Indirect vs Direct Grilling

Semantics? Not really.  There is a real difference between the two methods of grilling and they types of food you will cook in each instance.


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Indirect vs Direct Grilling

So, what is the difference between the two?

This is a very simple concept once you understand the differences between the two. Let's see, how best to describe the two?

Well, let's first discuss the direct grilling concept and then apply that information to the indirect grilling.  Direct grilling is where you cook your food directly over the fire or heat source. The fire is hot and the coals are glowing red.  Make sure the fire is large enough to provide direct heat for all the food you will be cooking.  The heat from the fire rises straight up to to the nature of heat rising and cooks the meat. 

This method of cooking is for meats and any other items which will cook quickly over high heat.  It is most often used for searing steaks and other items such as burgers, hot dogs, pork chops, boneless poultry, sausage, fish, etc. 

Most often, the lid of the grill is up or open.  You will be turning and/or basting the meats during the cooking process.

Got it?

Indirect grilling, on the other hand, does not have the heat directly under the meats, etc., that are being cooked.  The heat is on the other side of the pit/grill or from an attached firebox.  Maybe you are cooking on a smoker, that would be indirect heat cooking. This would be more like cooking in an oven, except you will be doing it outside and adding smoke flavor to your food.

Some of the items you would use indirect grilling for would be ribs, brisket, pork butts, whole chicken, etc.  You are wanting to cook what folks in the business call, "low and slow".

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