Indoor grilling vs outdoor grilling

Joined Apr 17, 2004
Hello All

I was hoping someone who worked as a grill chef in a restaurant can discuss the variations between grilling, steaks for instance, outdoors on a traditional gas grill and grilling on a professional indoor grill. Cooking times, use of direct vs indirect heat and any other issues. Also what techniques did you commonly employ to judge the grilled items doneness? I am about to switch stations and would love any helpful advice.

Joined May 26, 2001
It has been a while since I worked the grill, but I'll tell you what I can:
  1. The main differences are surface area and heat. You have a much bigger surface area, so more pieces to keep track of at one time. Also, in general, the heat is stronger.
  2. Doneness: a combination of timing (which you have to get an instinct for) and touch. For me, it was touch more than anything else.
  3. Learn your grill -- especially its hot spots. That will allow you to cook many pieces just right without having to move them around.
  4. Learn the cooler spots, too. That way you'll know where you can keep pieces that have to wait for plating.
  5. Follow what I call the Beatles method of grilling: Let It Be. Put it on the grid; pick it up only to give it the turn for marking; flip it; turn to mark. Otherwise, do not jiggle it around, do not pick it up and put it down, do not worry it like a puppy with a slipper. If you just let it be, it will cook better AND look better.
Oh yeah -- and keep your grill clean and properly oiled. No one wants their porterhouse to taste like tuna, or vice versa.

Hope this helps.
Joined Aug 4, 2000
Steve Raichlen's book entitled HOW TO GRILL may provide additional and helpful information.


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Don't be a hero. Use the extra long tongs. :p I always have a pan with a rack in a cool place to let the meats rest, then throw it on for a quick reheat before plating. That's how I like to do it. But it depends on the place, sometimes you don't have time to do that.

As for temps, use a properly calibrated meat thermometer until you've done 10,000 of each temp. :) OK, maybe a few hundred.
Joined Apr 9, 2004
i am kinda amazed that your chef would throw you on the grill with out any training. The grill uses the most costly cuts of meat and is very unforgiving in doness. He/She must have great confidence in you!! here is my advice:

1. Set up your grill to have even heat. I do not know if you are over natural wood or gas. Think even heat is way to go. This way doness can be timed by when you lay in your cuts rather than heat level.

2. Rest your cuts before plating to allow the meat to relax. much more tender that way and the juice cast off and be used to finish the sauce. Don't forget about carry over cooking.

3. as suzanne said, don;t move the cuts until they are well marked. Do, season your grill well and your cuts. This all depends on the grill surface.

Good luck and have fun. this is a great station to learn. I always paid my grill/broiler cook the most of all the line cooks.
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