Get It Hot!
Gas grills need time to preheat, just like charcoal grills, although they take less time. Once lit, turn the burners to high and preheat the grill for 10 to 15 minutes. After preheating you can reduce the heat or turn off burners as needed for your recipe.
Know Your Zones!
If you know nothing else about grilling but this, you will be a grill master. Zone cooking is a method of grilling that partners direct and indirect heat for maximum efficiency.
- Direct heat is provided by a burner or two set to high or medium-high and is best for searing, quick-cooking vegetables, and shrimp.
- Indirect heat is a burner (or two) next to that direct heat source, that is turned off. Indirect heat relies on convection (you’ll need to close the grill to use it; more on that below) for a low-slow heat much like baking in the oven. It’s used for cooking meat to the correct internal temperature or to cook veggies all the way through without causing the exterior to burn to a crisp.
Take Advantage of the Lid and Top Rack
Understanding when and how to use you grill’s lid is a part of becoming a grill master. Covering the grill while cooking lets the portion of your grill set to indirect heat do its job even better, creating a convection environment. This technique is great when you’ve got multiple meals on the grill or a dense cut of meat cooking.
Locking up the lid can also turn the grill into an oven, which is great for baking on the grill. Take caution, though: Covering the grill makes for a much hotter cooking environment, which means you can quickly overcook thin steaks or fish fillets. A good recipe will tell you when to cover your grill, but once you understand what this technique does, you’ll know when to use it.
Top rack basics: Don’t forget about the secondary shelf or top rack just inside the lid. It’s an ideal spot for melting cheese on burgers or warming buns for grilled chicken sandwiches.