And Which Is Best For What?
(The methods below are best used for gas grills and when the heat can be accurately controlled.)
1. Surface broiling with cover raised.
This method of broiling exposes only the bottom side of the meat or food to cooking temperatures. It is the slowest method of cooking on a gas grill, and is therefore suitable only for foods that cook quickly— like bacon, hot dogs, fish fillets, thin steaks or chops, hors d’oeuvres, shiskabobs, etc.
People who don’t particularly care for a smoky flavor may prefer this method because it provides the least “barbecue” taste. For obvious reasons, it is not a good method when the weather is cold or windy.
2. Surface broiling with cover lowered (or closed completely).
There’s no question— you get more flavor when you broil or cook with the cover of your gas grill lowered or closed completely. Therefore, this is by far the most popular method of cooking among grill users.
Meats and foods cook more quickly when the cover is lowered, because heat is confined in the grill and both the top and bottom surfaces of the meat or food are exposed to cooking temperatures.
You get more flaming and more smoke, and therefore more smoky flavor — but you have to be careful, or you will over-char and overcook the food. When broiling hamburgers or steaks, most users will use the Hi burner setting—particularly if they like their meat rare or medium. This method insures quick searing and charring of the outside surface without over-cooking the center of the meat.
Your own experience will quickly acquaint you with this method of cooking, so you will know what burner settings will produce the cooking results you want, and whether to close the cover completely or prop it open a bit.
3. Roasting, Baking or Barbecuing.
By closing the cover of your gas grill you can also make it an oven. By means of burner adjustments and the Heat Indicators, you can control the temperature inside the grill and use it to bake, roast or barbecue a great variety of foods.
For example, you can bake potatoes and vegetables in the closed grill, and then keep the potatoes hot on the potato rack while broiling the steaks, hamburgers or whatever!
4. Rotisserie Broiling.
The most popular accessory for a gas grill is the electric or battery operated rotisserie. The flat rotisserie broiling basket is an equally desirable item. Together they make rotisserie broiling a great method of cooking on your grill. Rotisserie broiling offers these advantages:
- Meats brown and cook evenly on all exposed surfaces.
- Rotisserie broiled foods do not require constant attention.
- Whole turkeys, whole hams, large roasts can be cooked or barbecued with delicious results.
- Exact degree of done-ness can be easily determined by use of a meat thermostat.
Foods that cook best on a rotisserie, using the regular meat clamps, are whole turkeys (do not use pre basted turkey) and hams, rolled roasts, rump roasts, sirloin tip roasts, loin roasts, large fowl, leg-of-lamb and any other bulky cuts of meat that can be properly impaled and balanced on the spit. Foods that cook best on a rotisserie, using the flat basket, are chicken halves and quarters, beef brisket, beef and pork ribs and flat roast cuts (chuck, etc.).
Whether to rotisserie broil with the grill cover raised or lowered?
Some people prefer to broil at a higher burner setting with the cover raised. The meat is constantly in view and is accessible for basting. It is a good method for meats that do not require long cooking, or are not to be cooked well done.
Meats cooked on the rotisserie with a lower burner setting and the grill cover lowered will usually be more tender and have a more smoky flavor. This method of cooking exposes the meat to a combination of broiling and baking. It is an outstanding and flavorful way to cook meat and fowl!
5. Indirect Cooking
It’s a great way to bake, roast or barbecue beef, pork, ham or fowl, (especially a turkey).
You simply operate only one of the twin burners and place the meat or fowl in the other side of the grill, and close the grill cover.
Usually a medium or low burner setting is best, because the meat or fowl will be more tender and delicious if cooking slowly. Bear in mind that “indirect cooking” is essentially a form of roasting or baking with the added advantage of barbecue flavor. Since the meat is not directly over the fire, flaming is avoided.
In most cases, the use of a pan or metal foil boat to collect the greases is advisable. If a pan or grease collector is not used, it is advisable after cooking is finished, to operate the grill burner on the side that held the meat at high burner setting with the grill cover closed, to burn off the grease that accumulated in the rock coals and on the burner, during cooking.