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3 Charcoal Grilling Tips that Will Make You a Pro

Posted on Apr 8, 2014 in Charcoal Grill

Grilling food is not only a fun experience, but it is one of the tastiest methods of cooking, conferring amazing flavors to the food, especially meat. Yet no matter how easy it is, we can still find ways to mess it up and ruin the food; it takes a bit of experience with your own grill to learn when the coals are perfectly hot, when the meat has to be turned, or removed altogether from the grill. In what follows we are going to give you a few charcoal grilling tips that will turn you into a professional griller; your family weekends will be much better from now on, and you’ll be able to feed famiky and friends with special but easy recipes for the grill.

Whether you’re a novice at this or you’ve been grilling for years, it’s never exaggerated to want to learn more, and to perfect existing techniques or develop new ones. So if you’re interested in our charcoal grill tips, read on and start taking notes:

1. Grilling Method vs. Type of Food – It is important to know which type of grilling method to use depending on the type of meat or food that you want grilled. The direct grilling method, where you place the food directly over the heat, is ideal for steaks, fish fillet, hamburgers, boneless chicken and hot dogs; this helps them cook fast and get well done on the inside as well. However, when you want to grill things like roasts, chicken with bone, entire turkeys, ribs and meat that is generally fatter, you should use indirect heat; this is because these foods require a longer time to get well done on the inside as well, so you don’t want them too burnt on the inside. Because the meat won’t be directly over the fire, you can also use aluminum pans near the coals, so any fat that drips doesn’t fall directly in the grill, raising fire and ashes over the meat.

2. Quantity and Quality – Knowing how much charcoal to use is not essential just for being economical or practical, but it has a lot to do with how your meat will turn out. For example in direct heat grilling, you need about 30 briquets for every pound of meat. With indirect grilling, you will need about twice as much, on either side of the meat. If you’re grilling something that needs more than one hour to be ready, you usually need to add more briquets gradually, as they get consumed. The weather is also an important factor, so if it’s cold outside, increase the number you usually use.

3. Time is of the Essence – When are the coals ready for the food? This is a question many of you are struggling with, because there are no fixed rules that you can follow. Unless you’ve developed your own technique, you can try the following charcoal grilling tips: first of all, good quality briquets are ready in about 15-25 minutes, and they become ashy white when so. You can also try to determine the temperature so you can cook your meat better, by using your hand. Place it above the coals, and depending on the number of seconds you can hold it there, you should be able to make some estimates. 5 seconds means the heat is low, at about 200-300 degrees, 3-4 seconds is medium to medium hot, and two seconds means the grill is very hot at about 375 degrees.

These three charcoal grill tips should help you become a much better cook when it comes to grilling; the rest comes with experience anyway, and if you work at it you’ll be able to prepare complex recipes without problems.