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