Direct and Indirect Cooking on A Charcoal or Gas Grill
This method is similar to broiling. Food is cooked directly over the heat source. For even cooking, food should be turned once halfway through the grilling time.
Use the DIRECT METHOD for foods that take less than 25 minutes to cook, such as steaks, pork chops, kabobs, sausage and veggies.
DIRECT COOKING is also necessary for searing meats. Searing creates that wonderful crispy caramelized outer coating on the food. It also adds nice grill marks on the food and adds to the flavor to the total surface of the food. Steaks, chops, chicken pieces and larger cuts of meat all benefit from searing.
If you have a CHARCOAL GRILL spread prepared coals evenly across the charcoal grate. Place the lid on the grill and lift it only to turn the food or test for doneness at the end of the recommended cooking time.
To grill with the DIRECT METHOD with a GAS GRILL, preheat the grill with all burners on HIGH. Place the food on the cooking grate, then adjust all burners to the temperature noted in your 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 is similar to roasting, but with the added benefit of that grilled texture, flavor, and appearance you can't get in an oven. The heat rises and reflects off the lid and inside surfaces of the grill and slowly cooks the food evenly on all sides. The circulating heat works much like a convection oven, so there's no need to turn the food. Use the INDIRECT METHOD for foods that require longer then 25 minutes to cook, or for delicate foods that can't tolerate the heat from the DIRECT METHOD which will scorch or dry out the food. Examples are roasts, ribs, whole chickens, turkeys and other large cuts of meat. Delicate fish fillets should also be cooked this method.
To grill with the INDIRECT METHOD using a CHARCOAL GRILL, arrange hot coals evenly on either side of the grill. A drip pan placed in the center of the charcoal grate between the coals is useful to collect drippings that can be used for gravies and sauces. It also helps prevent flair-ups when cooking fattier foods such as goose, ducks and fatty roasts. For longer cooking times, add water to the drip pan to keep drippings from burning. Place the cooking grate over the coals and place the food on the cooking grate, centered over the drip pan or empty space. Place the lid on the grill and lift it only to baste or check for doneness at the end of the suggested cooking time. Lifting the lid too often will lengthen cooking time as you will lose heat.
To grill by the INDIRECT METHOD on a GAS GRILL, preheat the grill with all burners on HIGH. Then adjust the burners on each side of the food to the temperature noted in the recipe and turn off the burner(s) directly below the food. For the best results, place roasts, poultry, or large cuts of meat on a roasting rack inside a disposable heavy duty foil pan. For longer cooking time, add water to the foil pan to keep drippings from burning!