When grilling perfect steak, most grilling recipes suggest cooking over high, medium or low heat kambing guling. Seldom do they require an exact temperature. There are several reasons for this. Grilling is an inexact cooking method and the conditions in and around the grill can change suddenly. So it is best for the recipes to simply mention a range of heat to cook over and remind you to monitor the food very closely.
But how do you know what is considered high, medium or low heat? Do not go by the thermometers in the tops of most grills. They will measure only the air temperatures inside the grill when the cover is closed. This is not a true measure of the actual cooking temperature down close to the fire where your food is. That temperature is much higher. Furthermore, with most meats and fish fillets you will want to build a two zone fire and the cover thermometer is completely worthless if the ends of the grill are at different temperatures.
The best way to determine the temperature of your fire is to use the traditional hand test. Hold your hand about three inches above the grate and time how long you can leave it there before you are forced to jerk it back:
o 1 to 2 seconds - High Heat - This is the best temperature for your hot zone if you are grilling shrimp or searing a steak. When using the the zone method, use this side first to sear the outside and lock in the juices.
o 2 to 3 seconds - Medium High Range - Good for most fish steaks.
o 4 to 5 seconds - Medium Low Range - Ideal for most chicken and veggies.
o 7 to 8 seconds - Low Heat - Perfect for your warm zone to finish steaks or chops. Also good for grilling soft vegetables and fruit.
o 1 minute - You forgot to light the grill! Put down the beer and go find some matches. (Just kidding)
You can enjoy grilling perfect steak if you build a two zone fire and use the hand method to determine the best temperature for your food.