Cooking on an outdoor grill ranks among the most flavorful and healthy ways to prepare food. Natural gas grills are also amazingly fun and allow chefs to expand their menu repertoire.
For example, having the option of direct or indirect grilling means that commercial food businesses, as well as backyard BBQers, are able to cook thick cuts of meat, whole chickens and vegetables in a unique fashion. While direct-heat grilling is perfect for flame-broiled hamburgers among many others, some menu items deserve a more refined process.
Why Indirect Grilling Makes Sense
Indirect grilling is much like the term sounds. Chefs place the food items away from the direct heat and slow-cook it. This often requires a few key accessories such as a grill timer and secondary grill rack among others.
Home chefs and food businesses such as caterers or eateries with outdoor patios often invest in pedestal grills because they are space and cost-efficient. The AEI Legacy series of natural gas grills have been trending as a high-quality option.
People that already enjoy the benefits of an outdoor grill understand that cooking directly over the open flame has some limitations. True, it sears and locks in the juices of many steaks, burgers, seafood, and vegetables among others. The flavor can absolutely overwhelm your taste buds. But grilling truly thick cuts of meat, chicken, and others do best when slow-cooked.
Indirect techniques on pedestal grills with appropriate accessories can take your food options to the next level. Those choice cuts that were once reserved for oven cooking can be fully prepared on an outfitted outdoor grill. That reality will make you the envy of friends and family or help expand your food service business.
Indirect Grilling Techniques
Before diving into the three basic techniques that chefs can rely on, it’s important to understand that indirect grilling is best accomplished on natural gas grills such as AEI’s commercial and residential Legacy line.
Although some people try to indirect grill on charcoal, these products are simply not designed or accessorized for this technique. Charcoal grills require cooks to block direct heat, place grease traps under the food and a range of things that become logistical nightmares. Unless you have an engineering degree, it’s just too much work to indirect grill on charcoal and not precise. Natural gas grills are fully designed for indirect grilling and that fact will become evident when you consider these three techniques.
- Set Side Grilling: This technique involves turning on burners that are not directly under the food and allowing the radiant heat to slow-cook it. It’s simple when using a professional-grade outdoor grill.
- Secondary Rack Grilling: This technique involves placing the food item on the rack high above the heat source. Many chefs set it, close the lid and just set their grill timer. It has a certain degree of precision.
- Sear and Grill: This technique is a combination of direct and indirect grilling. The chef can sear the food then place it in an indirect setting. It can also be indirectly grilled to near-completion and then seared. Either way, it’s a best of both worlds approach.
In terms of grilling excellence, indirect techniques open the door for chefs to not only lock in those smoky flavors, seared textures and caramelized juices, they also provide a path to new food options and thicker choice cuts.
Outdoor Grill Options that are Trending
The biggest shakeup in natural gas grill trends has been the inclusion of infrared rotisseries. It follows the push by major supermarket chains to sell already-cooked chickens to customers. This convenience has apparently prompted home chefs and food businesses to accessorize.
Significant interest has also been shown in expanding accessories such as side shelves for increased prep space and grill timers. Grill timers are a must-have these days, especially when working with rotisseries and mastering techniques such as indirect grilling.
AEI natural gas grills can be ordered fully accessorized or owners can up their game at any time. These options and techniques are proving to be grilling’s next great thing!