Direct and Indirect Grilling
Think hot and fast. For direct grilling, food is positioned over the charcoal and cooked by direct exposure to the flame and heat. Generally, foods that are tender, less than two inches thick and boneless are good candidates for direct grilling. It is the ideal way to cook steaks, chops, burgers, boneless chicken breasts, kebabs, fish fillets, many vegetables and other quick-cooking foods. And with a wok in place directly over the hot fire, you can even make a tasty stir-fry.
Direct grilling over high heat – from 500 to 750°F is hot enough to sear the exterior surface of the meat to form a delicious crust, the same process used in the best steakhouses. Juices are locked inside and any drippings sizzle on the coals, evaporating into flavor-filled smoke that is circulated around the meat, adding even more taste.
Because of the ingenious design of the EGG and the fact that grilling is always done with the lid closed, flare-ups and hot spots are virtually eliminated. For some foods, you will want to start out searing over high temperatures and then reduce the heat by adjusting the dampers to finish cooking.
Direct Grilling Setup
The setup for direct grilling is simple. Add natural lump charcoal to the top of the fire box and light the charcoal. Add the cooking grid, open the top and bottom vents and let the EGG rise to the desired temperature. Adjust the top and bottom vents to maintain the desired temperature.
Direct Grilling Recipes
Indirect Grilling and Roasting
With indirect grilling and roasting, the food is not directly exposed to the flames and heat of the fire. Rather, a heat shield such as a baking stone or convEGGtor is placed beneath the food to deflect the heat. Food is cooked by convection heat – heated air circulating within the dome – and radiant heat, which reflects off the charcoal, the ceramic walls and the dome.
Indirect grilling or roasting is best for larger cuts of meat such as turkey, chicken, roasts and hams, which take longer to cook. In general, use this method to cook anything thicker than two inches or with a bone – such as chicken pieces, otherwise the exterior will be charred before the interior is cooked through. One exception to this would be bone-in steaks, such as T-bone or porterhouse, which are best when grilled directly over the fire.
While indirect grilling and roasting are possible on other types of barbecue grills, the elliptical design of the EGG and the insulating properties of the ceramics cooks food much faster, with even browning and moister results. In addition, once the dampers are adjusted to the desired temperature, the charcoal will burn steadily for hours – 16 to 18 hours or more – without requiring frequent tending or replenishing.
Indirect Grilling and Roasting Setup
The setup for indirect grilling involves a convEGGtor or a baking stone. Add natural lump charcoal to the top of the fire box and light. Open the top and bottom vents and let the EGG rise to the desired temperature. Place the convEGGtor in the EGG with the legs up and place the cooking grid on top. Adjust the top and bottom vents to maintain the desired temperature. If you have the EGGspander then you can use a baking stone or the half-moon baking stone instead of the convEGGtor to create the same effect.