One of the concepts that many backyard grillers do not understand is the difference between #Direct #Heat and indirect heat. Depending on what you’re putting on the grill, both methods are appropriate. Here are some suggestions on how to use your backyard grill to create some of the most delicious meals you have ever created using the two methods.

Direct heat

Most people who grill on the back patio understand cooking on direct heat. They fire up the charcoal or light the #Gas Grill and then put on the hot dogs or burgers, cook on one side for a few minutes, then on the other for a little bit more. Other types of food that are appropriate for direct heat include links, ribs, kabobs and thin cuts of steak.

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You can just cook them on each side as the recipe indicates before taking them off the grill and serving.

However, with some meat, simply cooking on direct heat runs the serious risk of burning your food on the outside before it is thoroughly cooked on the inside. That is where cooking with indirect heat comes into play.

Indirect heat

A number of sophisticated smokers such as the green egg allow you to cook with direct heat efficiently by providing a fire box to put your wood or charcoal into. But even if you have a simple Webber grill or a propane gas grill, you can cook using indirect heat with a few simple alterations.

For a charcoal grill, pile the briquettes on one side before lighting them, leaving the other side clear. For a gas grill, do not light one of the burners. In this way, you will have an area where you can put the meat so that it is not over direct heat but can still be smoked.

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Appropriate meats that can be prepared in this way include beef brisket, whole chickens, and pork loin or shoulder -- to name a few.

Remember that smoking these types of meats can take many hours and will likely require you to add charcoal and wood as needed throughout the process. The term “low and slow” should be your maxim in this case. If you have a gas grill, make sure you have enough propane to thoroughly cook the meat for however long it takes.

Both types of grilling

Sometimes, both direct and indirect heat are appropriate, say for unusually thick cuts of steak or pieces of chicken. The procedure involves searing the meat on each side so that it retains the juices, and then moving the meat away from direct heat to continue cooking. Use a meat thermometer to determine the doneness of the meat before taking it off the grill to slice and plate.