Zonal Cooking Tips and Tricks

When it comes to figuring out how to have multiple sides ready simultaneously, there’s a lot of conflicting advice out there. In my experience, zonal cooking is the best method of approach because it enables me to concurrently cook a variety of foods with different cook times and temperature needs. You’re probably wondering, “Ok, so what’s the trick?” The “trick” is all in the grill. With Char-Broil’s Signature™ 3 Burner Gas Grill, it’s easy to cook an entire meal on one grill without having to deliberate which foods taste more tolerable cold.

The Signature Series™ burners boast individual controls, so creating cooking zones are just as easy said AND done. Personally, I like to arrange zones according to heat, moving from hottest on one side to coolest on the other. Known as indirect heating, this approach is great for cooking thick cuts of chicken and steak.

It also creates an “oven” like airflow circulating around the grill—not just directly below the highest burners when closing the grill lid. The best part? Using this method, you reduce the risk of drying out meat if accidentally cooked too long.

Aside from zonal cooking, the Signature™ 3 Burner has a plethora of additional benefits; I’ve had mine for a little more than a month and in that relatively short time period, it’s functionality has made it one of my go-to grills. Aside from its mobility thanks to agile wheels and wheel locks, it’s also easy to season and load up with food according to cooking zones and keep warm on the heating rack. In other words, gone are the days of hoping the food is warm by the time it’s served! An added bonus: it can be cleaned in a cinch.

Still leery as to whether it lives up to the hype? Experience it for yourself and grill a whole meal with diverse foods (like this list of grilled veggies). You’ll be glad you did! Before you jump in, though, here are my two best tips to maximize your new Signature Grill’s zonal cooking capabilities.


Prep everything (food + grill) prior to grilling so you can arrange food over each zone as needed. For foods more sensitive to heat and cook time, like fruits and veggies, getting the temperature and cook times just right make all the difference for the outcome.

Keeping Food Warm

Toss foods like bread, corn or hot dogs on the top rack to keep warm while making room for more food on the zones below.