Tips & Tricks

How to Create A 2 Zone Grill or Indirect Zone For Delicious BBQ

The secret to delicious barbecue is understanding the indirect zone

Creating a 2 zone grill or indirect zone for barbecue is simple

To be able to create a magical meal on the BBQ it’s imperative to start with a 2 zone grill or and indirect zone. Grilling is all about cooking up burgers and hotdogs, using high heat right over those flames. But barbecuing is an art form, staying off the flames and slowly creating tender, delicious meals that may take all day to prepare. But how to do this right all depends on your grill.

Gas Grills

If you’re using a gas grill, you won’t need all the burners. Remember, you’re using indirect heat here. You need at least a three-burner grill to do this method properly, lighting just one of them. If you’re using a four-burner grill, light two of the burners.

Place your meat on the unlit side, leaving room between them so the smoke can penetrate all angles. You should make sure the temperature stays between 200 and 275 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the meat you’re using. Setting your burners to low or medium should help maintain this temperature.

The amount of time it takes to cook your meat depends on what kind and how thick it is. For instance, ribs will likely take between 3 and 4 hours, while a brisket or a pork shoulder may take 12 to 14 hours. Either way, be prepared to be staying close to the barbecue the whole time.

Charcoal Grills

For a charcoal grill, I love my Weber, it takes a bit of extra work to get the right heat and flavor. Start with a chimney starter. To avoid using lighter fluid and giving your meat an off taste, stuff a few sheets of newspaper into the bottom of the chimney. Then fill it up with the best quality charcoal you can find. Light the newspaper and let the flames work their way into the charcoal.

Clean out all the ash from inside the barbecue. It should be completely empty when you add the hot briquettes. Make sure your grill is clean as well at this time. When the starter charcoal has reached the right temperature (200-275 degrees Fahrenheit), add it to the grill.

Remember, you are creating an indirect heat source, which is done one of two ways. You can push the coals to the sides, leaving the middle open, or you can move them to one side, leaving the other as your cooking area.

Place the grill over the charcoal, placing a bread loaf pan ¾ filled with water over the heat. This will help you maintain the moisture in the meat. Place the meat as far from the heat source as you can get it.

Try to open the grill as little as possible while still keeping an eye on the meat. If the heat gets too high, open the vents or the lid. If it gets low, add a few more briquettes. Again, cooking times depend on the meat.

Other Tips

Be sure all your must-have barbecue accessories, rubs, sauces, and even a cooler of drinks are all outside near the barbecue when you begin. This will keep you nearby, so you can keep a close eye on the meat, just in case any flare-ups occur.

Fattier cuts of meat, like ribs, pork shoulders, and brisket, all work best since they won’t dry out.

Keep some briquettes in the chimney cooker so you always have hot ones to add.

Add some wood chips to a smoker box or onto the briquettes for some extra flavor.

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