Direct versus Indirect Heat

You’ll hear the phrases “direct grilling” and “indirect grilling” a-lot in the world of grilling and smoking. But often, the recipes or blogs that mention these phrases don’t explain what the difference is. If you’ve been confused about which method, you should use when grilling, don’t worry, we’re about to explain.   

What is Direct Heat? 

Direct heat is a method of grilling where the food is placed and cooked directly over the fire. It is a high heat cooking method used to cook small or thin pieces of food quickly. Typical foods that are direct grilled include steak, chops, chicken breasts, fish fillets, and veggies. Using direct heat is great for searing and adding a crisp to your food.  

What is Indirect Heat?

Indirect heat is primarily used for cooking larger or tougher foods that would burn if cooked directly. When cooking indirectly, the food is placed adjacent to the flame, not directly above the fire. Typical foods that require indirect grilling include brisket and ribs. These foods are cooked at low temperatures for longer periods of time.   


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