Direct Versus Indirect Grilling

The first step in grilling success is understanding the difference between direct grilling and indirect grilling. It’s what separates the amateurs from the pros.

When we talk about direct grilling, this is what comes to mind for most of the world when grilling is mentioned.

In this article, we’re going to break it down for you.

Direct Grilling

Direct grilling means placing the food over the fire and cooking by direct exposure to the flame and the heat.

This is a high heat method that grillers use to cook relatively small or thin pieces of food quickly. Think kabobs, steaks, pork chops, chicken breasts, fish fillets, vegetables and bread.

The best candidates for direct grilling are usually tender foods, less than two inches thick and boneless.

When you use the direct grilling method, you can sear the outside surface of your meat and form a terrific crust. This locks the juices inside.

The best grill we’ve found for direct grilling is the Big Green Egg because of its unique design. Plus, because you grill on the EGG with the lid closed, you won’t have flare-ups and hot spots.

Indirect Grilling

When you want to cook larger and tougher foods that might burn if they were direct grilled, you use indirect grilling.

With this method, you place the food next to, but not directly over the fire. The grill lid is closed to hold in the heat as well.

You use this method to cook large pieces of meat like whole chickens, turkeys, brisket, ribs and pork shoulders. It’s great for meats that require long, slow cooking and over a more moderate temperature. This also allows you to introduce the flavor of wood smoke.

Indirect grilling provides dramatic results, made even more so by the long cook time and the anticipation of deliciousness.

To smoke and use the indirect cooking method on the EGG, you’ll need a platesetter to create a firewall between the coals and the food. It helps ensure an even cooking temperature.

Final Tip

In the end, it depends on what you’re cooking and what type of flavor you’re after.

If you haven’t experienced the Big Green Egg in person, stop by today. With seven sizes to choose from, ranging from the Mini to XXL, you’re sure to find one that meets your grilling, baking and smoking needs.

big green egg