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How to Set Up the Grill

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Smoked Chicken Halves with Lemon-Ginger Barbecue Sauce

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from Fine Cooking #117, pp. 43

by Steven Raichlen

My newest chicken recipes: Spit-Roasted Chicken with Tarragon Butter, Southeast Asian Chicken Wings, Tandoori Chicken Legs, Tuscan Grilled Chicken Under a Brick, and Smoked Chicken Halves with Lemon-Ginger Barbecue Sauce call for either indirect or direct grilling. The former creates hot and cool zones on the grill, while the latter means your grill is evenly hot. Below are instructions for preparing charcoal and gas grills for both methods. (Learn more on what the three tools to ignite charcoal are).

Indirect Grilling

Charcoal
Ignite 5 to 6 quarts of charcoal. When the coals are covered with white ash, bank them to one side or arrange them along two opposite sides of the grill (as indicated in the recipe). Cover the grill. If your grill does not have a built-in thermometer, drop a heatproof probe thermometer through its top vent. Adjust the top and bottom vents to reach the desired temperature (decrease the air flow for a lower temperature, increase it for higher), leaving the cover ajar, if necessary.

Gas
Heat the grill with all the burners on high. Turn one or more burner(s) off to create the cool zone and adjust the active burner(s) to reach the desired temperature.

Direct Grilling

Charcoal
Ignite 5 to 6 quarts of charcoal. When the coals are covered with white ash, spread them evenly over the charcoal grate. Cover the grill and follow the indirect charcoal grill instructions above to reach the desired temperature.

Gas
Heat the grill with all of the burners on high. Adjust the burners to reach the desired temperature.

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