Great grilling is all about the flame. The key is knowing the difference between direct and indirect grilling, as well as how and when to use them.
Think of the direct method as being similar to broiling. Food is cooked directly over the heat source, and only needs to be turned once halfway through to ensure even cooking. Use the direct method for foods that take less than 25 minutes to cook, like steaks, chops, kabobs, sausages and vegetables. Most importantly, direct cooking is the key to searing meats. See our searing tip for why that matters.
To grill direct on a charcoal grill:
To grill direct on a gas grill:
The indirect method is similar to roasting, but with that irreplaceable grilled texture, flavor and appearance you just can’t get from an oven. Heat rises, reflects off the lid and inside surfaces of the grill, and slowly cooks the food evenly on all sides. That circulating heat works like a convection oven, so there’s no need to turn the food. Use the indirect method for foods that require 25 minutes or more of grilling time, or for foods that are so delicate that direct exposure to the heat source would dry them out or scorch them. This goes for foods like roasts, ribs, whole chickens, turkeys and other large cuts of meat, as well as delicate fish fillets.
To grill indirect on a charcoal grill:
To grill indirect on a gas grill: