Do you love cooking and satisfying hungry tummies?
If so, working as a grill cook could be the perfect career move for you. As the name suggests, this job mainly involves cooking food on the grill.
This is typically an entry-level job that is ideal for people who have just finished high school or college. It comes with advancement opportunities and is a good way to launch a career as a chef.
To find out if this is the career you’ve been looking for, check out my in-depth…
- Grill Cook Job Description
- Duties and Responsibilities
- Skills and Attributes
- The Working Environment
- Education and Experience
- A Few Professional Chef Opportunities
- Final Thoughts
Grill Cook Job Description
A typical job description will start by describing the place where you would be working. This will include the size of the restaurant and the types of food you would need to cook. It will also include an overview of the other important duties that go with this role.
The description will explain the types of skills experience that candidates need to have. This should include an overview of important soft skills and attributes. It is important to read the job description carefully to work out if this is the role you are looking for.
Duties and Responsibilities
The specific duties you are charged with are likely to vary depending on where you work. However, there are certain daily duties that all grill cooks have to do. Let’s take a look at some of the main duties and responsibilities that go hand in hand with a job as a grill cook.
Cooking on the Grill
You need to be able to cook food on the grill quickly and safely. While you are most likely to be cooking meat, you may also be cooking fish, vegetables, and other food. You need to constantly monitor the internal temperature of the meat and make sure it is cooked to customers’ specifications.
You need to be able to plate food smoothly and make it look good. This includes adding garnish and other types of finishing details. You need to make sure that each type of dish is plated in a particular way to ensure consistency.
You need to prepare food so that it is ready to be cooked on the grill. This includes seasoning and marinating meat while following company recipes to the letter. Other food preparation tasks include skewering meat and vegetables and shredding, tenderizing, slicing, chopping, and cutting.
You need to make sure that all ingredients are fresh and safe for consumption before using them. You also need to take every step possible to prevent cross-contamination. This includes using separate chopping boards for raw and cooked meat and sanitizing work surfaces after use.
You are likely to be responsible for checking the stockroom to make sure there are enough supplies. This involves keeping careful records of the food you have used and what you are likely to use. This will let the manager or assistant manager know when they need to order more supplies.
Cleaning the Grill
You will need to make sure the grill is spotlessly clean both during and at the end of your shift. This includes scrubbing burnt-on food off the surface of the grill and washing the surrounding area. You will also need to make sure the other equipment you have used is completely clean and sanitized.
Training New Grill Cooks
If the restaurant is large enough, you may share the kitchen with a few other grill cooks. As you gain experience, you are likely to be charged with training new members of staff. It is important to be able to explain and demonstrate all of the duties clearly and thoroughly.
Skills and Attributes
While you need to be a skilled and focused cook to do this job, you also need a range of soft skills. These soft skills are the key to doing the job well and interacting with the people around you. Here are the main soft skills and attributes that a successful grill cook should possess.
You need to know how long each item has been on the grill and when it will be ready. The grill must be clean, sanitized, and tidy at all times. When a piece of equipment needs repairing or replacing, you must notify the manager.
You need to be familiar with every item on the menu and how to prepare and cook it. This includes memorizing company recipes and following them to the letter. You also need to be ready and willing to prepare dishes to customers’ specifications and make substitutions.
You need to be able to stand for long periods of time in front of a hot grill. When deliveries arrive, you are likely to be asked to help unload and store them. You must be able to lift around forty pounds and walk repeatedly from the storage room to the grill.
It is important to prepare and cook food for customers as quickly as possible. This includes being able to work out which dishes need to be prepared first when there are several orders. When customers are sitting in a group, they should all receive their food at the same time.
It is important to be able to explain dishes clearly to waiters and listen to the details of special orders. You need to be able to work well with other people, especially in high-stress situations. Having conflict management skills will help to make sure that everyone works well as a team.
The Working Environment
You are likely to work in a hot and busy kitchen alongside several other employees. However, this role can also take place in an outdoor setting. You are likely to have the chance to choose part-time or full-time hours.
It is required to stand during shifts and have to work quickly and efficiently. You will need to be prepared to work weekends and evenings. From time to time, you may be called in at the last minute to cover shifts when people call in sick.
Education and Experience
This job is usually open to people who hold a high school diploma or GED. Full paid training is provided as soon as you start work. However, you will need to have complete knowledge of food safety guidelines. You will often have to obtain a food hygiene and safety certificate before you can work unsupervised.
A Few Professional Chef Opportunities
Firstly, check out our various chef positions and what they entail, such as our Chef Job Description, and Chef Interview Questions, our Sous Chef Job Description, and Executive Chef Job Description, as well as our Line Cook Job Description to decide if you’d be interested in advancing.
I’ve put together a selection of restaurants that cook on the grill, such as my Jack In The Box Application and Jack In The Box Interview Questions, or my Chilis Application and Chilis Interview Questions, or how about my Arbys Application and Arbys Interview Questions, and my Zaxbys Application and Zaxbys Interview Questions in 2023.
If you’re looking to improve your burger grilling skills and want to practice at home, then check out these amazing cookbooks such as Weber’s Big Book of Burgers: The Ultimate Guide to Grilling Backyard Classics, the Great American Burger Book: How to Make Authentic Regional Hamburgers at Home, The Ultimate Burger: Plus DIY Condiments, Sides, and Boozy Milkshakes, the Bobby Flay’s Burgers, Fries, and Shakes: A Cookbook, the Burger Night: Dinner Solutions for Every Day of the Week, or how about A Burger to Believe In: Recipes and Fundamentals all available online today.
This job is perfect for people who want to gain work experience and love to cook. The starting salary for a grill cook is typically around $9 per hour. Once you gain skill and experience, you could earn up to $16 per hour.
This job also comes with impressive advancement opportunities. If you have ambition and drive, you could advance to a head chef role within a few years. Or, if you have a head for business, you could even decide to open your own restaurant.
All the very best working as a Grill Cook in the future!