What is direct and indirect heat on a grill

charcoal on a hot grill

One of the main characteristics of cooking on the grill is the delicious smoky flavor that charcoal gives to cuts of meat. However, there are different ways of cooking on the grill that, as a Grill Master, you should know.

It is not enough just to know how to turn on a grill; the secret lies in the preparation of your meat also, because there are different ways to take advantage of the heat. This is known as direct heat or indirect heat.

Direct heat

By placing the cut directly on the grill always above the burning coal, either at the maximum point of heat or at a further point, we are talking about direct heat. Cooking over direct heat is the best way to seal meat, as a more intense flame is required for longer times.

This cooking method is indicated for preparations that take 15-20 minutes to be ready, for example, some vegetables, fruit, shrimp, and some cuts of meat.

To use it, you have the option of doing it with or without a lid. Using the lid is helpful for food to cook more evenly, as the heat concentrates on the broiler and remains trapped.

When done without a lid, the heat continually comes out of the grill. If you want to cook faster, the recommendation is this.

Indirect heat

It consists of placing the meat on the side of the grill where there is no burning coal. It is used for more careful preparations or those that require more time for even cooking so that the food does not burn on the outside but remains well cooked on the inside.

A grill with a lid is necessary to cook with this method since the food is cooked by the heat produced from the lit side and the heat that is concentrated on the grill.

To make use of indirect charcoal heat, you can place it on one side or in a corner; that way, you leave the opposite side without direct heat.

Another useful technique is to cover all the corners of the grill to leave the center without direct heat; the arrangement you choose will depend on the size of your grill and the food you are cooking.

As a Grill Master, you should use any of these methods to achieve better results. Surprise your guests and conquer the heat!