Set Up Cooking Zones on Your Charcoal Grill

You can create the effect of direct or indirect heat by setting up two “zones” on your charcoal or gas grill. With a gas grill, you would simply light one half of your burners on one side and leave the other side off. Or use the warming rack as your indirect zone. The direct heat is on the lit side, while the indirect heat is on the unlit side.

It’s a little more complex when you’re grilling with charcoal. We’ll show you diagrams for round grills, like the Kettleman™, but with the square and barrel-shaped grills, you can simply put your coals on one half of the grill and leave the other side without coals.

Indirect Oven Roasting

This is a great way to get the oven effect when you want to roast whole poultry or get the oven-baked effect for foods like fish. Once the coals are ready, spread them evenly on the outside edge of the charcoal grate with tongs. Or you can push the coals to one side of the grill, leaving one side free of charcoal. Position the cooking grate over the coals and allow the grate to preheat for a few minutes. Place your food right in the centre. Close the lid and open the lid vent. The heat from the charcoal will rise and reflect off of the surfaces of the lid and circulate to cook the food evenly from all sides. If you need the grill to be hotter, just close the vent.

Direct High Temperature Grilling

Use this method for steaks, chops, hamburgers, kabobs, vegetables, and the like. When your charcoal is ready, spread them evenly across the charcoal grate. Put the grate in and close the lid, and allow the grate to preheat for 5-10 minutes. A light, high heat oil on your food will help brown your food evenly and keep it from sticking to the cooking grate. Food cooks faster when the grill is closed, but if your food smokes or is greasy, you may want to open the vent or open the lid.

Indirect Slow and Low Cooking

Barbecuing takes sweet time. Most smokers require constant monitoring and fire tending. With the Kettleman, you can put around 80 briquettes into a “C” shape on the grill. You can add flavour by putting around 5 small wood chunks to the inside of the charcoal. Keep them close together so they stay hot. When the charcoal is ready, place the grate over the coals. The charcoal and wood chunks will slowly burn for around six hours.

HOT TIP – To control the heat, you can open the vents on a charcoal grill and adjust the temperature setting on a gas grill.

A Quick-Start Guide

  • indirect oven roasting
  • indirect oven roasting
  • direct high temperature grilling
  • indirect slow and low cooking
  • Indirect Grilling
  • Direct grilling