Special Gift Offer


How to Check the Temperature of Your Grill Without a Thermometer

Are you at a loss if a recipe says to preheat the grill to medium-high? Here's how to eliminate the guesswork. (Yes, it's safe!)

Let's face it — if your grill actually came with a thermometer, odds are it doesn’t work or it’s wildly inaccurate. Here’s a quick way to estimate the temperature of your grill. Don’t worry, this is not as dangerous as it sounds. Just hold your hand 6 inches above the heat source. Then, count seconds by the old “1-one-thousand, 2-one-thousand...” method. Determine how long you can comfortably leave your hand over the heat, and conclude how hot the grill is within a 25° range.


  • If you can stand the heat for:
  • 2 seconds = 450°+ = HIGH (good for searing)
  • 3 seconds = 400° = MEDIUM-HIGH (good for grilling)
  • 4 seconds = 350° = MEDIUM (good for grilling)
  • 5 seconds = 325° = MEDIUM-LOW (good for slow cooking)
  • 6 seconds = 300° = LOW (good for long smoking)

Tags: Equipment

Add Comment