grill should be 3 inches.

What you should think about here is how long you can maintain your hand in that posture. That is, without experiencing the scalding heat.

Depending on the temperature, you can do it many times. Then you may compare it to the chart we provided to figure out what temp your grill is at.

Using hand test to check grill temp

Using hand test to check grill temp

  • Very low

Begin by placing your hand in the prescribed position to evaluate whether the temp is low. The temperature is low if you can hold the posture for 7 to 9 seconds. With the thermometer, it should read between 250 and 300 Fahrenheit degrees.

  • Medium-low

Using the hand test, 6 to 7 seconds above the grill indicates medium-low heat. This is also excellent for moderate cooking methods. The temperature in this area ranges between 300 and 350 Fahrenheit degrees.

  • Medium

You won’t be able to use this hand test for long. You can only hold it for 4 to 5 seconds. Longer than this will cause your skin to become scorched.

Temperatures for this level range from 350 to 400 Fahrenheit degrees. It allows for simple heating of interior sections without scorching the outside.

  • Medium-to-high

This temperature ranges from 400 to 450 Fahrenheit degrees. This allows you to keep your palm over the grill for 2 to 4 seconds. You can also adequately cook the center of the dishes without burning the outside.

  • High

This temp level can help you cook meals quickly. You can only maintain your palm over the grill for 1 to 2 seconds. This heating level is from 450 to 500 Fahrenheit degrees. This setting is recommended for items that demand a lot of heat for both internal and external cooking.

Tips for adjusting the grill temps

There is no need for complicated equipment to adjust the temperature of your grill. However, understanding how to deal with it is critical. It enables you to prepare any sort of food with ease while yet achieving the required outcomes.

In this section, we will give tips to adjust grill temps for gas and charcoal grills.

For gas grill

In comparison to charcoal grills, gas grills are often easier to adjust. This is due to the knobs on gas grills that help in heat control.

As a result, you simply need to adjust the temperature as needed. That will be determined mostly by the sort of meal you are preparing.

Also, because there are several levels marked on gas grills, regulating temperatures is simple. Thus, you can modify the heat levels specified in the recipe. Typically, the maximum temperature of a gas grill is 550 Fahrenheit degrees.

For charcoal grill

Arrange the coals to adjust the grill temp

Arrange the coals to adjust the grill temp

There is no equipment required for charcoal grilling. It takes more work than gas grilling, which merely requires changing knobs. If your temps do not match the suggested grilling temperature, use one of these methods.

  • Rearrange the coals. This approach may be used to either cool down or heat up. Spread out the coal if you want to cool down. You may also press the embers together to raise the temperature.
  • Make necessary adjustments to the rack. Grills with adjustable racks are available on occasion. If you wish to reduce the heat, lift the rack. Lowering the rack causes the charcoal to heat up.
  • Make any necessary adjustments to the vents. Top and bottom vents are common features of grills. The heat is greatly increased by opening both vents. Opening one of the vents barely raises the temperature. Closing both or one of the vents reduces heat.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is considered high heat on a grill?

A heat level reaching 450 to 550 Fahrenheit degrees is considered high heat.

2. How do I know if my grill is not hot enough?

Using the hand test method. The heat is intense if you need to remove your hand after 2 to 4 seconds. The heat is mild if you need to remove your hand after 8 to 10 seconds.

3. Why is my grill not getting hot enough?

There should be a problem with the gas flow if you are using a gas grill.

First, ensure that there is enough gas in the tank. The reduced gas flow from a practically empty tank will not feed the burners with enough gas to heat. If the rank is full but the gas is not freely flowing, reset the pressure regulator.

After adjusting the pressure regulator, if gas is still not flowing properly to the grill, replace it.


After reading this article, we hope you find the answer you needed. Remember that you should not use a meat thermometer for your grill temp. Instead, using a hand test or a grill surface thermometer. Also, make sure that you use the thermometer correctly.

See more: Can You Use Pampered Chef Pizza Stone On Grill?

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