Return to Previous Page

Direct-Heat Grilling

For direct-heat grilling, food is placed directly over the fire of a charcoal grill or the heat elements of a gas grill. The food cooks relatively quickly -- usually in less than 25 minutes -- over intense heat, which sears and caramelizes the surface, boosting the flavor. Some grill cooks use a lid to reduce flare-ups and control the temperature. Others insist the grill be left uncovered at all times. If you plan to brush the food with a sugary sauce, do it just before it comes off the grill so the sauce doesn't burn from exposure to the intense heat.

 

Good cuts to use: Burgers, steaks, chops, pork tenderloins, boneless chicken pieces, kabobs, fish fillets, shrimp, vegetables

 

 

Charcoal

 

1. Light the coals.

 

2. After 15 to 20 minutes, the coals will be covered with gray ash and glowing. Remove the grill grate from the grill and pour the coals onto the fire bed.

 

3. With tongs, spread the coals in a single, snug layer, leaving a few cooler areas for dealing with flare-ups or food that is cooking too quickly. You can also create different heat levels by spreading the coals in a  thick layer on one part of the fire bed, and a thinner layer on another part.

 

4. Place the grill grate on the grill and heat for a few minutes. Scrub the grate clean with a wire grill brush and oil it with a rolled-up paper towel dipped in oil.

 

5. Place the food directly over the fire and cook according to the recipe. See more tips for direct-heat grilling with charcoal.

 

 

Gas

 

1. Ignite the grill, turn all the burners on to high, cover, and preheat for about 15 minutes, or a little longer in cool weather.

 

2. Open the lid and leave all the burners on. Scrub the grate clean with a wire grill brush and oil it with a rolled-up paper towel dipped in oil.

 

3. Adjust the controls to the heat level appropriate for the food you are cooking.

 

4. Place the food on the grate, and cook according to the recipe. See more tips for direct-heat grilling with gas.