& Techniques of the BBQ Guru : Indirect Heat
is one of the ways in which to cook food on your gas or charcoal
grill. In general you should use indirect heat when cooking
larger cuts of meat. We use indirect heat when cooking our
favorite BBQ cuts, such as . . . ribs, pork butt, brisket,
chicken, turkey, beef roasts, etc.
using indirect heat, your goal is to never have any part of
the meat directly over flames or charcoal. You can only do
indirect cooking with a charcoal or gas grill that has a cover.
In this respect, it acts very much like a convection oven
. . . the heat swirls around the inside of the grill and the
meat is cooked from all angles. This also eliminates the need
to 'flip' or turn your meat during the cooking process.
ideal temps for cooking 'low and slow' are 225º - 275ºF
with chicken going as high as 300º - 325ºF. You will
also want to place a water pan inside the cooking chamber.
This will help to moderate the heat and will keep the cooking
chamber moist. The best way to monitor these temps is with
an oven thermometer. I use the kind that has a 3 - 4 foot
cord. On one end is an 'L-shaped' probe and the other end
connects to a digital display unit. The beauty of this type
is you do not have to lift the lid. Every time that lid comes
off, you will be adding 15 minutes to your cooking time. Honest!!
Been there, done that!
how exactly do we accomplish indirect heat and keep those
temps down? Lets explore first charcoal grills and then
are actually two methods you can use for charcoal grills.
Lets look at each one individually.
the coals to one side of your grill or banked along the 'back'
wall. Then you will place the meat on the 'front' part of
your grill. Now, lets place our drip pan and water pan.
Directly in front of the coals, on the same level as the coals
we will place the drip pan. The idea is to catch the juices
from the meats in this pan.
the grill level, directly above the coals, we place a water
pan. Fill this, after placing in position, about half full
of water. The idea here is to baffle the heat and add some
in front of this, and above the drip pan, will be the meat
you are cooking. Now, if you are using a thermometer, it should
be placed somewhere between the water pan and as close to
the meat as possible, but not touching the meat.
this method, you will pile your charcoal around the outer
rim of the grill. The drip pan is placed in the middle of
the charcoal and doubles as a water pan. Add water to your
drip pan in this method. The meat will be placed above the
drip pan and in the middle of the grill. The thermometer again
should be placed as close as possible to the meat.
other trick to keep the temps down is in the procedure to
light the charcoal. Only light 1/2 of the charcoal. You will
need to use a charcoal chimney for this. Once these are completely
ashed over, spread them on top of the unlit briquettes you
have already placed in the grill. This accomplishes two things
. . . You will not have all the charcoal burning at one time
and it will greatly extend your cooking time on one load of
charcoal. When we use this method in our smokers, we get 12
- 18 hour burn times on one load of charcoal!
if you would like to add some smoke flavor to the meat, you
will need to add some wood chips. The easiest way to do this
is to simply throw a handful of chips directly onto the hot
coals. However, you will have to soak these chips overnight
. . . this will prevent them from flaming and burning too
quickly. You only need to add a little smoke at the very beginning
of the cook. Once meat reaches a temp of 140ºF it no longer
absorbs smoke flavor. That point is usually about 1 - 2 hours
into the cook, depending on the temps you are cooking at.
A word of caution . . . start small with just a little and
work up to your flavor preference. You may need to add more
chips every 30 minutes.
much the same procedures as Method 1 above can be followed
for gas grills. In this case, just light one burner . . .
either the burner along the side or the back of your grill.
You will need to experiment with your particular grill settings
to get your temps in the 225º - 275ºF range. Once again
you want to keep the meat from being directly over the flame.
One other difference . . . there is no need for a drip pan,
but you should still use a water pan to keep the environment
moist and the heat down.
smoking with a gas grill, you will need to buy a smoker box
or use foil to wrap your soaked chips. Poke a few holes on
the top and bottom of the foil to allow for
some airflow. Place the box or foil as close as possible to
the flame. To get the smoke going you will have to turn your
grill on high. Wait for the smoke to start and then back down
Team Double Smoke
Taylor is know as the BBQ Guru on the RecipeGoldmine website
for his expertise in the art of the Barbecue and Smoking.
Over the last twenty years barbecuing has caught on fast in
the UK but for most of us it is still an unexplored form of
cuisine - a few chops and some sausages.
With the help of Kevin Hub-UK
is hoping to bring to you a series of articles and recipes
over the summer which will change your way of life and bring
great pleasure to you, your family and friends as you enjoy
the long summer evenings.
Taylor is a regular contributor at RecipeGoldmine - click
here to visit the website.
Hub-UK : firstname.lastname@example.org