Indirect Grilling - Controlling the Heat for Best Barbecue Results

Manipulating the Grill

indirect grilling

Indirect Grilling is the act of moving the meat away from the hottest part of the fire in the grill. It is then cooked slowly, keeping the meat tender, juicy, and full of flavor. Here are some indirect grilling techniques that will lead to the best grilling results:

When working with charcoal briquettes or wood pieces, place all combustible materials on one side, and only at the bottom of the grill or barbecue pit. Leave the other side empty for the time being, and start your fire just like you normally do.

When the briquettes or wood is covered with a thin layer of ash, use some barbecue mitts to place a 9"by 12" foil pan on the bottom, and on the empty side of the grill. Fill the pan halfway with water. Keep adding water periodically as it cooks. The water evaporates during cooking, and the steam it puts off helps keep the meat moist.

While the charcoal or wood pieces are heating, clean the grill(if you did not do it after the last grilling with a wire brush. At this point, oil the grill by using a natural bristle brush, dip it into vegetable oil, and run it over the food grill.

Once the oil is applied, start placing the meat on the hot side of the barbecue grill first. This way you can sear the meat for a short time over the higher heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, then move the meat to the cool side.

Remember, the cool side is also the side with the pan of water under it. This will keep the flames from shooting up and burning the food, which happens often when cooking over direct heat.

If you have a gas grill, the whole cooking process is very much the same. Most gas grills have at least two burners, and that is really all you need for indirect grilling. If using a two-burner grill,turn one burner off, and place the water pan on top of the unlit burner.

If you have more than two burners, this give you more room to experiment with your indirect grilling. With a three-burner grill, you can turn on the two outside burners, and leave the middle one off. Then place the water pan on the middle burner. Again, sear the meat over the hot, or outside burners, and then cook for the majority of time over the middle burner, or cool area.

With these grilling methods, you can cook just about anything on a grill that you can cook in your kitchen oven. Bread, cakes, and pies can all be baked this way, and with great results.

A barbecue grill is really just an outdoor oven. It has a heat source just like an oven, and has an enclosed box like an oven. You can also control the heat almost as effectively as your oven.

Try these indirect grilling methods and enjoy some of the best barbecue and grilled foods you will ever eat.

Take these Indirect Grilling methods with you to the "How to Barbeque" page.