Using the technique of grill roasting, it’s easy to transform your backyard grill into an outdoor oven. This method is perfect for cooking hefty cuts of meat to succulent perfection. It achieves the same results as with oven roasting but without heating up the kitchen—a boon for those hot summer days.

What’s It All About
Also known as indirect-heat cooking, grill roasting captures the heat of the fire in a covered grill. The smoke-scented air circulates inside, producing flavorful, aromatic foods with golden brown crusts and juicy interiors.

Best for Big Cuts
Grill roasting works well for large pieces of food that take some time to cook (at least 20 minutes), such as a bone-in leg of lamb or a whole chicken. It’s also a good choice for thick chops or steaks that are too big to cook through by being grilled directly over a fire.

Use Indirect-Heat Cooking
Either a charcoal or a gas grill can be used for grill roasting, as long as it has a snug-fitting lid and is large enough to accommodate the food. The grill is set up for indirect-heat cooking so the heat source is confined to only one or two areas, and the food is placed over the unheated section (for step-by-step instructions, click on the links at right). Then the grill is covered and heat radiates around the food much like it does in an oven.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Roasting, by Rick Rodgers, Melanie Barnard, Bob & Coleen Simmons, Tori Ritchie & Amanda Haas (Oxmoor House, 2009).