Tip #3: Methods of Cooking

Becoming Master of the Grill is all about how you manage the flame.

Methods of cooking

Cooking with charcoal not only gives you the great smoky flavor, but also the flexibility on how to cook your food. Mastering grilling is all about managing the flame. The key for this is knowing the difference between direct and indirect cooking.

Direct Cooking
This method is primarily used for searing and cooking food at medium to high heat for a short amount of time. Such as Shrimp, Steaks, Burgers, as well as lower direct heat: Fish, Vegetables, Pork and Chicken. The food is cooked directly over the charcoal and gets a wonderful crust and a bit of char, and gives the food that amazing charcoal flavor.

Direct cooking steaks

Indirect Cooking
With this method you cook slightly away from your charcoal and source of heat. Depending on your grill or smoker this might simply be achieved by "banking" charcoal to one side of the grill, or alternatively using a plate-setter in a Big Green Egg or an Firebox on a Offset Smoker. Indirect Cooking doesn't have to be, but can be Smoking, simply add wood chunks and you are smoking your meat. Indirect Cooking works great for delicate vegetables, as well as one of my favorite methods "Reverse Searing" large cuts of Steak, or smoking meats like Pork Butts, Briskets and Ribs.

Indirect cooking Brisket

Recommended Products

For your direct cooks, it is best to use:

Sold out

For indirect cooks, it is best to use:

FOGO Premium Charcoal

Sold out


Print this Page

Free Shipping

Receive Free Shipping on all orders over $40

Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Full Satisfaction policy. No questions asked.


Grill Now, Pay Later!


Orders ship within 24 hours! Any questions?