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What Is Indirect Heat Grilling?

Posted by Jake Eller on

What Is Indirect Heat Grilling?


Indirect Heat Grilling:
When it comes to grilling, there are two primary methods. Direct Heat Grilling, which is great for high-heat searing and quick-cooking (you can learn more about direct heat grilling here), and secondly, Indirect Heat Grilling.

That’s the one we’re going to be talking about today.

So, what exactly is indirect heat grilling? Glad you asked!

Say you want to roast or smoke your food - A pork butt for example. Well, using the direct heat grilling method, this would be impossible without it completely burning.

So how do we combat this?

Indirect Heat Grilling! Or - Cooking off to the side of the heat source.

This can be accomplished by building several heat zone within your grill, which you can learn more about here.

Essentially, you have one side of your grill that will be your heat side (used both as a heat source for indirect grilling -or- direct heat for high temp grilling), and another side that has no heat source, allowing you to slowly cook or roast your foods without them coming in contact with the flames.

Some examples of foods that typically require indirect heat grilling are (by no means an exhaustive list):

  • Large Roasts
  • Leg of Lamb
  • Briskets
  • Whole turkeys and chicken
  • Chicken Thighs and Legs
  • Slabs of ribs
  • Foods with sugary sauces, glazes and marinades are best suited for indirect grilling as well.

When using the Indirect Heat Grilling method, you will be cooking low and slow, possibly hours, over the side of the grill with no direct heat (no coals or flame source).

One key to Indirect Heat Grilling is controlling the temperature of your grill. The preferred temperature range for this cooking method is somewhere between 250℉ to 350℉.

One more thing you can accomplish by cooking indirectly is smoking -- but that’s another topic for another time.

Ready to get low and slow? This is the cooking method for you.

As always, Happy Grilling!