The direct cooking method is what you might think of as traditional barbecuing. Food is cooked directly above a heat source. When using the direct method, we recommend that you turn your food once, halfway through the cooking time. The direct cooking method will sear and brown (or caramelise) food, giving a characteristic barbecued appearance, texture and flavour. This is what happens when your food comes in contact with the hot grill.
Preparing the Barbecue for Direct Cooking
Open the top and bottom vents on the barbecue and remove the lid. Position the charcoal grate so that its steel rungs run across the barbecue from the left to the right-hand side of the barbecue.
Place 2 or 3 firelighters in the ‘V’, on one side of the charcoal 'V' grate. Place the required amount of barbecue briquettes into a chimney starter (see quantity table below). Light the fire lighters, then place your chimney starter directly over them.
Alternatively, if you do not have a chimney starter, place 2 fire lighters in each ‘V’ of the charcoal ‘V’ grate. Create a pyramid of briquettes over them and then light the fire lighters.
Wait until the briquettes are mostly ashed over, this usually takes 20-25 minutes (or if not using a chimney starter 25-30 minutes). Then using heat proof gloves tip the briquettes onto one side of the fuel grate, covering half of it.
Similarly, if you’ve created the pyramid of briquettes, use heatproof gloves and long handled tongs to safely move the lit briquettes to one side of the fuel grate.
Place the cooking grill in position, then place the lid on the barbecue. Let the cooking grill preheat for 5 minutes, then brush it clean with a grill brush.
You’re now ready to cook. For best results when cooking, keep the lid on the barbecue as much as possible.
The temperature of a direct cooking fire is determined by the amount of fuel used, either direct high, or direct medium heat. In a 57cm (22”) barbecue kettle, these temperatures are achieved by using the above fuel quantities.