Summer Grilling Week: The 3-Zone Fire [VIDEO]

by Brett & Kate McKay on June 26, 2013 · 3 Comments

in Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure, Visual Guides

Welcome back to Summer Grilling Week on Art of Manliness!

In today’s video, award-winning BBQ chef, Karl Engel, shows us the ins and outs of the three-zone fire. It’s an essential skill to have if you want your meat to come out just right.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 STW June 26, 2013 at 3:50 pm

I’m thinking that on a 3-burner front to back gas grill you might want the hottest area in the back not the front. I can’t see any benefit to having my arms and hands over the highest heat as I work on something in the cooler range. Naturally, this won’t be a concern if you’ve already scorched the hair off your arms.

2 Chad June 26, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Would it be reasonable on a smaller grill (or, for instance, a gas grill with only two burners) to use the warming rack, which is set higher up away from the flames for the “safety zone”? In this way it would seem that you could still have the “searing” and “cooking” on the main grate, but have somewhere safe to move the meat to.

3 Chris B. June 26, 2013 at 5:55 pm


I almost always use the warming rack as my safety zone, especially when I am cooking sausages that may take longer than burgers or dogs. I don’t have a large amount of space on my charcoal grill and I find using the warming rack for the safety zone (I have used a 3 zone method for awhile now) works very well.

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