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Direct vs Indirect Grilling

Once the grill is hot, the next step is to set the grill up for direct or indirect grilling. This is a critical decision because it will mean the difference between perfectly cooked and perfectly disappointed. Let Weber explain:

The Direct Method:

The Direct Method, or cooking food directly over the heat source, is used for foods that take less than 25 minutes to cook: steaks, chops, kabobs, and vegetables. For even cooking, food should be turned once halfway through the grilling time. Direct cooking is also necessary to sear meats. Searing creates that wonderful crisp, caramelized texture where the food hits the grate. It also adds a great color and flavor to the entire surface.

Cooking Direct on a Charcoal Grill:

Spread ashed-over coals evenly across the charcoal grate. Set the cooking grate over the coals and place food on the cooking grate. Place the lid on the grill and lift it only to turn food or to test for doneness at the end of the recommended cooking time.

Cooking Direct on a Gas Grill:

Preheat the grill with all burners on High for 10-15 minutes. Place food on the cooking grate, then adjust the burners to the temperature noted in the recipe. Close the lid of the grill and lift it only to turn food or to test for doneness at the end of the recommended cooking time.

The Indirect Method:

The Indirect Method, just like it sounds, is when the heat is on either side of the food and not directly beneath it. use the Indirect method for foods that require 25 minutes or more of grilling time or that are so delicate that direct expose to the heat source would dry them out or scorch them. Examples include roasts, ribs, whole chickens, turkeys, and other large cuts of meat, as well as delicate fish fillets. This method of cooking can only be done in a covered grill. Resist the urge to fool with your food while it’s grilling. Indirect cooking is a no-peek cooking method–every time you lift the lid, heat escapes and can increase the cooking time.

Cooking Indirect on a Charcoal Grill:

When the coals are covered with a light coating of grey ash (after 25-30 minutes), use long-handled tongs to carefully pile the burning charcoal briquets into two equal piles–one on each side of the charcoal grate–and place a disposable drip-pan between them. Replace the cooking grate so the opening by the handles is directly above the hot coals. continue to stoke the ire as needed by adding charcoal briquets through the openings by the handles on each side of the charcoal grate (a hinged cooking grate really comes in handy here). Charcoal should be added to the fire every hour to maintain an even cooking temperature.

Cooking Indirect on a Gas Grill:

Indirect cooking is accomplished by turning off any burners that are directly below the food. The burners on both sides of the food should be adjusted to equal amounts of heat.

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*All of this information has been taken from the Weber Grills website.

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