How To Set Up A Gas Grill For Indirect Grilling

With over 800 BBQ recipes on our website, 37 of them being about grilling steak alone, we’ve mentioned using the indirect grilling method on gas and charcoal grills several times. Do you know how to set up a grill for indirect grilling? Learn about setting up your gas grill for indirect heat, and the different foods that you can cook using this unique technique.


What is Indirect Grilling?

Grilling with the use of indirect heat on a gas grill means that you are not placing the food directly over the heat source. Instead, you are using the hot air in the BBQ to gently cook the food. This technique is great for food that would otherwise burn if leftover direct heat for too long, for example, a roast, or a loaf of fresh bread. Using indirect heat to cook is ideal when you want to smoke as well because the lower temperatures and long cooking time allow the connective tissues to relax and the fat to render making for one tender piece of meat.

Indirect Cooking Diagram


Indirect Grilling on a Gas Grill

Setting up your gas grill for cooking using indirect heat is incredibly easy. The trick is knowing how much heat you will need while cooking – this will dictate how many burners need to be lit and how high they need to be.


2 Burner Gas Grills:

With a two-burner grill like our Rogue™ 365 or the portable TravelQ™, just turn one burner on, as low as it will go. Allow time for the grill to preheat before placing your food over the unlit burner. Because there is little space between the lit burner and the food, it is a good idea to turn your dish, at least once, halfway through the cook so that all sides get even amounts of heat.

3 Burner Gas Grills:

Grills, like our Rogue™ 425’s and Triumph™ 410 are fairly easy to set up. Light the two outside burners, leaving the one in the middle off. Turn them down to low and allow the grill to preheat. When the grill is warm, place the food in the middle of the grill, over the burner that is not on. Monitor the heat closely, if two burners are heating the grill too much, you can turn one of the burners off.

4 Burner (or more) Gas Grills:

Much like a 3 burner set up our four (or more) burner grills, like the Prestige® 500 Series and LEX 605, only need the two outside burners on to create the ideal convection and oven-like environment for baking and roasting. To ensure even temperatures inside these larger BBQ’s, you may need to turn up the gas a little higher, turning the knobs closer to medium than you would have thought needed, however that comes down to how efficiently your grill is using those BTU’s.

4 Burner Grill


Charcoal on a Gas Grill:

Napoleon gas grills have the unique ability to burn charcoal when using the Cast Iron Charcoal Tray accessory. Using the charcoal tray allows you to smoke on a gas grill too, which means that using indirect grilling is imperative. Indirect heat using charcoal on a gas grill is simple. Remove the cooking grids on one side of the grill and replace them with the charcoal tray. Lay down a single layer of charcoal and use the grill’s burners to light them. At this point you can replace the cooking grids. When the charcoal has a coating of white ash and the grill is up to the desired temperature, place whatever you are cooking over the unlit burners of the grill. Add extra flavor and smoke by placing some wood chips to the charcoal.

The indirect heat technique for barbecuing food can produce some fabulously delicious BBQ meals.

Smoker Charcoal Tray
How To