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How to Use a Charcoal Grill

Posted on Nov 18, 2014 in Charcoal Grill

Charcoal grilling is one of the oldest methods of cooking, and for some, the only way of cooking meat. In countries like America or Canada, there is an informal dispute over charcoal versus propane; the latter is a petrol by-product used for a variety of purposes, including grilling. While those supporting propane praise it for its ability to heat the grill well and leave no residual odors on the food, those standing by their charcoal grills claim that this product does leave odors, or rather flavors, making the food much tastier. All in all, the majority of grill makers support charcoal, which is why we thought of teaching you how to use a charcoal grill.

If there are rookies among you who are just starting to use the charcoal grill, now they can find out how to use a charcoal grill properly, in order to get the best results from it. To begin with, you have to find a type of charcoal that you like working with the best; some say that choosing charcoal is an art, and that you have to know each type’s properties, advantages and disadvantages. For example, you have a choice between briquette or lumps of charcoal; while both are good, some argue that the lumps burn better, producing more heat. The lumps begin as wood, but turn into charcoal as they burn, turning white and producing white ash as well. This is also a sign that the grill is ready, and you can put your meat on, which is another reason why some people prefer them.

Briquettes on the other hand, can be made from a variety of materials, like sawdust and other soft wood, which makes them rather impure. Another thing that you need to know when learning how to use a charcoal grill is that utilizing lighter fluid is entirely up to you; barbeque purists avoid it, because it leaves an off taste on the food, and it can make the charcoal burn unevenly; much the same goes for charcoal which has already-added lighter fluid. Instead, if you have trouble lighting the charcoal, you can add some wood chips, like those made especially for smokers. These wood chips are made from various aromatic and scented wood, like maple, apple or others; this means they will also add to the flavors of your food, making it much tastier.

Learning how to use a charcoal grill takes some patience and experimentation; if you do choose to use lighter fluid for example, you must be very careful not to burn yourself or others. Under no circumstances should you add fluid when the charcoal is already lit, because the flames will become uncontrollable. A solution to this are the electric charcoal lighters, which can be found in specialized stores or online; they work as a reverse hair dryer, sending heat at the base of your charcoals and lighting them in about a minute. In order to maintain moisture in the meat, try not to make the fire too big, and never squish your hamburger patties or other meat with the spatula, this only squeezes out the juices. You can add a tray with water at the bottom of the grill, on one side of the grill, next to the fire; this will create extra humidity that will keep your meat from drying. Now you’ll be ready to start experimenting, and you’ll become a grill chef in no time.