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About Indirect Grilling

Which is Which ?

"Grilling"

Photo of my dear (but just a little bit crazy...) friends at the grill ! In general: when meat is roasted right above a fire you call that "grilling". Grilling takes place at very high temperature, whereby the meat is heated mainly by radiation.

"Indirect Grilling"

Photo of whole Guinea Fowl (l) and whole chicken (r) ready for indirect grilling in between two coal pockets. During "indirect grilling" the meat is roasted by the hot gasses of the fire, at medium temperature, and as far away as possible from the direct radiation heat of the flames.



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Indirect Grilling

For indirect grilling you will need a grill that can be closed - like for example a Weber grill - and thereby keep the heat of the fire inside like an oven.

The closed grill must have sufficient grate area to enable you to place the meat, fish or other food next to the fire, away from the direct radiation heat of the hot glowing charcoal fire.

In addition, the closed grill must have some kind of adjustable air ventilation system to enable you to properly adjust the fire (and thereby the heat) inside the barbecue.

By using this indirect grill method you can slowly grill bigger and thicker pieces of meat or fish without too much danger of charring the outsides. Indirect grilling also makes it possible to barbecue the less tender cuts of meat which need a long time to cook until done, or to barbecue vulnerable food like fish which has a delicate texture.


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The "Weber Method"

When I purchased my Weber kettle barbecue it came with a nice instruction booklet in which the indirect grilling method was explained quite well.

Following the "Weber Method", the charcoal briquettes are moved to coalpockets on either side of the barbecue, and a drip pan is placed on the coal grate in between the two coal pockets. The meat or fish goes on the grill above the drip pan.

Photo of standard Weber set up for indirect grilling with two coal pockets and a drip pan in the centre. My Weber grill came with two wire formed "coal racks" that hook into the coal grate to form coal pockets which will keep the charcoal briguettes away from the centre of the barbecue.

Weber also carries disposable aluminium drip pans that will fit right in between the coal racks of my 18.5" Weber kettle grill.

Photo of barbecue set up for indirect grilling in between two coal pockets. Once the glowing charcoal briquettes are in the coal pockets and the drip pan is filled with water (or beer?) the grill can be placed and the barbecue party can start!



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Juancho's Split Grill

Photo of barbecue set up for indirect grilling with enlarged grill area and 1 coal pocket. Although I have achieved excellent barbecue results using the "standard Weber method" right from the textbook, at some point in time I decided that I needed more grate area.

At about the same time I also found out that the "Weber method" makes indirect grilling at temperatures lower than 400F quite difficult.

So I started tinkering with my kettle barbecue, which in itself was really a lot of fun. After lots of trial and error, I now feel quite confident that my current set-up will solve (or at least mitigate) most of the problems.

Photo of Juancho's Split Grill, also named the Hot Smoke BBQ Smoker To obtain sustained lower heat and improved temperature control inside the barbecue, and to increase the grate area and thus to be able to accommodate more meat or larger cuts of meat, I developed an improved barbecue method whereby the Weber Grill is set up for indirect grilling on one side.

While this improved Weber hot smoking method was initially just called Juancho's Split Grill, it is now also referred to by visitors as the Hot Smoke BBQ Smoker.



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"Cowboy Barbecue"

"Cowboy barbecue is a cross between grilling and smoking. You start the meat over the coals and move it when the color is right - then finish cooking it with indirect heat."

From the book "Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook" by Robb Walsh (page 144)

An example of Cowboy Barbecue:

Hot Smoke Highway Chicken Hot Smoke Highway Chicken
Just imagine you have to scrape your chicken from the highway after it's been hit by a couple of 18-wheelers...



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At Hot Smoke BBQ we love Chile Peppers!




Keep Smokin' !