Written by Leonie

Advice on direct and indirect grilling

Are you unable to prepare a good roulade on your charcoal barbecue? Chances are that it is your grill method. Do not panic! After reading this article you know the difference between direct and indirect grilling. You can also read about the 50/50 grill method, the circular method and the bulls eye method. That means you will never be in the mood again.

Direct grilling versus indirect grilling

What is direct grilling?

What is direct grilling? That what so little every barbeque does at + 25 degrees. Grilling fast and hot on a very hot charcoal barbecue. You distribute meat or fish dishes over the whole grill grid of the charcoal bbq. Dishes are directly above the hot coals or briquettes so they are quickly cooked. You can apply this grill method to a barbecue with or without lid. Grilling is done when you:

  • Grilling at temperatures of 175 to 230 degrees.
  • Want to eat meat, fish or vegetables from the grill within 25 minutes.
  • Want to prepare hamburgers, sausages, prawns or vegetables.
  • Want to cauterize or grill large pieces of meat. *Have a bbq with or without lid.

What is indirect grilling?

With indirect grilling you make a hot air oven from your barbecue. By strategically placing coal in the bbq, you create heat zones. You put the food on the part of the grill grid where there is no coal underneath, so that it is quiet cooking.

  • Grilling at temperatures of 120 to 175 degrees.
  • Longer than 30 minutes preparation time.
  • Preparing large pieces of meat and poultry.
  • No blackened pieces of meat.
  • Possible with a barbecue with lid and ventilation holes.

Grilling directly or indirectly in 7 steps

Direct grilling

How can I grill directly on my charcoal barbecue?

  1. Distribute briquettes or coal over the entire bottom grid.
  2. You light the bbq.
  3. Ready to grill? Place the dishes directly over the coals.
  4. Barbecue with lid? Place it on the barbecue.
  5. Play with the air vents for the right air supply.
  6. Remove the first dishes from the grill within 25 minutes.
Indirect grilling

How can I indirectly grill on my charcoal barbecue?

  1. Distribute coal or briquettes along the outside of the tub.
  2. You light the bbq.
  3. Place a drip tray on the spot where there are no coal.
  4. Pour water into this container to prevent smoke from developing.
  5. Let the bbq with lid on the temperature.
  6. Place the dishes above the drip tray on the grill grid.
  7. Play with the air vents for the right air supply.

The 50/50 grill method

50/50 grill method

If you want to combine direct and indirect grilling, use the 50/50 grill method. Ideal for searing (direct) and letting (indirect) cooking. You distribute the coal 50/50 over the bottom grid. In other words, all coal on one half and no coal on the other half. On the half without coal you put a drip tray with water. Place and move your dishes on the right side of the grid for the best result.

The circular grill method

Circular grill method

The circular grill method is ideal for baking a pizza or roasting whole chicken or turkey. You put coals in a circle along the edge of the bottom grid and in the middle of the circle you put a drip tray with water. You do this for the collection of fats and juices and / or for the prevention of smoke development. Allow the temperature in the bbq to rise to +/- 250 degrees and place the pizza or roast on the grid above the drip tray.

The bulls eye grill method

The bulls eye grill method is a lesser known grill technique. Yet it is a nice method to boost the bbq. You stack coal or briquettes in the shape of a pyramid in the middle of the barbecue. This way you create a lot of heat in the center of the barbecue. This grill method is suitable for searing steaks or when you want to use a pan or wok on the charcoal barbecue.


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