Direct Heat Grilling

Master this basic grilling technique.

Related To:

Direct heat grilling is cooking food directly over the heat source, usually a hot fire, throughout the entire cooking process. It's good for thin cuts (less than two inches thick) of meat, seafood or vegetables and perfect for burgers. If using a gas grill, turn on all valves to the same level. If using charcoal, spread the coals evenly throughout your cooking area.

To judge the heat level of the coals, hold your hand about five inches directly above the grill. If you can hold it there for a second, it's very hot; for two seconds, it's hot; for three to four, it's medium; for five, it's medium-low and for six, it's low.

Photo by: unknown

unknown

Lighting a Charcoal Fire for Direct Grilling

1. Set your grill on an even surface in an open area. Remove the grates, empty out any old ashes and open the vents on the lid.

2. Place the charcoal grate (the smaller grate) in the bottom of the grill.

3. Fill a large chimney starter with either charcoal briquettes or hardwood charcoal — both can be found at your local hardware store. Briquettes burn slowly with a moderately hot temperature; hardwood charcoal burns hot and fast. We like a combination of the two: Use a large chimney for the briquettes; start a smaller chimney with hardwood charcoal a few minutes later (or toss hardwood charcoal onto the hot briquettes once they're in the grill). Just don't combine the two in the same chimney — hardwood is ready sooner than briquettes.

4. Place the chimney starter(s) in a safe place, preferably right on top of the charcoal grate. Loosely stuff a sheet or two of newspaper below the chimney (or use a quick-light cube, available in hardware stores), and light with a match or lighter. You don't need any lighter fluid with this method. The coals are ready when flames are no longer visible and the coals are covered with grey ash, about 20 minutes.

5. Spread the hot coals evenly over the charcoal grate and put the grilling grate in place. Preheat the grate for about 10 minutes, scrub with the grill brush and you're ready to go.

6. When you're finished grilling, put the lid on the grill and close the vents.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Win Summer While You Still Can

Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer, and next Tuesday will be a little bit sad even for those of us who are not going back to school. So take full advantage of these last few days and send your summer off on a winning note.

Fighting Summer Stains: Barbecue

When it comes to barbecue stains,we’ve got you covered with these removal tips.

Win This Indoor Grill!

We’re giving away a De'Longhi Indoor Grill to one randomly-selected commenter.

Choosing the Right Meats

Grilling is one of the lightest ways to cook, but to keep it that way, pick leaner meats. Make healthy meal choices with these tips from Food Network.

VOTE: Star vs. Chopped Cocktail Showdown

This week, Guy Fieri and Aarón Sánchez are shaking up fresh spins on two favorite summer cocktails: the margarita and the mojito.

Take the Right Temperature

Hot Tips from Food Network Kitchens' Katherine Alford: To check a steak for doneness, insert a thermometer into the side, not the top. Aim the tip of the thermometer toward the center of the meat.

The Veggie Table: Vegetarian Grill Ideas

When the grill gets fired up, it's usually to cook meat, but there are plenty of veggie-friendly recipes to cook on the grill; even the meat-lovers would agree.

Latest Stories