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Can you use both sides of a dual grill at the same time?

Quick Answer

Yes, you can use both sides of a dual grill at the same time. Dual grills are designed to allow you to cook different foods at different temperatures simultaneously. The key is understanding how to manage the heat properly on each side.

More Detailed Answer

Dual grills, sometimes called twin grills or two-sided grills, have two independently controlled burners or heating elements. This allows you to create two separate cooking zones at the same time. Here are some tips for successfully using both sides of a dual grill:

Temperature Control

– Pay attention to the temperature controls for each side of the grill. You want to set different cooking temperatures depending on what you are grilling. For example, you may want to cook a steak over high heat on one side and chicken over medium heat on the other.

– Don’t let the temperatures bleed together. Try to maintain a buffer zone in the center of the grill to keep the direct heat from affecting food on the other side.

– Keep the lid closed as much as possible to contain the heat on each side. Open it just to flip or check food.

Food Placement

– Place foods that need more cooking time, like chicken, over direct heat. Put quick-cooking items like vegetables over indirect heat.

– Avoid overcrowding one side. Divide up what you are cooking evenly between both sides.

– Use a grill basket or divider if needed to separate small or delicate foods from high heat.


– With gas grills, make sure both burners are fully preheated before cooking. This helps prevent cold spots.

– For charcoal models, pile coals evenly on each side before igniting them. You may need to add more coals mid-cook to maintain temperature.

– With pellet grills, double check the hopper has enough fuel pellets for the duration of cooking on both sides. Monitor pellet levels.

Tips for Dual Zone Grilling

Here are some additional tips for successful dual zone grilling:

– Clean the grill thoroughly before getting started. Remove food debris and grease buildup.

– Oil the grates well before placing food. This prevents sticking.

– Leave the lid open for the first few minutes of preheating to help burn off residue.

– Use a grill thermometer or temperature probe to monitor the heat in each zone.

– Rotate food occasionally for even cooking, especially over direct heat.

– If flames flare up, move food temporarily to indirect heat. Close the lid to reduce oxygen.

– Allow the grill to reheat for a few minutes between cooking batches if needed.

Foods to Cook Using Dual Zone Grilling

Many foods are well suited to being cooked on a dual zone grill simultaneously:

Direct Heat Side Indirect Heat Side
Steaks Chicken breasts
Burgers Ribs
Kebabs Corn on the cob
Pork chops Vegetable packets
Fish fillets Roasts
Sausages Whole chickens
Shrimp Smoked turkey legs

You can get creative with mixing and matching different proteins, vegetables, and other sides. The key is balancing items requiring different heat levels and cook times.

Should You Use Both Sides for Everything?

While you can use both sides of a dual grill at once, you don’t necessarily have to. For quick weeknight meals, it’s fine to just fire up one side of the grill. The dual zone setup is ideal when you want to cook larger volumes of food for a party or when handling foods requiring varied cooking techniques.

Benefits of Single Side Grilling

– Uses less fuel if you are only cooking a small amount of food.

– Easier to give food your undivided attention when cooking on one area.

– Allows you to better control the grill temperature for consistent heating.

– Avoids overcomplicating simple meals.

Benefits of Dual Zone Grilling

– Lets you grill different foods simultaneously. Great for entertaining.

– Prevents having to cook in batches or keep food warm.

– Allows you to use direct and indirect heat as needed.

– Makes it easy to move food to cooler area if it is cooking too fast.

– Gives you flexibility to cook at different temperatures.

So evaluate your specific cooking needs when deciding whether to use one or both sides. The options provided by a dual grill give you versatility.


Dual grills offer a great way to save time and cook different components of a meal to perfection simultaneously. Take advantage of having two independently controlled cooking zones by selecting foods that require different target temperatures and heat exposure. With some practice using dual zone grilling techniques, you can serve up amazing barbecue, steaks, seafood, and more for family dinners or when entertaining a crowd.