How To Use A Charcoal Grill?

Do you have a new charcoal grill and want useful tips and techniques for making your guests want more of your food? 

How to use a charcoal grill? Charcoal grilling is common amongst cooking enthusiasts and traditionalists as compared to electric or gas grills for various reasons.

There is a certain smoky flavor and a juicy appeal attached to it as opposed to the use of an electric one to prepare the same food. 

It may look simple but in order to use these particular devices, you need to have certain skills that can be easily learned and understood quickly.

charcoal grill

We are basically talking about starting the fire, controlling it during the grilling process, and putting it out. Check how you can properly use them at your home and cook delicious and flavorable dishes.

Charcoal grilling tips and techniques

Before using a charcoal grill, you must decide on the cooking method that you will use. The method can either be direct or indirect. What are the differences between these two techniques?

Direct grilling

The raw food is placed directly over the heat with just the grill rack between it and the hot coals. 

The direct grilling method is most suitable for cooking 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.

Indirect grilling

The food is placed on the drip pan with no direct heat source underneath it, while the grill itself must be covered while cooking the food. 

This method is best suited for cooking 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.

How do you cook on a charcoal grill?

After you have arranged the grill in a manner that matches the chosen cooking method, you can now light up the charcoal. I suggest you follow these 6 steps to cook with your grill.

How do you use briquettes?

Place a sufficient number of charcoal briquettes on the bottom grate of the 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 cook.

charcoal briquets

How to light charcoal briquettes?

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.

How to use coal?

Your grill should have a chimney where you heat the coal. When you heated them, spread the glowing coals over the briquettes on the grate. Let the coals burn for 5-10 minutes so that the bottom layer can also become hot.

How do you cook on a charcoal grill?

Using the grilling method you have preferred, set the raw food to be cooked 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.

How to check if the meat is done?

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. 

Don’t touch the meat, use a timer instead to calculate when the meat will be done.

How to control the heat on a charcoal grill?

You have to adjust the heat on the cooking device depending on the cooking temperature required for the food to cook as you want. 

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.

Common charcoal grilling mistakes to avoid

It is not unusual that grillers make mistakes when cooking, especially on a charcoal grill. No matter if you are a beginner or an advanced griller consider the next tips.

Clean grill grates before and after cooking

When using your cooking device in the yard or the ones found at campsites, 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.

When do you put food on a charcoal grill?

You should be patient when placing food on the grill. You should add food after the device 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.

charcoal grill food

Charcoal grill temperature

This is one of the most vital charcoal grilling tips for you to know. You should choose the type of heat depending on the type of meal you are cooking. 

The temperature of the charcoal grill is vital because a grill 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 the best heat because you may undercook, overcook, or even burn a meal.

Using the charcoal grill vents

A charcoal grill requires the use of vents that are located in the hood and at its’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.

Should you grill with the lid open or closed?

Opening the lid when using a 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.

Use a charcoal grill like a pro

How to use a charcoal grill like a pro? If you fancy using it as a professional chef, you better learn it practically. 

I am sure that my grilling tips will help you to prepare delicious food for you and your crowd.

Consider the tips and do it with passion. Through time your skill and experience will make you prepare fantastic, juicy, flavorful, and delicious grilled food that will leave your guests yearning for more.

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