Direct Heat vs Indirect Heat

What is Direct Cooking?

You may have heard people in the BBQ world referring to direct heat or indirect heat but never understood what it really meant. Direct heat & indirect heat refers to 2 different cooking methods used when barbecuing. Each method is best suited to different cuts of meat and really enhances the flavours of the meat.

At The Village Butcher, we are big lovers of barbecuing and want to share all our tips and tricks for creating the best BBQ experience. Here are our top tips for cooking Direct and Indirect.

Direct cooking is a method used when placing your meat directly over the heat. Whether using gas or charcoal, this method is ideal for cooking quick meats or that need a nice sear/crust such as steaks, burgers or chicken breasts.

Direct cooking on the BBQ

Charcoal Grill

  • Remove the cooking grate and evenly spread your hot coals across your BBQ
  • Add your cooking grate back and place your food above the hot coals
  • Close the lid, making sure to only open it when you need to turn food or to check if the meat is cooked and done to your liking

Gas Grill

  • Turn the burners high and let the grill preheat
  • Add your food to the grill making sure to readjust the temperatures to your recipe requirements
  • Close the lid, making sure to only open it when you need to turn the food or to check if the meat is cooked and done to your liking

What is Indirect Cooking?

Indirect cooking is a method in which food is not placed directly over the heat. The food will cook from the heat circulating inside the barbecue with the lid on. This would create an oven effect, keeping the flavour of the barbeque inside. It is ideal for slow cooking, roasting and smoking meats.

Indirect cooking on BBQ

Charcoal Grill

  • Add hot coals to your BBQ on either side of the grill, making sure to leave space in the centre
  • Add a foil drip pan to the centre of the grill
  • Place your cooking grate back onto the BBQ and add your meat directly over the drip pan
  • Close the lid and continue to cook to your recipe, only lifting open to check for doneness or basting the meat

Gas Grill

  • Preheat your grill with all the burners on high
  • adjust the burners on the outer sides to the temperature required for your recipe
  • Turn the central burner off and place your meat in the centre (ideally in a foil pan) and leave to cook (use the cooking times from your recipe)

The Village Butcher's Top Tip

We believe for the best results on the barbecue, cook with the lid on. This allows you to control the temperature and ensure smoke circulates inside the grill and infuses to enhance that barbecue flavour. At the same time being more fuel and time efficient.

Looking for food inspiration?

Not only do we supply a range of glorious meats and treats to feast your eyes on, but we also have a selection of our top recipes designed to impress your friends and family.

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro chef we cater for all cooking levels. Our meat range works perfectly in a range of homely comfort meals. Or if you fancy trying something new why not browse our recipes for some cooking inspiration.

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