Grilling: Indirect Heat on a Charcoal Grill

Elizabeth Karmel, author of Taming the Flame and creator of GirlsattheGrill.com, demonstrates how to set up a charcoal grill for indirect grilling--what you'll need to use when preparing food that takes more than 20 minutes to cook.

Released on 11/11/2008

Credits

Starring: Elizabeth Karmel

Transcript

00:00
(upbeat music)
00:10
Hi, I'm gonna show you how to set up your charcoal grill
00:13
for indirect cooking.
00:14
You wanna use the indirect cooking method
00:17
when you're cooking anything
00:18
that'll take longer than 20 minutes to cook.
00:20
Indirect cooking is
00:22
a no peak cooking method
00:24
because every time you lift that lid,
00:26
heat escapes and it takes longer to cook your food,
00:29
and it's also the method that you can only do
00:31
on a grill that has a lid.
00:33
Today, I'm gonna make ribs,
00:34
and those take about an hour and a half,
00:36
so I definitely want to use indirect heat.
00:39
What indirect heat means
00:40
is there's no heat directly underneath the food.
00:44
The heat is on either side of the food,
00:46
and when you put the lid on the grill,
00:48
then the heat rotates around the food evenly
00:51
so you never need to turn the food,
00:53
and that's what we're gonna do.
00:55
One you've got a chimney starter full
00:57
of white gray ash cover pirquette,
00:59
then you also want to make sure
01:01
that you have a drip pan.
01:04
The drip pan is gonna do two things.
01:06
Number one, it's gonna catch the fats and juices
01:09
that drip down from those yummy ribs
01:11
that we're gonna cook today,
01:12
and two, it also sorta gives you a dividing line
01:15
between where you're gonna put your charcoal.
01:17
Before, we can pour our charcoal,
01:19
I wanna put on my long handled mitt.
01:22
This is very important
01:24
when you're pouring charcoal
01:25
because you wanna protect your hands
01:27
from any flying sparks.
01:29
You also wanna make sure
01:30
if you have animals or small children,
01:32
that they stay about six feet away from the grill
01:35
so they don't get burned if there are any flying sparks.
01:38
Let me take the charcoal.
01:40
I'm gonna put my drip pan in place,
01:44
and then that will give me an idea
01:46
of where I should pour the charcoal.
01:49
I'm gonna try to get as close
01:51
to the charcoal grate as possible,
01:54
and try to be as even as possible, as well.
02:00
The next step we need to do
02:03
is to pre-heat the cooking grate.
02:05
I'm gonna put the cooking grate on
02:08
and I wanna make sure
02:10
that I have the holes
02:12
on either side where the charcoal is
02:15
and that's because since it's gonna take me
02:17
about an hour and a half to cook these ribs,
02:19
I'm gonna need to add charcoal after the first hour.
02:22
So, I'm gonna put the lid on the grill,
02:24
and this will allow me
02:26
to let the grill pre-heat
02:27
before I put my ribs on the grill.
02:29
You wanna make sure
02:31
that your vents are open,
02:32
both in the top and the bottom.
02:36
So, I think it's pre-heated.
02:39
Let's give it a quick brush
02:41
just to make sure our cooking grates are clean.
02:46
Now, let's put our ribs on.
02:49
We wanna put our ribs
02:51
directly over the cooking grate
02:53
where you don't have any charcoal
02:55
so that all the fats and juices
02:57
will go in to the drip pan.
02:58
You can see that I have my ribs on a rib rack
03:01
and a rib rack is a really nice element to use
03:05
because it allows me to cook five racks of ribs
03:09
in a very small amount of space.
03:12
We've got the ribs on.
03:13
They'll take about an hour and a half to cook.
03:16
Why don't we come back and check them
03:18
at about, you know, an hour
03:20
and see where we are.
03:21
Here's how you add charcoal
03:23
when you need to.
03:24
Gonna take the lid off,
03:27
and then, I've already got
03:29
a nice chimney starter full of gray ash pirquette.
03:32
So, I'm gonna use a pair of very long metal tongs.
03:38
See how easy it is
03:39
just to put them right through the hole.
03:43
You wanna put about eight on each side
03:46
every hour.
03:49
It's been about a half an hour
03:51
and I can smell them already.
03:53
I bet they're done.
03:54
Let's look at them.
03:56
Oh wow, look at that color.
03:58
Isn't that beautiful?
04:00
They're perfectly done.
04:01
You know what.
04:03
With a dry rub and the heat of the grill,
04:04
you don't even need barbecue sauce.
04:07
They are good enough to eat.
04:14
(upbeat music)