How To Use Your Charcoal BBQ
If there were a contest to determine a national pastime, perhaps BBQ would be the clear and undisputed winner. Taking the time to set up a grill outside on a pleasant day with mild weather is a surefire way to make the best time spent outdoors. Many people own a charcoal grill specifically for BBQs. Few, if any, have regretted the purchase.
There are three types of barbecues, charcoal, gas, and electric. Each has varying advantages and disadvantages, although, of the three, the charcoal grill remains the most popular.
Now that you have decided to get one of your own let us explore its operation. We will discuss three main processes:
- Lighting the BBQ.
- Proper use.
Lighting the BBQ
If you have used your BBQ before, there will be some ash collected on the ash catcher. You must clean the ash catcher before you can light your BBQ. Before you clean it thoroughly, take heed of a helpful tidbit which states that having some ash while lighting a charcoal fire can make the lighting process faster. Therefore, you should leave some ash on the tray.
Next, remove the cooking grate to gain access to the charcoal grate. Pour charcoal briquettes into the grate. Do not fill it. The briquettes should only come up to the halfway point. Once that is done, sprinkle the ash you reserved over the charcoal. Light the charcoal.
Once the charcoal is alight, wait about ten to fifteen minutes to get it up to the proper temperature. You can tell that the charcoal is now ready when some ash starts to form on the outer surfaces of the briquettes. Next, place the cooking grate back over the coals and close the lid to allow pre-heating to take place. You can keep track of the grill’s temperature using the heat thermometer built into the lid.
Make temperature adjustments by adding coal to raise the temperature to your desired level. Remove coals to lower it.
Cooking and Proper Use
Your BBQ is lit to the ideal temperature, and you are now ready to start cooking. The first thing to do is to raise the lid before applying some cooking oil to the grate. Brush oil on the grate until it is lightly coated. Cooking spray is not recommended for this process, as flying droplets of aerosolised oil may land on the coals, reigniting the fire and undoing your efforts to set the desired temperature.
As soon as the grate is coated, it is time to place the food on the grill to start cooking. Take note of what you are cooking; the placement on the grate is vital to certifying the best cooking. Here is a handy guide:
Cooking on high heat:- grilling on high heat gives a satisfying sear on the outside while allowing the inside to remain juicy. Foods that are best cooked on high heat include steaks, dense vegetables like corn or onions, and burgers. If you want to use high heat for grilling, establish two separate zones on the grill by stacking more coals on one side where you will have the higher temperatures, while the other side, with fewer coals, will have lower temperatures. Use the high heat side to get that perfect sear before moving the food to the low heat area to allow the inside to cook without burning the outside.
Cooking on medium heat- Foods that have been marinated should be cooked on medium heat as high heat is likely to burn off the marinade. You should also place vegetables like eggplants and fruits or proteins like pork, chicken, sausages, raw hot dogs on medium heat. They need to be cooked more thoroughly.
Cooking on low heat- You can grill fish like salmon or make some pork chops on low heat. The only caveat is that it is best to start them on high heat before transferring to low. Grilling over low heat keeps the food on the coals longer, which can dry them out.
Cleaning Your BBQ
Clean your BBQ by using a brush with stiff wire bristles on the cooking grate. You should start cleaning right after you have finished cooking and the grate is still hot for best results. Doing so makes it easier to eliminate the food stuck on the grate.
Alternatively, it is said that you can rub half a raw onion over the grate to clean it without risking that bristles will break off and be left on the grate, creating a hazard. First, give the grill some time to allow the temperature to rise again. Take your onion, peel it, then stab a fork through the bottom. Rub the cut side on the grate. Juices from the onion will be vaporised by the hot grate, creating steam which will loosen the food particles, allowing them to fall off.
You can get a lot of enjoyment from using your charcoal barbecue this summer. If you use it properly and make sure that it is well maintained, you will be able to create delightful masterpieces on your BBQ for a long time to come.