You can be the star of the show among your friends if you know how to whip up a really delicious dinner on a good old-fashioned charcoal grill. Old-fashioned doesn’t mean out-dated. There are some tested techniques that will help you turn out gastronomical delights and have everyone longing for more. You can cook meat or vegetables over a grill – just anything that can benefit from quick cooking over high heat. Foods are cooked in any one of two basic ways over a charcoal grill – direct grilling or indirect grilling. Direct grilling involves placing the charcoal briquettes at the bottom of the grill and igniting them. After they are white hot, they are used to cover the grill fully. The grate is placed on top and then the cooking starts. In this case, the food is cooked at a higher temperature and is done quicker. Indirect grilling calls for the coal to be spread equally throughout the grill and lit. Once it turns white with heat, the cooking grill is placed and the cooking begins. The food is placed on it and the grill cover is placed on top to hold the heat inside. No matter which may of cooking you choose, the general way to cook on a charcoal grill still remains.
Cooking On Charcoal Grills
- Decide what type of charcoal you will be using. There are three types of charcoal – standard, match light and lump. While standard charcoal is the most popular, it is a bit difficult to light up. Match charcoal lights easily but is a bit costlier. Lump charcoal is said to be the best choice for anyone who wants to add the most authentic barbecue flavor to their food. While it is more expensive, and not available everywhere, it is the best choice to make.
- Decide which type of flavoring chips you are going to use – you have a choice of apple-wood and hickory. While there are other flavors, these are the best by far. Flavor chips add to the standard flavor that is transferred to your food on a charcoal grill.
- Light the grill and let it get hot. There are various ways to light it depending on the charcoal you use. The least complicated way of doing this is to use a chimney starter which is a metal canister used to start the flames. These can be used with any type of charcoal.
- You can now take time to prepare your food and add any last minute seasoning to it. Just remember that when handling raw meat and vegetables, you should use separate utensils to handle them and you should cook them separately.
- When cooking on a charcoal grill, keep in mind that haste is literally a waste. If you try to cook fast, you will burn up your food. Use low heat to cook and keep an eye on the food so as to be conscious that the food is cooked evenly.
- Do not press down the food as it is cooking, as this will squeeze the juice out of it as well as leads to it tasting bland later on. The best way to ensure that the food is cooked evenly is to flip it periodically.