Relaxing outside in the summer with a nice cold drink is ideal; all that’s missing would be a nicely grilled meal. A charcoal grill is what you need to correct this issue. Before embarking on that cookout, a few tips to perfect the process would be extremely beneficial and put to ease any concerns.
Before turning on the grill, it’s good to always make sure that the ash catcher is hooked up securely to the grill. To help the charcoal light up, there needs to be a good air flow so it’s good to make sure that the lid vent and lower vent are both open. When arranging the coals, it’s a good idea to form a pyramid to further ensure ventilation and allow that all the coals catch fire. Once they’re all lit (they will turn ashy), the coals should be spread out evenly across the bottom grate of the grill with a long handle tool. This process ensures an even distribution of heat across the entire grill, allowing all your food to grill at the same rate and also helps enhance the flavor of your food. A good estimate for knowing how many briquettes to use when cooking meat is to place approximately 25-30 briquettes per pound. Although it seems self-explanatory, a good tip would be to only use lighter fluid and never use gasoline or kerosene since those can cause an explosion.
There are different ways to light up the coal faster, one of which simply involves adding a few pieces of crumpled newspaper on the bottom grate of the grill before adding the charcoal. A chimney starter works well in starting up the charcoal also. The same process is used by adding the crumpled newspaper, but then the starter is simply placed on top of the pyramid. It takes about 20-30 minutes to get all the coals completely lit, then the starter is removed and the top grill grate can be put on. Another tool that can be used to help light up the charcoal faster is an electric starter. This starter is probably the fastest way to get every coal well lit and there’s no crumpled newspaper needed. The electric starter is simply placed on top of the pyramid, plugged in and 8-10 minutes later, the grilling session can begin!
There are many people that prefer charcoal grills over all other grills because of the unique and natural flavor they allow food to have. People enjoy the unique smoky flavor that only charcoal grilling can provide. To enhance that smoky flavor that so many people enjoy, the top lid should be pulled down. Keeping the lid down also helps cook any foods faster and helps keep any flare ups down. To help further invigorate a charcoal grilling experience, there are also different flavored wood chips available. There are many stores that sell alder, mesquite, hickory or pecan wood chips that can be soaked for about an hour (in water) before placing them over the heated coals. Another helpful tip to remember when grilling meat outside would be to lightly oil the grate so that the meat doesn’t stick to it and begin to shred.
Once the grilling session is over, all you have to do is close the lid completely so that no breeze can get in. The more air that hits the coal, the longer it will stay lit; suffocating the coal, if you will, allows heat to die down. Lastly, once cooled, it is good the keep the ash catcher clean for the next use. It is also advised to thoroughly clean the grill at least once a year by using an oven cleaner to prevent any buildup.
With all that is known about the wonderful flavors that a charcoal grill can bring to your outdoor enjoyment, you can only feel more confident about charcoal grilling with the useful tips that were provided.