Different Methods of Grilling

We have given you all of these recipes over the last few months, but we never realized that some of you might not understand some of the terminology we are using for the recipes. We have used terms like direct and indirect grilling without ever fully explaining these terms. We assumed everyone is as fanatical about grilling as we are. However, once again, we have proven what happens when someone “ass-u-me-s” something.

There are three basic types of grilling methods: direct, indirect, and multi-level.

Direct Grilling – this is when the food is placed directly over the heat source. In most cases, this will be done over an open grill to allow the coals to maintain their optimum temperature. Die hard BBQ chefs will swear this is the only true method of cooking as it produces that charred, yet flavorful outside coating of the food.

Indirect Grilling – in essence, this is using your grill as a slow cooker. All of the coals are moved to the perimeter of the grill, creating an open pocket in the middle of the grilling surface. A drip pan is placed directly under this space and then the food is placed on the grilling surface. The grill is covered for this type of cooking and actually “roasts” the food instead of grilling it.

Do not mistake indirect grilling with finishing. This is when, for instance, you would char or sear the outside of a steak and then remove it from direct heat to allow it to finish cooking for a few minutes. With indirect grilling, the food is never placed directly over the heat source.

Multi-Level Grilling – we are not speaking of someone with a tiered grilling surface. Multi-level cooking is when the coals are stacked at different levels under the grate to establish different heat levels for grilling. By doing this, you create various heat zones on the grill. You are able to sear the meat and then finish it (mentioned above) at a different heat level. This differentiates itself from indirect grilling in that the item is always directly over heat.

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