The indirect grilling method is something you will hear about often if you are interested in cooking food outdoors. However, not everyone knows just what that means. What is direct and indirect grilling? If you are not sure, this is the article to help you find out. If you learn to use both techniques correctly, you will have an easy time turning out great food.
What is Direct Grilling
Direct grilling is the thing we think of most times when we picture grilled food. If the term conjures up burgers, steaks, or vegetables sizzling over smoky coals, that is direct grilling. It is a high heat process that is good for most vegetables and kabobs, pieces of chicken, fish or shellfish, flatbread and pizzas, and chops.
To do direct grilling on a gas grill, preheat to high and cook directly over the heat source. In a charcoal grill, use enough coals to form a bed three to four inches bigger on all sides than the food you are going to cook over it.
What is Indirect Grilling
The indirect grilling method is less common, but still very useful. It is great for cooking tough or large cuts of meat, smoking foods, and cooking tougher vegetables, such as potatoes. Generally, anything that needs to cook for a long time will need indirect heat to prevent burning. Foods that are commonly cooked over indirect heat include whole poultry, pork shoulders and ham, brisket, ribs, and tubers such as sweet potatoes or potatoes.
If you want indirect grilling to work properly, you will need a good lid for your grill. That turns it into something like an oven, and helps maintain a safe temperature. An oven thermometer can help you determine how hot things are. You can open and close the vents on the grills to control temperature. Generally, if you are going to be using an indirect grilling method, your temperatures should range from two hundred fifty to three hundred fifty degrees Fahrenheit.
Indirect grilling on a charcoal grill requires starting the fire and allowing it to burn until the coals glow red. Distribute the coals into two separate piles and place them on opposite sides of the grill. Place a foil drip pan in the middle of the grill, between the coals, to catch any fat or juices.
In some cases, putting water in this pan is necessary to keep food moist. Generally, this is when the food in question must be cooked for a very long time. If you are planning to smoke the food using wood chips, put a handful of soaked ones into each pile before you put the grate into place.
Place the food on the grill; close the lid, and start cooking. Add more wood chips as necessary for the amount of smoke flavor you desire, and add twelve to fifteen more pieces of charcoal each hour to keep the heat going. It is a good idea to use a chimney to get these briquettes burning before adding them to the grill.
On a gas grill, you will require more than one burner. That allows you to light one side of the grill and cook the food on the other. If you have a multi burner grill, light the ones on the outside edges, and cook food in the middle, with the grill cover down.
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