Direct vs. Indirect Grilling
Direct grilling (aka - direct heat) is the most common grilling method used amongst barbecue aficionados around the world. It is when food is placed directly over the heat source (flame). It is used for smaller amounts and portions of food, that take 25 minutes or less to cook. It can also be used to sear meat.
Indirect grilling is used less often than the direct grilling method. Food is placed to the side of the heat source, instead of directly over the flame. It's mainly used when there are larger pieces of proteins, such as whole whole chickens or turkeys, and/or tougher cuts of meat such as ribs or brisket.
The temperature usually varies between medium to low (roughly 275-350°F) to achieve the long, slow cooking process that is needed to get results. This method is very similar to roasting in the oven, but with the added flavors you get off the grill.
Variations of indirect grilling include using a plank, a soaked wooden board, unperforated tray or aluminum foil beneath the food. Planks and wooden boards will also add a specific flavor and aroma to the food that is being grilled.