Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
We hope everyone enjoyed their Fourth of July weekend and is excited for more warm weather grilling! This week, we’ll be making these two burgers: Stuffed Portobello Mushroom and Caribbean Chicken, and also eating lots of these Ice Cream Sandwiches in honor of National Ice Cream Month! It's time to think about getting out to one of the many #EGGfests around the country - see a list here

Why not always....

just cook indirect?  Just thought about this tonight as I was doing some stuffed chicken thighs.  Other than searing steaks, etc. directly on hot coals, what's the advantage of direct over indirect?  I did the thighs direct tonight and they came out great.....but couldn't help thinking that indirect (with the PS) would have avoided any concerns about grease flare ups.  I can get low or high temps with the PS in place, I can smoke or not, etc.  So....what's the advantage of cooking direct?

Comments

  • henapplehenapple Posts: 10,203
    I go indirect more than not
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • shtgunal3shtgunal3 Posts: 1,723
    Indirect takes longer. Hence more time for adult beverage consumption.

    ___________________________________

     

     LBGE,SBGE Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,657
    There's direct, indirect and raised grid either direct or indirect- it depends on what you cook as noted above and how you like it.  Direct is grilling-indirect is roasting or smoking depending on temp and times.  The key here is that many roads will get you there-just experiment and find the best way for you.  Enjoy the journey-that's the best part.
    Louisville
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    There is a big difference between the two and direct requires more attention and is less predictable than indirect.   
  • SmokinDAWG82SmokinDAWG82 Posts: 1,704
    Burgers or chicken breast on week nights
    LBGE
    Go Dawgs! - Marietta, GA
  • ddeggerddegger Posts: 244
    There is a big difference between the two and direct requires more attention and is less predictable than indirect.   

    (1000th post - congrats!) I guess that's my point - if it's less predictable and has to be watched more closely, why bother? It seems like the 'roasting' vs 'grilling' might just be semantic - heat, food, smoke (or no smoke) either way....Only advantage I can see so far is that it's faster to get egg to temp.
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    Thanks!  Just consider a nice brined 1 1/4 inch thick pork loin chop?  It can be cooked either way!  When cooked direct, it will cook finish in maybe fifteen minutes, and have a nice set of grill marks on it.  But then indirect cooking it will not have the grill marks and maybe cook in 30 minutes and be juicier than the direct cooked chop??  The direct cooked chop will need full time supervision, while the indirect allows you time to play with.  We all know 140 or 145 degrees is the finish temperature here.  Direct cooking can over cook this chop in just a few minutes, while indirect might take ten minutes to screw it up....  
  • pgprescottpgprescott Posts: 249
    Personally, I cook indirect for the vast majority of cooks. Steaks, chops, etc.. Direct, the rest indirect. Temp is temp. You can still cook at whatever temp you want, just as you said without any issues that go along with direct cooking. 2cents given.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,160
    What!? And loose all that wonderful powerful IR coming off the lump. More energy into the food by maybe a factor of 4 than the air temp alone. Loose all the fast browning and crisping that leaves the interior moist and juicy? Not to mention the great aromas that happen when the drippings hit the coals.

    Direct is my preference for steaks, chops, burgers, sausages, toasted biscuits and buns, all chicken, shrimp, mushrooms, pineapple, and probably some other stuff, too.
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 4,485
    edited April 2013
    I've actually asked myself this question as well.  If I am cooking something that is good with either method,  I usually choose indirect.  Chicken is a good example.  If you ask how to cook wings or thighs the responses will be split 50/50 for direct/indirect.  Either method works and will produce good results.  I usually always choose indirect for chicken.  

    Some foods just don't look and feel right indirect the entire time.  Steak is a good example.  If you were to just 'roast' the steak and put in on the plate it just don't look right :).  We do have the option of reverse sear of course...which is what I usually do for steak.  It is cooked indirect, and the direct portion is just to paint grill marks on it and get some of that yummy maillard action.  


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 
  • Village IdiotVillage Idiot Posts: 6,947
    I'll give my answer by asking a question.

    If cooking indoors, why don't you cook all of your meals in the oven instead of the stove?


    .
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Gateway to the Hill Country

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,654
    majority of my cooks are direct, lump lasts longer, maybe twice as long. food in general, tastes better. and how is it easier to cook inderect, food goes in, food comes out cooked
    :))
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,301
    I'll give my answer by asking a question.

    If cooking indoors, why don't you cook all of your meals in the oven instead of the stove?


