Table of Contents
A lot of amateur barbecue enthusiasts light up their entire grill before cooking everything directly over the flames. But did you know the two-zone fire grilling which allows you to grill at several Temperatures？
If not, let’s follow me to know more about what a two-zone fire is in a moment, and we’ll go over the different ways that it’ll enhance your grilling experience and capabilities. And how to use grilling tool — digital food thermometers to control food’s temperature.
What Is Two-Zone Fire Grilling?
Two-zone fire grilling, also known as Direct and Indirect grilling. It is when you have one section of your grill dedicated to cooking food over direct heat, and you have another section of your grill that is colder for cooking in indirect heat.
Traditionally, you would have to place all your coals on one side of your grill to make a two-zone fire. Now, two-zone fire gas grills exist, and they allow you to control the temperature of both zones more effectively. They’re also a lot easier to use. You don’t have to try to manually heat up your grill’s hot zone without ruining your colder zone.
Advantages Of Two-Zone Fire Grilling
There are a few huge benefits to using the two-zone cooking method, and we’ll go over those benefits, now.
Cook Multiple Types Of Food At Once
One of the biggest advantages to using a two-zone fire is that you can slowly cook large pieces of meat over the colder half of the grill, and you can quickly cook smaller foods such as veggies and small meats over the hotter half of the grill.
For example, you can cook a large slab of ribs for several hours by placing it further away from your direct heat zone, and then you can quickly toss a bunch of mushrooms, corn cobs, and burgers directly over the flames when the ribs are nearly done. You won’t even have to adjust your grill’s temperature.
More Control Over The Cooking Process
You can have all the fancy barbecue tools you want. If you aren’t able to control your flames with precision, you won’t be able to handle the barbecue dishes that everyone craves.
A two-zone gas grill will allow you to control your grill’s flames much more precisely, and the food you serve will be way better than it ever was when you just slapped your meat directly over wild flames at all times.
The flavor of your food changes depending on how it’s cooked. Usually, slowly cooked foods will have rich and smokey flavors that barbecue enthusiasts love. When you use a two-zone grill or cooking method, you can really make those flavors shine.
However, some foods are better when they’re cooked very quickly. Steak and vegetables are good examples of that. The two-zone cooking method will allow you to cook every item you’re serving in the best way possible to maximize flavor.
How To Set Up A Grill For Two Zone Grilling
If you don’t own a gas grill that is designed to utilize two different heat zones, you can still use a two-zone fire. We briefly talked about it a little earlier. All you have to do is arrange your coals properly on a charcoal grill. Here’s a list of the different steps you have to take.
You don’t have to worry about your coal placement during this step. You’re going to mess it up anyways. Just dump your favorite brand of charcoal into your grill, arrange the chunks into a volcano shape, and light the charcoal volcano according to the directions on the packaging.
Wait about ten minutes for most of the coals to turn white before you move on to the next step. That’ll ensure that they stay lit when you close your grill.
Once your coals are lit properly, begin spreading them across one side of your grill. Try to cover half of the grill’s coal basin with the hot coals. That’ll give you ample amounts of room in both heat zones.
When you spread the coals out, try to keep them level. You shouldn’t have spots that have mountains of charcoal and others that are nearly bare. That’ll create hot spots, and the food that you cook directly over the flames might finish cooking at different times.
Leave The Other Half Bare
Do not add anything to the empty half of the grill’s charcoal basin. It’s supposed to be bare. That’ll be your cold zone, and you’ll use it to slowly cook large pieces of meat
Use The Appropriate Zone For Each Food
Now that your grill is ready for two-zone cooking, you just have to place your food in the appropriate zones. The hot zone will usually be used near the end of the cooking process.
It’s mostly used to cook the sides that will accompany your main meat item, but you can also use it to cook some hot dogs, burgers, or other foods that people can nibble on while they wait for your main piece of meat to finish cooking. Since grilling large pieces of meat usually takes the majority of a day, you’ll appreciate being able to quickly grill a few snacks.
Tips For Controlling Temperature With A Two-Zone Setup For BBQ
Controlling the temperature of your food with a two-zone cooking setup is pretty easy if you use a gas grill, but it’s a little more difficult if you use a charcoal grill. These tips will help you control your food’s temperature if you don’t have a luxurious grill.
Don’t Use Too Much Direct Heat
Unless you’re cooking something that needs to be cooked quickly, you shouldn’t use too much direct heat. You’ll dry out most meats by doing that, and a lot of different vegetables will burn if you expose them to direct heat for too long.
Cook Different Foods In Different Zones
The different heat zones you created are meant to be used for different types of food. Use that to your advantage. If you know a certain food item should be cooked slowly, always put it in the colder zone.
If a certain food item needs to cook faster, or if it’s not a food item that gets dried out when cooked quickly, throw it in the hotter zone and keep an eye on it.
Change Your Food Placement
While the two zones of your grill will cook the same foods most of the time, you’ll occasionally have to use both zones for one food item during different parts of the cooking process.
For instance, you want to cook thick pork chops in your cold zone for the majority of the cooking process. However, you’ll want to use the hot zone to put a nice sear on them towards the end of the cooking process.
That’ll ensure that the internal temperature is controlled properly, and you’ll get a beautifully seared piece of meat that is still juicy and tender.
Use A Food Thermometer
You should always use a food thermometer! You can utilize different heat zones all you want. You still won’t be able to truly control the temperature of your food if you don’t use a food thermometer.
If you want to cook the best barbecue in town, you’ll have to use a two-zone grill setup. That’s the only way you’ll be able to properly cook a wide variety of foods at the same time, and that’s the only way you’ll be able to truly bring out the best flavors in your food.
Finally, don’t forget to pick up a food thermometer before you start grilling. We recommend buying a ThermoPro food thermometer due to the high-quality standards that ThermoPro requires their products to meet. You’ll have better-tasting food, and you’ll be a lot safer if you use a ThermoPro.