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Perfect cooking times: how long does it take to barbecue?

Getting the cooking time just right is one of the keys to turning out perfect dishes on the barbecue. So it’s important to know how long beef, chicken or pork, fish and seafood, and vegetables should be left on the barbecue to ensure that they taste amazing.

Barbecued beef: so juicy and tender

Perfect steaks have different cooking levels:
  • Rare: core temperature 49-52°C, still slightly bloody in the middle and pink towards the edges.
  • Medium rare: 52-57°C, uniformly pink inside.
  • Medium: 63-68°C, just has a slightly pink centre.
  • Well done: above 68°C, no longer pink and cooked through.
How long depends on how thick
The thicker the cut, the longer the grilling time. The following cooking times apply to medium rare for the following cuts:
Steaks (New York Strip, Porterhouse, Rib Eye, T-Bone and Fillet)
  • 2 cm: 4-6 min. direct high heat.
  • 2.5 cm: 6-8 min. direct high heat.
  • 3 cm: 8-10 min. direct high heat.
  • 3.5 cm: 6-8 min. direct high heat, 4-6 min. indirect high heat.
Flank steak
A steak weighing around 700-900 g and around 2 cm thick: 8-10 min., direct medium heat.
Tri-tip steak
A cut weighing around 1 kg and 3.5 cm thick: 8-10 min. direct medium heat, 15-20 min. indirect medium heat.
Meat skewers
With a thickness of around 2.5-3.5 cm: 4-6 min. direct high heat.
Beef roasting joint or rib-eye
For a cut weighing around 2.5 kg: 1.5-2 h, indirect medium heat.
Roast beef, without the bone
A piece weighing around 1.8-2.8 kg: 2-2.5 h, indirect medium heat.
Roast loin, without the bone
A roast loin weighing around 1.8-2.8 kg: 2-2.5 h, indirect medium heat.

Crowd pleaser: barbecued pork

With only a few exceptions, you should always ensure pork is cooked right through. The following cooking times apply to medium and well done.
Kotelett
A chop around 3 cm thick takes 15-20 min. on direct medium heat.
Pork fillet
A fillet weighing around 350-450 g takes 25-35 min. on direct medium heat.
Spare ribs, baby back ribs
At a core temperature of 85°C, ribs take approx. 45-60 min. on indirect low heat.
Bratwurst
At a core temperature of 90-100°C, sausages take 8-10 min. on direct medium heat.

Chicken barbecued to perfection

Warning: chicken must always be cooked right through! Boneless pieces are barbecued for the time stated below, on direct heat. They should be turned once or twice.
Pieces with bones are barbecued on direct heat to begin with, then on indirect heat.
The optimum core temperatures are 75°C for breast meat and at least 80°C for leg meat.
Chicken breast fillet
Breast fillet weighing 175-225 g takes around 8-12 min. on direct medium heat.
Chicken leg, whole
Legs weighing around 300-350 g take 10 min. on direct medium heat and 40-50 min. on indirect medium heat.
Wings
Wings weighing 50-100 g take around 10-15 min. on direct medium heat and 10-20 min. when cooked on indirect medium heat.
Whole chicken
If you want to barbecue a whole chicken weighing 2-2.5 kg, it will take 1-1.5 h on indirect medium heat.
Chicken breast schnitzel
For a thickness of 0.5-1 cm, around 10-12 min. on indirect medium heat.

Barbecued fish and seafood

The following rule of thumb applies to fish and seafood: for each centimetre of thickness, allow 3-4 minutes on the grill.
In most cases, the optimum core temperature for fish is 52-54°C. This keeps everything juicy and tender.
Fish fillet/steak (e.g. salmon, tuna, swordfish or sea bass)
  • 0.5-1 cm thickness: 3-5 min. direct high heat.
  • 1-2.5 cm thickness: 5-10 min. direct high heat.
  • 2.5-3 cm thickness: 10-12 min. direct high heat.

Delightfully crisp: barbecued vegetables

The flatter, the better: the more surface area on the grill, the better the vegetable will caramelize.
To stop anything from sticking to the grill, brush it with a little oil first. But don't overdo it, as you don’t want anything dripping into the flame.
Aubergines in slices (1 cm)
Around 8-10 min., direct medium heat.
Mushrooms, whole
Approx. 8-10 min., direct medium heat.
Fennel in slices (1.5 cm)
Approx. 10-12 min., direct medium heat.
Potatoes in slices (1 cm)
Potatoes take 14-16 min., if pre-cooked 5-10 min. on direct medium heat.
Potatoes whole in foil
Approx. 50 min., if pre-cooked 20-30 min.
Garlic bulb
Around 45-60 min., indirect medium heat.
Corn cobs
Around 45-60 min., indirect medium heat.
Peppers, quartered
Approx. 3-4 min., direct medium heat.
Carrots, whole (Ø 1 cm)
Pre-cook for 5 min., then barbecue for 5 min. on direct medium heat.
Asparagus whole, white
Around 4-6 min., direct medium heat.
Courgettes in slices (1 cm)
Around 3-5 min., direct medium heat; halved around 4-6 min.
Onions, halved
Approx. 35-40 min., direct medium heat.

More useful information about barbecuing: Meat | Sausages | Fish and seafood | Vegetarian | Cooking times | Drinks