Indirect Grilling

Techniques

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Indirect, but straight forward!

This technique belongs to very basics of great grilling. Luckily, it is the simplest thing to learn. Indirect grilling means keeping the meat away from the direct, radiant heat. This requires arranging two grilling zones inside your grill. In practice, you split the grill in half and place charcoals on the other side, while another half remains empty. Some pitmasters call this arrangement “half and half”. This is also something you use when reverse searing your steak. Read about reverse sear here.

Indirect grilling
Two zone arangement

I tend to enforce the half and half arrangement by placing a heat deflector on top of the empty side, but this is not absolutely necessary.

Indirect grilling
Heat deflector on the left side

If you are cooking with a gas grill, you need to have a model with several burners split in minimum two zones.

Why indirect grilling?

Indirect grilling gives you better control over temperature, thus greater cooking results. When cooking on two zones, the empty side is called cool zone and the other side hot zone. Meat goes always on cool zone where heat travels through air from the hot zone.

Indirect grilling on two zones
Rib eye steak on cool zone

This is important especially when grilling larger cuts of meat. Just imagine cooking 3lb (2,7kg) pork loin directly on top of the burning hot charcoals for an hour. Most likely you would get burned surface and under cooked interior. Gentle heat through convection is key to success.

Surely you will need direct heat for grilling also. Searing is another technique, but then you work on high heat and short periods. That’s another story.

Now go grilling, indirectly!

Here you can find few recipes with indirect grilling

Grilled Chicken Breast

Iberico Pork Presa

Charolais Flank Steak

Rib Eye Steak

Tomahawk Steak

Tri Tip

Red Deer Ribs

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