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Do I take meat temperature when it is on the grill? Or off?

carbonel Jul 15, 2011 03:43 PM

I recently purchased an instant read digital thermometer to make sure that I am grilling meat to the proper temperature.

When checking the internal temperature of meat on the grill, should one: a) take the temperature while the meat is still on the grill or b) take the temperature after the meat has been removed from the grill to a nearby plate?

When I pursue option A, the meat usually ends up undercooked. When I pursue option B, the meat takes forever to hit the target temperature and ends up being overcooked.

Not sure if it makes a difference, but I'm mainly grilling boneless chicken breasts, boneless pork chops, strip steaks, rib eye cuts, hamburger and the occasional bone-in piece of chicken or pork.


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  1. m
    Matahari22 RE: carbonel Jul 15, 2011 06:49 PM

    In the food safety classes I have been to, and in the restaurant training that I have had, they teach you to remove it from the heat source and let it rest a minute and then probe.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Matahari22
      Matahari22 RE: Matahari22 Jul 15, 2011 07:07 PM

      It won't let me edit my post. Instead of "a minute", I wanted to post 3 minutes.

    2. greygarious RE: carbonel Jul 15, 2011 06:56 PM

      Temp while on the grill, allowing for a rise due to carryover cooking as the meat rests on a platter. If you omit the rest period (which sounds like the case since you say it comes out underdone) you have to cook to a higher temp before removing and serving. You should not be omitting the rest period. Not only does it complete the cooking, but allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat rather than leaking out when it is cut.

      2 Replies
      1. re: greygarious
        Funwithfood RE: greygarious Jul 15, 2011 10:41 PM

        This is how it's done! :)

        1. re: Funwithfood
          carbonel RE: Funwithfood Jul 16, 2011 03:37 PM

          Thanks for the advice, folks! I'm still confused, however, as Matahari22's advice seemed to be the exact opposite of that shared by greygarious and funwithfood.

      2. dave_c RE: carbonel Jul 16, 2011 04:50 PM

        I think what you're asking just comes from sticking with a method and adjusting accordingly.

        For example, if you want to temp the meat on the grill. Stick with that and learn what to expect with the results.

        What I do is lift the meat off the grill with tongs and insert thermometer. I know by experience what temperature to shoot for (usually 5 to 10 degrees below target) and let carry over do the rest of the work.

        For the thin stuff like the burgers, chicken breast, boneless pork chops and steaks, you'll get the feel for it (cook to your liking) by time and touch where you don't need the thermometer anymore.

        To be honest, I stopped using a thermometer ages ago and rely on touch.

        1. m
          Matahari22 RE: carbonel Jul 16, 2011 04:51 PM

          Sorry. :(

          2 Replies
          1. re: Matahari22
            carbonel RE: Matahari22 Jul 16, 2011 10:21 PM

            Hey Matahari22,

            I wasn't criticizing you for having a different perspective. I am sincerely grateful that you took time to share your advice.

            Was just noting that everyone seems to have a slightly different opinion, and was waiting to see if more people chimed in on one side or the other.

            Thank you for taking the time to share your expertise.

            1. re: carbonel
              Matahari22 RE: carbonel Jul 16, 2011 10:30 PM

              Oh, no apology necessary. No worries. Thank you though. :)

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