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How to do Indirect Grilling on a Weber Q

Written by

John Burns

Our line of Q series models are some of our most popular and versatile grills. They’re perfect for tail-gating, camping, and they make a great everyday grill too, especially if you have limited space.

The size of the Q series is what makes them so well suited for those situations, but it also presents a few unique challenges. Due to the small size of the grill, the location and shape of the burner, and the incredible heat retaining properties of the porcelain enameled cast iron grates that come with the Q series, it can be a bit tricky trying to grill at the lower temperatures needed for things like ribs, bone-in chicken or roasts. Those sorts of foods are usually grilled using what we call the indirect method, and while it’s a little trickier to do on a Q that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. Here are a few tips that can help if you’re trying to grill “low and slow”.

#1) Pre-heat the grill on low, rather than high.

Those porcelain enameled cast iron grates are really good at retaining heat, and if you fully preheat the grill they are going to be incredibly hot and will remain so even if you lower the temperature setting of the grill. By preheating on low the grates won’t get nearly as hot, making it much easier to get the grill down to a lower temperature.

#2) Use a Foil Pan and a Grilling Pan.

We make a foil pan and a grilling pan that can be used to help block some of the heat coming from the burner. That makes it much easier to grill things that would usually call for indirect heat. By combining the foil pan with our grilling pan, you can lift the food off of the foil pan, which will further reduce the heat getting to the food. The trick is to flip the grilling pan upside down so a small gap is created between the foil pan and the grilling pan.

#3) Make sure your grill is clean.

By keeping the inside of your Q clean, you’ll reduce the chances for flare ups. Having a flare up happen while you’re trying to grill something “low and slow” is definitely counter-productive, so make sure to scrape out any debris that builds up in the cookbox, and also empty out the drip pan as needed. We have a cleaning kit specifically designed for use with Q models that you can find here. Check out this short video for tips on keeping your Q clean.

Low and slow grilling is also useful if you want to try and add some smoky flavor to your food by using some wood chips. Due to the small size of some of the Q series models, like the Q 1000 and Q 1200, a smoker box won’t fit into the grill, so we recommend wrapping up some wood chips in some aluminum foil and then poke some holes in the foil.

Make sure to soak the wood chips for about 30 minutes before wrapping them in the foil. Then, after preheating the grill, put the foil packet right onto the cooking grate in either the back left or back right corner. It should start smoking in around 10 minutes and your food will take on an entire new taste profile that is sure to delight your taste buds and your guests!

By using these tips you should be able to expand your grilling options from “hot and fast” foods like burgers, steaks and sausages to “low and slow” foods like ribs, roasts and even whole chickens!

For other great Q related topics, check out our blogs here, here, and here