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7 Best Meats to Grill on Charcoal For Your Next Outdoor Party

by Ian Bond November 06, 2021

7 Best Meats to Grill on Charcoal For Your Next Outdoor Party

Admit it or not, a charcoal grill is often the best option when cooking meat. However, there’s also no denying that not all meats suit the smoky nature and high temperature of grillers. To help you avoid another kitchen mishap, here are some of the best meats our resident chefs recommend when grilling on charcoal. 

Top 7 Meats to Grill on Charcoal

#1: Prime Rib Steak

Meats with great marbling like prime rib steak always taste delicious and flavorful when cooked in a charcoal griller. Typically, our resident cuisine experts suggest seasoning the steak with a rub mixture before placing it on direct heat. It will take fifteen to twenty minutes to cook if your griller is set to 450 to 500 degrees temperature. 

2: Chicken Barbeque

A grilled chicken recipe comes in many forms, from boneless, bone-in, up to wings and grilled chicken thighs. However, any foodie like us could attest that the best way to enjoy chicken is at a BBQ party! The duration of grilling a chicken barbecue recipe depends on the size, but its flavor mainly relies on the marinade solution you’ll apply to its surface.

#3: Pork Chops 

Another type of meat that would suit the hot temperature of grillers is pork chop. It may seem easy, but our team recommends it for cooks with enough skill and experience. For this, you’d want to place the meat on the hottest part of the grill and start searing for at least three minutes per side. (Here's how your grill pork chops.)


Pork chop


#4: Babyback Ribs

No BBQ party is complete without the babyback ribs. And while it’s common meat to pair with your new charcoal grill, it requires a slow and low grilling process, so we suggest keeping a close eye on it during food prep. Our cuisine experts also discourage you from adding too much sauce, as this would dampen the natural flavor of the ribs. 

#5: Burger Steak 

When grilling burgers in charcoal, it’s best to keep your cooking temperature in check. One miscalculation in handling heat could result in an overdone or undercooked burger. If you’re looking forward to perfectly grilled patties, shop for fresh meat and don’t rely on pre-made ones at the grocery stores. 

#6: Flank Steak 

Among the best meats to grill on charcoal grills, flank steak is undoubtedly one of the most flavorful. Before putting it on the hot grates, ensure that the meat is thawed accordingly, or it won’t cook well in direct charcoal heat. 


Flank steak


If you want a mouth-bursting flavor, marinating your steak is a great option to consider before the actual grilling. However, we advise putting it in a sealed container and letting it sit in the refrigerator for food safety[1]

#7: Turkey

Thanksgiving is all about cooking turkey. But if you want to elevate away from the baking tradition, you can whip a smoked turkey using a charcoal grill. That’s right! However, it would take at least two to three hours before it gets completely cooked. 

(You can also smoke turkey in an electric smoker.)

Additional Grilling Tips

On Maintaining the Right Temperature 

For charcoal grillers, it would take around half an hour to reach your desired cooking temperature. And while our team would prefer grills with temperature knobs for precise grilling, you can use the built-in thermometer to do this. (You can also see our list of best grill thermometers for more options.)


Right temperature


Coating BBQ Sauces or Mop Sauce 

Some newbie cooks may be confused, but our resident chef would like to note that adding mop or bbq sauce should be done amid the grilling. If you add it too early, it has the tendency to burn, and it’ll certainly affect the flavor. 

How to Light a Charcoal 

The easiest way to light your charcoal up is to use a lighter fluid or chimney starter. Typically, it would take around ten to fifteen minutes before it’s ready for grilling. You’d know it right away when you see grey ash emerging out of it. Learn more about starting a charcoal grill here.

Easiest Meats to Cook on a Charcoal Grill 

Beef is one of the easiest meats to cook on charcoal grillers. Whether it's ground beef turned into burger patties or a good ol’ steak, it can handle hot temperatures brought by the charcoal on the cooking chamber very well. 


Whipping up a grilled recipe isn’t an easy task, but knowing which is the best meat to grill on charcoal will help you be more well-versed in tackling other recipes. After all, cooking is a continuous learning process. There’s no shame in taking it slow, so our team suggests selecting meats carefully before hitting the grill. 

Wondering where to best get your meat supply? Check out our reviews of the leading online meat stores below:

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