Grilled Meat Doneness Guide

In Season, Summer
on May 31, 2007
Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

Some men are grillers; some aren’t. Here are nine simple rules for the latter:

  1. Keep the kids away from the grill. In fact, keep everyone away from the grill. No one needs to see what happens to the food before you rinse it off and bring it to the table.
  2. A hot dog that has been grilled to ash is too well done. Cover with pickle relish before serving.
  3. Do not underestimate the power of a couple of pre-meal margaritas to make even the most overdone, bug-covered burgers look delicious.
  4. Do not wear a goofy chef’s hat or novelty apron with vaguely (or outright) obscene sayings on it. You do not need any help looking like a fool out there. Accidentally setting the patio on fire will take care of that for you.
  5. If the flames from the grill can be seen from space and are causing birds to fall from the sky, the fire is a little too hot for cooking just yet.
  6. Have another margarita.
  7. Face the fact that there are only two degrees of doneness when grilling meat: Rare and Carbonized That’s it. Those are your choices. “Medium-well-done” is not going to happen.
  8. Put away the wood-chip smoker box. Seriously, do you think you need to make more smoke? Are you trying to signal satellites?
  9. Cheese is your friend. A thick layer of cheese turns any grilling disaster from “oh gross” to “au gratin” in an instant.

And, last but not least, if the fire department shows up, admit defeat and get carry-out.

—By Mike Morrow

Found in: In Season, Summer