June 21, 2024

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Optimizing Cooking Times for Different Foods on Your Industrial Charbroiler

Mastering the art of grilling on an industrial charbroiler isn’t just about the right heat or the perfect seasoning. It’s also about timing. Each food type you cook has unique characteristics that require specific moments over the grill to reach that optimal texture, flavor, and juiciness. These five tips will ensure you’re not just grilling, you’re charring with precision.

1. Understanding Heat Zones

Before diving into cooking, it’s crucial to grasp the heat distribution on your charbroiler. Most industrial charbroilers have different heat zones, which can range from hot to cooler spots. Understanding these zones is key to knowing where to sear a steak for that perfect color or where to gently cook a delicate piece of fish.

Action Plan:

  • Use an infrared thermometer to map your charbroiler’s hot and cool spots.
  • Familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s recommended heat zones for different foods.
  • Adjust the cooking height of the grill grate to control the proximity of the food to the heat source.

2. Direct Heat vs. Indirect Heat Cooking

Not all food reacts the same to direct flame exposure. Burgers and steaks often thrive on direct heat for a good sear, while indirect heat is ideal for cooking through thicker cuts and maintaining soft textures.

Try This:

  • For indirect cooking, use a heat deflector or cook with the lid down if your charbroiler has one.
  • Directly over the burners is for marking and a quick finish, the edges of the grill where the heat is less intense are for slower, careful cooking.

3. Timing Seafood Perfectly

Cooking seafood on a charbroiler is a delicate dance, with quick timing being paramount. Overcooked seafood becomes rubbery and loses its flavor, while undercooked can result in an undesirable texture.

Top Techniques:

  • Shrimp and scallops generally take 2-3 minutes per side over high heat.
  • Fish fillets and steaks should be grilled for about 3-4 minutes per side for each inch of thickness.

4. Perfecting Poultry

Poultry needs to be cooked thoroughly for safety, but it’s easy to dry out. The right timing is your best friend, ensuring chicken stays juicy while it gets that charred finish.

Best Practices:

  • Boneless chicken breasts take around 5-6 minutes over high heat, while bone-in pieces need 6-8 minutes per side.
  • Using a meat thermometer, aim for an internal temperature of 165°F for all poultry.

5. Beef Masterclass

From that first savory sear to the moment you slice into your steak, timing is everything. For rare, medium, or well-done beef, a few extra seconds can make a significant difference.


  • Rare takes about 3 minutes, medium-rare 3.5 minutes, and medium 4 minutes on high heat.
  • A good rule is to flip the steak when beads of juice form on the uncooked side.

Mastering the grill is an evolving practice. Start with these guidelines, then adjust based on your observations and, most importantly, taste tests. Remember, the grill isn’t your enemy; it’s a tool that, when well-versed, can transform raw ingredients into culinary delights with just the right timing.