Grilling Tips When Choosing Charcoal

February 7, 2020

In grilling with charcoal, there are some things that you must know to make your grilling experience go as smoothly as possible. Here are some grilling tips that you should know when choosing charcoal over other options.

Prepping the Grill

Getting the grill ready is vital to make the charcoal grilling successful. You see, there might some tools that aren’t cleaned well enough for the next grilling process. Check your grates and grill for any residue from the last cookout. If they have remaining remnants from previous grill sessions, then give them a good scrub through the use of long-handled brushes. This step should scrape the residues right off your grill, which can avoid the sticking of your food on the grates when you grill.

Lighting the Charcoal

To start the grill, you must light up your set of charcoal. If you are using a chimney starter to light up the coals, then you must place crumpled old newspapers first at the bottom. Afterward, place the coals on top of the crumpled newspapers. At this point, you must remove the top grate from your grill and place the chimney starter on the lower grate. With a match or a lighter, light the crumpled paper and let the chimney do its job. 

After around 15 minutes, expect that your coals will be hot and covered with gray ash. You must then transfer and spread the hot coals into your grill before closing the grill lid. 

Another popular method in lighting up your charcoal is through the use of lighter fluid.

Finding the Right Temperature

After you have spread the coals into your grill, you must cover it and let the grates heat up. To check if you have reached the best temperature for grilling, you can place your hand about six inches above the grate. The grill has a medium heat if you can leave your hand for six to seven seconds. If your hand can stay for four to five seconds, then you already have a grill with medium-high heat. However, the most optimal heat for grilling is reached if you can only leave it there for one to two seconds. 

Creating Cooking Zones

In charcoal grilling, you must create different cooking zones that can be great for searing, cooking, and keeping your food warm. On one end of the grill, you must create a hot zone or direct heating area by evenly distributing the coals under half of the grill. A cool zone or indirect heating area, on the other hand, is created with fewer or no briquettes for the last cooking touches of the food. 

A direct heating area is a perfect spot for searing meat. An indirect heating area, conversely, prevents any chance of flare-ups and will cook the food more evenly. Remember, exposing your food under direct heat will result in a burnt exterior and a raw interior. 

Controlling the Oxygen

A charcoal grill has a small vent on the top of the lid and the bottom of the grill. They can control the amount of oxygen that gets to your coal. Keep in mind that your coal flame will die out if it has too little oxygen, which is equivalent to closed vents. Vents that are opened all the way will provide too much oxygen causes coals to flare-up. So, keep the vents at a perfect balance of air movement and temperature.

Adding Charcoal to the Grill

If the grill is starting to lose some steam, one common mistake that people would do is that they will add unlit charcoal to it. Adding unlit charcoal will produce a lot of acrid-tasting smoke and will increase the grill temperature quickly, burning the food instantly. What you must do is to light a few coals in your chimney first and then add the heated coals to the grill.

Grilling with charcoal can be a refreshing experience for everyone since you get to grill your food while hanging out with your family members or visitors. If you want to know more about charcoal grilling, you can contact us at John Tiras.

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