BBQ Beef Recipes - Barbecue Tips

Steaks, burgers, barbecue beef ribs, a delicious roast ... there's so much variety when it comes to . It takes some experience in order to barbecue beef exactly the way you like it -- beef can be cooked from rare all the way to well-done, although it seems that most people like their beef cooked medium rare, medium, or medium well. Here are a few tips for how to barbecue beef.

General Beef Grilling Tips

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  • Searing: before barbecuing any beef, we sear it to lock in the juices. Then we go ahead and continue grilling it until the beef is done the way we like. To sear, bring up the temperature of your grill to 'hot', then BBQ the beef for about 1 minute per side.

  • Grilling time: overcooked beef is tough and tasteless, so get to know your grill! Grilling times vary depending on how close your grill is to the heat, as well as the thickness of the cut of beef.

  • To use a meat thermometer: push the tip of the thermometer into the thickest part of the beef. Make sure it doesn't touch bone.

  • Grilling: just before your beef is finished, take it off the grill and put it on a cutting board with a piece of aluminum foil 'tented' over it. Let it rest for about 10 minutes before cutting into it. We usually take the beef off the grill a few minutes before it's technically 'done' so that it can finish cooking under the foil. It makes us feel better because there's less chance we'll overcook the meat!

Levels of 'Done-Ness'

Okay, maybe that's not a real word, but here's what it all means. We use steak in this example (about 1/2" thick), just because it's a popular choice for the barbecue, but these levels of done-ness apply to other cuts of beef too.


Steak that is cooked rare will be seared on the outside and bright red in the middle. It's just barely cooked! The inside of the steak is soft and red, and all of the edges of the steak are browned. The meat thermometer should read about 120-130 degrees F when the steak is ready. The meat is very soft to the touch. To grill: barbecue for 1 to 2 minutes per side on a very hot grill.

Medium Rare

Again, the outside of the steak should be seared and a little browner / firmer then with the rare steak. The inside of the steak should mostly be warm and pink but with some red in the very center. It should feel slightly firm but still quite soft. The meat thermometer should read about 135-140 degrees F when done. To grill: barbecue for 2 to 3 minutes per side on a very hot grill.


The outside of the steak is darkly seared. The middle is 'band' of pink isn't quite as wide (more of the outside edges of the steak is browned). This pink band should be light pink with no red. It should feel firm with a bit of "give" in the center. The meat thermometer should read about 140-150 degrees F when done. To grill: barbecue for 5 to 6 minutes per side on a medium-hot grill.

Medium Well

The outside of the steak should be seared to a rich dark brown color. The center of the steak should have a just a thin link of pink meat. The meat should feel mostly firm and yield just slightly in the center. Cook to about 155-160 degrees F. To grill: add color first by searing on a hot grill for 1 or 2 minutes per side. Then lower to medium heat, and grill another 5 to 6 minutes per side.

Well Done

This is probably the trickiest to cook well! A well-done steak has to be brown throughout, with no pink at all. The outside is nicely seared. You will want to cook it to at least 165-170 degrees F. The trick is to cook it nicely so that it doesn't burn and is still tender (at least as tender as a well-done steak can be!). So grill it on medium to medium-low heat for about 10 to 12 minutes per side. The steak will feel completely firm to the touch.


Here in Canada all burgers in restaurants are served well-done, so that's how we've always grilled them. We don't have any experience with grilling burgers to the other levels of done-ness. For well-done burgers, grill over medium-high heat for 6 to 7 minutes per side.

We asked some American friends how to grill rare and medium burgers. They tell us that rare burgers are grilled 3 to 4 minutes per side and medium burgers are grilled 5 to 6 minutes per side.

Roasts, Tenderloin, Thick Cuts

A nice, thick roast is one of favorite barbecue treats. You can season it very simply, or you can season it with a tasty dry rub. Roasts and tenderloin are best grilled with indirect heat. Sear each side first on high heat so that it has a tasty crust. It will seal in the juices so that the middle is nice and tender and juicy. We drop the temperature to medium-high heat after searing.

Sometimes the roast is a little uneven; to help it cook more evenly, you can use kitchen twine to tie up the meat every 2" or so. This will help to shape it to a more even thickness and width.

Use a meat thermometer to gauge whether or not the roast is done (see temperatures in the Steak section above). Remove the roast just before it's finished, put it under a piece of tented foil, and let it rest for about 10 minutes. That will let the juices permeate evenly throughout the roast. Yum.

When the time comes to slice the roast, slice against the grain of the meat.

Grilled Beef Recipes

Hope you enjoy our section on BBQ beef recipes. Beef is delicious on the grill and even simple preparations are tasty! It's a great choice for when you don't have a lot of time to fuss with preparation and just want a good meal.



This website offers tips on how to BBQ as well as some of our favorite barbecue recipes. We barbecue with a charcoal grill in an outdoor kamado-style cooker called The Big Green Egg. We love food and we love the grill, and hope you enjoy our recipes!