Indirect Cooking on a Gas Grill

indirect cooking

So you have that new gas grill and you want to cook ribs or a whole chicken. Well before you turn on that grill here is the golden rule of grilling.

If you are cooking something longer than 20 minutes then you need to use indirect cooking.

So, what is indirect cooking? Best way to explain it is to understand direct cooking. Direct cooking is making a fire and then putting the food directly over the fire. A good example is cooking on top of your range. Turn on the burner and then put a pot of food on top.

another form of direct cooking would be grilling a steak.

Indirect cooking is more like your oven where the heat source is away from the food, the air is heated and then circulated around the food. If you added a fan to blow the heat around it would then be a convection oven. Another example of indirect cooking is a smoker. If you want to cook low and slow you have to cook with indirect heat and not with direct flame.

convection oven

So how do we make a gas grill do indirect cooking?

With a three burner grill we turn on the two outside burners to medium leaving the middle one off we then put the food in the middle of the grill away from the burners.

three burner grill

On a two-burner grill, we turn on both burners on to medium and then position the food between the burners.

two burner grill with chicken

If the food is larger, like a turkey or roast then we turn on one burner and position the food over the burner that is still off.

two burner grill with turkey

Because it is one burner you will need to turn it up to get the temperature high enough. in closing take your time get to know your grill. Maintaining the correct temperature can be challenging but over time it should become second nature. On my Weber Genesis, I can usually predict the temperature just by looking at knob position but you should always use a remote thermometer to not only keep track of the food temperature but also the air temperature inside the grill. If you prefer a video on this subject just watch the one below.