Direct & indirect grilling

Direct & indirect grilling

You can hardly wait for the barbecue season every year? No wonder, because when it comes to grilling, there are no culinary limits. However, in order to conjure up a delicious meal, you should pay attention to the basics. Among other things, this includes choosing the right method depending on the food to be grilled. Because grilling sausages indirectly is a mistake we want to prevent you from making. We'll explain the difference between direct and indirect grilling and how to use each method on different grills. Whole chicken, vegetable skewers, shish kebab: You'll also find out which grilled food you can prepare and how. 

Direct grilling: high temperature & short cooking time 

The better-known grilling method is direct grilling. The food is grilled directly above the heat source on the grill grate. Due to the high temperature, the cooking time is very short, making this method particularly well-suited for steaks, hamburgers, fish fillets, sausages, seafood, chops, shish kebabs, chopping skewers, vegetable skewers and more. As a rule of thumb, you can remember: Anything that takes less than 15 minutes to cook in the kitchen, you can grill directly. The meat slices should therefore be no thicker than about 2 centimeters. Also, take the food out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before grilling. A charcoal grill can be used as soon as gray ash covers the briquettes or charcoal. Then you can give your grilled food wonderful roasted aromas. The meat remains juicy because the pores close immediately. 

Grilling spare ribs, chicken, fish & Co. indirectly 

With the indirect grilling method, on the other hand, the food is not placed directly over the embers, but offset to the side. This means that it is not directly above the flame and is therefore prepared gently. For this type of grilling to work, a snug-fitting lid is essential. This should be closed during grilling. If you open the lid unnecessarily, you extend the cooking time by up to ten minutes. You also don't have to turn the food. Another advantage compared to direct grilling is that the grill fat does not drip onto the glowing coals and thus no harmful substances are produced during evaporation. In return, your grilled food does not get the appealing roasted aromas and you need a thermometer that transmits the values to the outside. This way you can be sure that the temperature remains constant. Indirect heat is suitable for bread, whole chicken, roast beef, spare ribs, whole pork shoulders and whole fish, among other things. Christmas goose can also be grilled indirectly.  

Indirect & direct grilling with electric, gas or charcoal grill 

Whether charcoal, gas or electric grill: In principle, you can use any grill for the direct method, but the food must always be above the charcoal or the burners. To do this, distribute the charcoal evenly over the entire charcoal grate or place the food on the grate directly above the gas burner. Powerful electric grills are also suitable for direct grilling. The indirect method can be used with a charcoal or gas grill. With the former, you need a spot on the grill grate under which there is no charcoal. Heat the charcoal to grilling temperature and either push it to one side or divide it evenly between the two sides. In a kettle grill, you can arrange the charcoal in a ring. Make sure that the ventilation slider is located above the indirect section. This way you can guarantee optimal air circulation. It is recommended to place a water bowl on the empty part of the charcoal grate. The water ensures high humidity, which prevents your food from drying out. In addition, your grill is kept clean, because dripping fat and marinade are collected by the bowl. If you use a gas grill for indirect grilling, then you simply do not fire all burners and bring the remaining ones to a medium temperature.  

Combine indirect & direct grilling 

Do you want to grill something indirectly, but still want the roasted flavors of the direct method? Then combine the two grilling methods. To do this, first grill directly on half of the grill and then finish cooking the food indirectly on the other half. For large steaks or roasts, use the 50/50 grilling method to give the meat that attractive branding. If you are eager to experiment, you can prepare the meat in the so-called caveman style: directly on the embers without a grate. It is essential that your charcoal does not contain any chemical additives. You can also simply bury potatoes, including their skins, in the embers.