    .
    Good point VI, you have your moments. 
    An oven will cook both indirect (bake/roast) and direct (broil). I think that's the key rather than considering the stove. 
    @gdenby has it right, direct IR produces a much different result than indirect IR. All depends on what you are cooking, the result desired and most important, what you like. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • Plano_JJPlano_JJ Posts: 448
    edited April 2013
    I prefer direct cooks in steaks, chicken breasts, sausage, pork tenderloins and hamburgers for the most part. I like the grill marks and open fire taste of direct cooking. I did some pork tenderloins indirect and they tasted like they were baked in the oven. Definite difference. I also use my CI griddle over open high heat for vegetables and blackening.
  • six_eggsix_egg Posts: 593
    Plano_JJ said:
    I prefer direct cooks in steaks, chicken breasts, sausage, pork tenderloins and hamburgers for the most part. I like the grill marks and open fire taste of direct cooking. I did some pork tenderloins indirect and they tasted like they were baked in the oven. Definite difference. I also use my CI griddle over open high heat for vegetables and blackening.
    Same here.

    XLBGE, LBGE growing accessories.

    Want: Ceramicgrillworks 2 tier large, Dutch oven, Cyber Q Wifi

    Grenada, MS

  • For me I do more ID only because I hate standing out in the rain tending the food, inderect lets me sit on the couch drink and watch a game or the house wives of OC. The only real answer I think is whatever works best for you. 
  • ddeggerddegger Posts: 244
    Good stuff - I can definitely see some of the differences now that I hadn't thought of.
  • SteveWPBFLSteveWPBFL Posts: 1,166
    Indrect is less likely to get away from you and you can collect the drippings and avoid their bad smoke. Direct for convenience, low drip cooks, and for quicker browning.
  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 243
    I cook steaks direct. I start on the regular grid but i also keep my GX (grill extender) sitting right on top of the fire box. I cook at about 275/300 degrees. When the meat gets to 95 degrees I open the lid and turn the meat. When the meat gets to 115 degrees I open the lid and take the meat out while I remove the regular grid. Before I put the meat back on, down near the hot lump, I blot the meat to get it dry and then paint it with "Beef Love". Beef love is rendered fat from trimmings of pork butts and other meat that needs to be trimmed. I cook it for about 3 minutes and paint the top of the meat with beef love before I turn it over. Once it's turned I pepper it with fresh ground pepper. The hot grill burns off any pepper you put on before that point. When I take the meat off I pepper the other side. I don't want grill marks. I want the whole surface of both sides to be that pretty dark mahogany color... Like you get at all high end steakhouses. Works great every time and you end up with pink meat bumper to bumper. I learned that from Meathead at Amazing Ribs dot com.
  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 1,460
    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this. It seems to me that cooking direct leads to direct IR cooking - and that this is particularly well-suited to cooking chicken skin (therefore great for wings, etc) ... Or am I just making stuff up?

    XL BGE, Klose BYC, ProQ Excel, Weber Kettle, Firepit, Grand Turbo gasser, and a portable Outdoor Gourmet gasser for tailgating

    San Antonio, TX

  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 4,485
    Foghorn said:
    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this. It seems to me that cooking direct leads to direct IR cooking - and that this is particularly well-suited to cooking chicken skin (therefore great for wings, etc) ... Or am I just making stuff up?
    I think you are right, but wings are one of those things that are good either way.  Cooked indirect high in the dome, I think you get a convection effect which also produces a very crispy skin. 


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,301
    gdenby said:
    What!? And loose all that wonderful powerful IR coming off the lump. More energy into the food by maybe a factor of 4 than the air temp alone. Loose all the fast browning and crisping that leaves the interior moist and juicy? Not to mention the great aromas that happen when the drippings hit the coals.

    Direct is my preference for steaks, chops, burgers, sausages, toasted biscuits and buns, all chicken, shrimp, mushrooms, pineapple, and probably some other stuff, too.
    @Foghorn - lots to read here so you might have missed it, but the quote by @gdenby above proves you are not making anything up. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 243
    I always cook chicken with direct heat. I like to get the skin semi crisp. Doing that with indirect would take forever. If you want a really, really good recipe for chicken thighs try this one. I found this recipe for pork chops and it was so good I tried it on chicken thighs too. My friends love it when i cook up a big batch of thighs during a game. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/grilled-mongolian-pork-chops/detail.aspx
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