#3. Create Grill Zones to Control the Heat
I don't remember my dad ever teaching me about grill zones when I was a kid watching him burn and overcook just about everything he put on the grill. God bless him, but I remember what came off the grill as being too charred, a little well done, and having a distinctive lighter fluid taste.
He would get his fire hot with Kingsford charcoal briquets, throw the meat on the grill's hot spot, and cook until done. No heat zones are required here, but now we know there is a better way.
It doesn't matter if you are using a cheap charcoal grill or an overpriced stainless steel gas grill; most experts will tell you using a 2-Zone setup is the way to go when grilling. All this means is you set up your grill to have a hot side for direct radiant heat and a less hot side for indirect convection heat. Often the indirect convection heat side is no heat at all.
Depending on what you're cooking, you may start on the direct heat side for a quick sear and then finish cooking on the indirect side, think steaks, or more often, you may start on the indirect heat and finish over the direct heat, think chicken and ribs.
And if you are cooking several things on the grill simultaneously, some items may require a slow indirect heat so as not to end up like my dad's charred, overcooked chicken thighs, but you may want to cook the vegetables on the direct heat to cook quickly.
On a gas grill, start by turning all the burners up high to get the entire grill and chamber hot and then turn off one side - left or right or front or back, depending on your grill. If you are using charcoal, have all the coals on one side and one on the other side for indirect heat.
If your charcoal grill is big enough, you can set up three zones for hot, medium, and low heat and really get serious about your grilling.