Do you know how long you should cook these foods on the grill?

By: John Miller
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Summer means it's time to get out there and grill for practically every meal. But every type of food requires a different cooking approach. Do you know how long you should cook the following foods on your grill?

At medium heat, how long does it take to grill an average (8 ounce) boneless chicken breast?

Chicken has to be cooked thoroughly, so 12 minutes is about right. Don't overdo it ... unless you like hacking through chicken-flavored leather.

How much time should you set aside to cook a good old-fashioned ground beef burger at high heat?

Like chicken, ground beef is one of those meats that you should probably cook thoroughly, lest you risk food poisoning. At high heat, a 3/4-inch burger will require about 14 minutes on the grill.

What's the minimum safe internal temperature of grilled RED meats?

Red meats, like steak or veal, are best cooked to an internal temperature of around 145 degrees. You can eat that steak rare, of course, but your chances of foodborne illness increases.

When you're buying chicken to grill, you should feel the package at the store. Why?

Some grocery stores aren't great about chilling their meats, and with chicken, it's especially important that the product is sufficiently chilled. A quick touch should tell you whether the chicken is cold.

Let's say you have a bunch of asparagus with 1/2-inch diameter stalks. How long are you going to cook them at high heat?

Fresh, tender asparagus really doesn't need much cooking. At high heat, eight minutes tops should do it, otherwise your fresh veggies will resemble drooping, charred lawn grass.

If you cut a batch of potatoes into 1/4-inch slices, how long will they take to cook at high heat?

Potatoes take forever if you slice them too thick. With 1/4-inch slices, though, they'll be done in just about 10 to 12 minutes.

What's the minimum safe internal temperature for grilled poultry?

Unlike some red meats, poultry must be thoroughly cooked to a higher temperature. Your thermometer should read 165 degrees or a bit higher before you call that chicken done.

True or false: You tell if grilled chicken is done by looking at it.

False, color isn't a great indicator of a chicken's doneness. You may have cooked out most of the pink color, but only a meat thermometer will tell you for sure whether the meat is done.

You'll cook those amazing chicken kebabs at high heat. But for how long?

Chicken kebabs require about 14 minutes of cooking at high heat. Red meat kebabs? A couple of minutes less.

If you have a bone-in pork chop that's about 3/4-inch thick, how long will it take to complete at high heat?

Pork turns tough the instant you over cook it. Some people recommend cooking them for just over 20 minutes.

True or false: If your grilling process is interrupted, you can take the meat off and finish cooking it later.

Don't partially grill your foods and then finish the job later. It's a great way to help bacteria to flourish, and you really, really don't want to do that.

If you decide to grill stuffed fish, the temperature should be ______ than with a simple fish fillet.

Stuffed fish takes longer to cook than fillets, and they should be cooked to a higher temperature, too. Don't take them off of the grill until they hit 165 degrees.

If you grill meats and then want to reheat them later, to what temperature should you reheat the meat?

Don't mess around when you reheat grilled meats. Get that internal temp to at least 165 degrees. Doing so will help ensure the safety of everyone eating those leftovers.

If you have a scrumptious 1-inch thick salmon fillet, how long should you cook it at high heat?

As with all fish, you don't want to overcook salmon, otherwise it gets gross in a hurry. At high heat, fish fillets generally take about 10 minutes.

If you have a fantastic 2-inch thick steak, about how long will you have to grill it?

A 2-inch thick steak is a big hunk of meat. Even on high heat, you'll need around 18 to 20 minutes (9 minutes per side) to cook it to a safe temperature.

True or false: It is safe to use the same plate for raw meat that you use for the grilled end product.

Don't be disgusting, use a fresh, clean plate for your grilled meats. Many people lazily use the same plate that they used to carry the raw meat, and they are asking for foodborne illness.

Food bacteria grows best in which temperature range?

From 40 to 140 degrees, you're in a "danger zone" of sorts when it come to food bacteria. At these temperatures, the bacteria often thrive.

If you're using indirect heat in a smoker to cook your meats, what's the minimum safe temperature for your smoker?

Most sources say that 250 degrees is the minimum temperature for smoking. No matter what, check the meat's internal temperature before you eat it.

If you're not quite ready to serve grilled chicken but you want to keep it warm, what should you do?

If that chicken is going to sit for a while, put it an oven set to 200 degrees. The meat will stay pleasantly warm without developing any nasty bacteria.

Some charred meats can result in carcinogenic chemicals. How can you reduce the levels of these chemicals?

Trim visible fats from meats, as this will reduce flare ups and charring that can result in carcinogens.

How long does it take to cook shrimp on the grill?

Shrimp, even big ones, take only a couple of minutes of cooking time at high heat. If you overcook them, they'll taste more like rubber than a delectable sea treat.

If you're making fresh bratwurst links, about how long should you grill them at medium heat?

Fresh bratwurst takes some serious cooking. At medium heat (to avoid excessive heat and subsequent wiener rupture), it will take more than 25 minutes to cook them all the way through.

True or false: You should remove meats from the fridge to warm them up a bit before grilling.

Some people will tell you that you should let meats warm to room temperature to ensure more even cooking on the grill. Don't do it. Keep them refrigerated until you're ready to start grilling.

If you use a marinade for your meats, what should you do with any leftovers?

Any marinade that's come into contact with raw meat should be considered contaminated. Just discard it.

With regard to cooking temperatures, what's important to note about gas grills?

Gas grills are notorious for having hot and cold spots, so one piece of meat may be cooked while another is not. Be sure to check the temp of every piece of meat.

Let's say you grill some foods and want to take them to a party later. What temperature should your portable cooler be?

If you're tranporting grilled foods, make sure your cooler is 41 degrees or colder. Otherwise, bacteria may gain a foothold on your food.

What is "cross-contamination"?

Cross-contamination occurs when you touch a utensil or plate (or your filthy fingers) to raw meat and then touch cooked meat. Wash everything thoroughly to prevent a bacterial outbreak.

After you grill meats, you should refrigerate them within _______.

Once you're done grilling, you should refrigerate meats within two hours. Otherwise, your foods may grow bacteria that seriously disagree with your guts.

If you're outside grilling and the temperature is 90 degrees or higher, you shouldn't let cooked foods sit for more than ______.

Summer temps of 90 or higher make for wonderful bacteria breeding conditions. If it's warm outside, be sure to refrigerate foods within an hour.

True or false: It's safe to precook foods to make their grilling times shorter.

Sure, with certain foods (like potatoes) it's often faster to precook them in the microwave and then finish cooking them on the grill. Just be sure not to let foods sit between precooking and grilling.

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