The Foolproof Guide to Grilling Burgers, Chicken, and Everything Else

Here's how to perfectly grill any food, every time.

By Reader's Digest Editors
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Get Your Grill On!

You’re a master of the marinade. You flip burgers like nobody’s business. You’ve got mad skewering skills. But when it comes to deciding how long to leave a chop or filet on the grill, you usually just wing it. Not this summer! Kiss the grilling guesswork goodbye and use this guide for perfectly cooked meals every time:

Chicken breasts

Boneless/skinless: Grill 5 to 6 minutes on each side.

Bone-in/skin on: Grill 40 to 50 minutes, away from direct heat, covered, turning when necessary.

Chicken wings, thighs, and drumsticks

Wings: Grill 25 to 30 minutes away from direct heat, covered.  

Thighs and drumsticks: Grill 40 to 50 minutes, away from direct heat, covered, turning when necessary.

Steak

½-inch to 1-inch thick: Grill 4 to 6 minutes on each side (for medium rare).

1-inch to 1 ½-inch thick: Grill 4 to 5 minutes on each side, then move away from direct heat for 4 to 10 minutes more (for medium rare).

Burgers

1-inch thick: Grill 5 to 6 minutes on each side.

Lamb chops

½-inch to 1-inch thick: Grill 3 to 4 minutes on each side (for medium rare). 

1-inch to 1 ½-inch thick: Grill 4 to 6 minutes on each side (for medium rare).

Pork chops

3/4-inch to 1-inch thick: Grill 5 to 7 minutes on each side.

Fish filets and steaks

1-inch thick: Grill 3 to 5 minutes on each side.

Shrimp and scallops

Grill 1 to 2 minutes on each side.

Veggies

Mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, peppers (1/2-inch slices): Grill 3 to 5 minutes on each side.

Onions (1/2-inch slices): Grill 5 to 6 minutes on each side.

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