Want charcoal grilling tips and techniques for making your guests want more of your food? Charcoal grilling is common amongst grill fans and traditionalists as compared to electric or gas grills for various reasons.
There is a certain smoky flavour and a juicy appeal attached to it as opposed to the use of an electric grill to prepare the same food. It may look simple but in order to use these particular grills, one requires certain skills which can be easily learnt and understood quickly.
We are basically talking about starting the fire, controlling it during the grilling process, and putting it out. Well, read on and find out how you can properly use these grills in your home.
Charcoal Grilling Tips and Techniques
Before using a charcoal grill, you must decide on the grilling method to be used. The method can either be direct or indirect with their differences explained below:
1. Direct grilling
The raw food is placed directly over the heat with just the grill rack between it and the hot coals. Direct grilling method is most suitable for grilling tender, thin and small food like steaks, kabobs, burgers, hotdogs, fishes, boneless poultry and most vegetables. These raw foods can be cooked in 30 minutes or less in an open flame set-up.
2. Indirect grilling
The food is placed on the drip pan with no direct heat source underneath it, while the charcoal grill itself must be covered while cooking the food. This method is best suited for grilling whole birds and fishes as well as large roasts and ribs, which take longer cooking time.
Keep in mind that nearly any regular barbeque grill can be prepared by both methods of grilling. You may have to purchase accessories like the drip pan and the cover, when necessary.
After you have arranged the grill in a manner that matches the chosen method, you can now light up the charcoal. We suggest the following steps:
1. Place a sufficient number of charcoal briquettes on the bottom grate of the charcoal grill. Ensure you spread out the briquettes to ensure that they spread over an area 3 inches greater than the proportion of the food you want to grill.
2. Place the charcoal briquettes, flare up these lumps with the help of an electric starter and allow the fire to spread until the whole mound has a red glow. Be sure to leave the grill’s lid off at this point. The mound should be ready within 20 minutes.
3. Spread the glowing coals over the charcoal briquettes on the grate. Let the coals burn for 5-10 minutes so that the bottom layer can also become hot.
4. Using the grilling method you have preferred, set the raw food to be grilled on the drip pan or over the rack. Make sure the food stays there until a crispy seal forms. In fact, this is an essential part of the entire cooking and you definitely don’t want to interfere with it.
Once you can sear its surface, a natural barrier is created that maintains all the juices inside the food. Don’t cut the meat to verify if it is properly cooked, as that is a major mistake. Do not touch the meat; use a timer instead to calculate when the meat will be done.
You have to adjust the heat on the charcoal grill depending on the cooking temperature required for the food to cook as desired. To lower the heat, you can raise the pan or rack as this will allow either get rid of a few of the briquettes or the spreading the coals apart. To increase the heat, you can remove the ashes, add briquettes, or lower the pan or rack.
Mistakes you Need to Avoid when Opt to Use a Charcoal Grill
1. Clean public grill grates after cooking
When using your charcoal grill in the yard or grills found at camp sites, and in public parks, they require regular maintenance and cleaning to ensure that they cook and function properly. Before using public grills you should ensure that they are perfectly safe for use by cleaning them before tossing food on. Read how you can clean a charcoal grill effectively.
2. Placing food on the grill early
You should be patient when placing food on the grill. You should add food after the grill is totally preheated to avoid food from sticking to the grates which can divulge off-tastes over the food that you are cooking with briquettes.
3. Using an unsuitable heat on whatever you prefer to cook
This is one of the most vital charcoal grilling tips and techniques for you to know. You should choose the type of heat depending on the type of meal you are cooking. This is vital because when a charcoal grill is used, it is used as a direct source of heat. When cooking food over burning charcoal, it is like cooking food over intense heat over a gas grill. Particular foods require extreme heat while others will need low heat. It is risky when you cook while not using best heat because you may undercook, overcook or even burn a meal.
4. Not keeping the chimneys open while using the charcoal grill
A charcoal grill require the use of vents which are located in the hood and at the grill’s bottom. Vents are used to control temperature and air circulation. This is necessary to keep the charcoal burning. Two things may happen once you fail to recall to either close or open the vents. The charcoal may get finished before you are through with cooking the food, or the heat could potentially burn the food.
5. Raising the lid excessively
Opening the lead when using charcoal grill provides more oxygen towards the coals. This makes the coal to become even hotter and this increases the likelihood of burning food. This is opposite to gas grills and ovens which will lose heat once the lid is lifted.
It You need is a Regular Practice
If you fancy using a grill like a professional chef, you better learn it practically. I hope our charcoal grilling tips and techniques helped. It isn’t a hard task to learn how to use a charcoal grill. Just do it with passion and your skill and experience will make you prepare fantastic, juicy, flavorful and delicious grilled food that will leave your guests yearning for more.