Direct vs. Indirect Grilling
To grill the most succulent food, you'll need to choose between direct and indirect grilling methods. Here are guidelines to help you decide which to choose.
- Indirect grilling positions the food on the grill rack away from or to the side of the heat source.
- Grill is covered.
How Does Indirect Grilling Work?
- Similar to an oven, heat inside the grill reflects off the lid and other interior surfaces.
- Food is cooked from all sides (eliminating need to turn it).
Foods to Use for Indirect Grilling
- Larger foods that take longer to cook such as ribs.
Tips for Indirect Grilling
- Place a drip pan, such as a heavy-gauge disposable aluminum pan, under the food to catch drippings that could cause flare-ups.
- Use long-handled tongs to place drip pan.
- Add hot water to drip pans to keep drippings from burning.
- Can use other liquid, such as apple juice or beer, to add flavor and moisture.
- For indirect grilling, heat the coals until they are covered with gray ash.
- Don't peek! The heat and smoke will escape and lengthen cooking time.
What Is Direct Grilling?
- Food is placed on grill directly over heat source.
- Can be covered or uncovered based on manufacturer's directions.
Foods to Use for Direct Grilling
- More tender meat cuts such as rib eye steaks.
- Thinner meat and poultry such as boneless chicken breast.
- Smaller quick-cooking (under 30 minutes) vegetables such as zucchini slices.
Direct Grilling Tip
- Turn food only once for most even cooking.