Direct & Indirect Grilling Methods
Weber charcoal grills and gas barbecues give you great grilled results every time because they are designed to give you ultimate control of your grilling temperature and cooking method. Here we explain the secret to great grilling. (Remember, whether you’re cooking by the Direct or Indirect Method, always grill with the lid on.)
The Direct 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: like steaks, chops, kabobs, sausages and vegetables. Direct cooking is also necessary to sear meats. Searing creates that wonderful crisp, caramelized texture where the food hits the grate. It also adds nice grill marks and flavor to the entire food surface. Steaks, chops, chicken pieces, and larger cuts of meat all benefit from searing.
To grill by the Direct Method on a charcoal grill, spread prepared coals evenly across the charcoal grate. Set the cooking grate over the coals and place food on the cooking grate. Place the lid on the grill and lift it only to turn food or to test for doneness at the end of the recommended cooking time.
To grill by the Direct Method on 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 the 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 benefits of that grilled texture, flavor, and appearance you 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. 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 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. Examples include roasts, ribs, whole chickens, turkeys, and other large cuts of meat, as well as delicate fish fillets.
To grill by the Indirect Method on a charcoal grill, arrange hot coals evenly on either side of the charcoal grate. 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 flare-ups when cooking fattier foods such as goose, duck, or 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.
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 best results, place roasts, poultry, or large cuts of meat on a roasting rack set inside a disposable heavy-gauge ftimes, add water to the foil pan to keep drippings from burning.