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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CHARCOAL GRILLING

There is no doubt that charcoal grills are one of the popular fuel sources used. Grilling food on charcoal can significantly affect your food's taste and turn it into a smoky flavor. Charcoal is an easily accessible fuel; this is a more complex way of cooking than using an electric grill or gas. So you need to know some basics about grilling with charcoal to ensure you cook smoothly.

Types of Charcoal Grilling

Charcoal is lighter in weight with black carbon remains from burning cooking hardwood at high heat and low oxygen until it chars. Carbon combines with oxygen when you burn charcoal, creating energy that remains steady and hot and emits clean smoke.

Charcoal Briquettes

Charcoal briquettes are the most common charcoal grill, made from wood leftover and sawdust mixed with binders. They are of small pillow shape and size that allow them to burn with more consistency than other types of charcoal.

Hardwood Lump Charcoal

Charcoal lumps are made from natural wood pieces in many shapes and sizes. Lump charcoal is one of the best appetizing fuel sources, creating terrific and steady smoke, but it burns out quicker than briquettes, making them perfect for searing steaks or cooking roasts.

Choosing a Charcoal Grill

When you want to buy a charcoal grill but don't know how to select the best one, here are some factors you should consider before choosing. It would help if you looked for shape, surface, area, cleaning instructions, and price.

Many types of charcoal grills come in various sizes and shapes. I always prefer the grill, suitable for your cooking style, available space, and yard. The surface area is also crucial; you need to get a grill with enough room for your intended purposes.

You can choose the best charcoal grills by checking their features, like ash containers. Budget is also an essential factor to consider.You can easily choose from affordable prices or an inexpensive range with high-end features. Moreover, select those offering a warranty of ten years or more.

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Types of Charcoal Grills

Here are some common types of charcoal grills that follow;

Portable Charcoal Grills

They are popular with square and rectangular shape models and can be moved before and after use of storage. Due to their mobility feature, you can collapse their legs and lids with venting.

Square Charcoal Grill

The square charcoal grill model is similar to the kettle grilling design and has flexible vents and four legs; two legs have wheels that allow tilting and movement. This model of charcoal grill doesn't have the features like hotdog shelves or baskets, but some manufacturers include all of these features.

Japanese Hibachi

 Japanese hibachi is a small portable grill made of aluminum, cast iron, or steel. These grills are made from sheet metal and offer two cooking grills. And their grates are flexible, so you can quickly move them up and down, thus modifying the amount of heat that reaches the food.

Brazier

Brazier charcoal grills are small in size, with a round or square shape with no covers. They are made of a metal pan filled with charcoal under a mesh grate. Since the 1950s, these grills are in used and are still sold in the market.

Kettle Grill

 Kettle grills are the most popular in the world and are installed in backyard areas for barbeques. They are usually circular with a dome lid, charcoal grid, cooking grill, round lower chamber, and legs.

How to Install a Charcoal Grill?

Charcoal grills are started by arranging charcoal chunks, and if you are using a chimney, then first add charcoal to the chimney to ensure that charcoal is reaching on top but not overflowing. In the second step, you should place the starters (newspaper, paper cups, wax, wood chips, dryer lint, etc.) under the chimney that catches fire quickly. It is also essential to keep them light up and keep an eye on them. Grab the chimney handles and transfer the charcoal onto your grill. There is another method to start a charcoal grill by using lighter fluid, but much maintenance or care is required. Some people use this fluid carelessly and use more fluid than required. The first step is to arrange the charcoal in a pyramid shape on the grill, then put coals in smaller layers and sprinkle some fluid. After 30 seconds of absorption, with the help of a match, light your charcoals, and when they catch fire, turn white, spread them equally, top them with a grate and start grilling.

Charcoal Grilling Temperature

When you understand the various levels of charcoal and know which food can be cooked quickly at high, low, and medium temperatures, you attain the master in the art of grilling with charcoal.

What to Grill on High Heat

You can grill food like burgers, steaks, and dense vegetables like corn on the knob can manage high heat. When you grill the food from the outside, you get a perfect sear and get juicy from the inside.

What to Grill on Medium Heat

You can cook protein like pork, chops, chicken, sausages, and uncooked hot dogs on medium heat. Moreover, denser vegetables and fruits like eggplant, capsicum, and pineapple can be quickly cooked on medium heat.

What to Grill on Low Heat

All people recommend high heat for cooking food on a grill, but some foods require low heat, like fish, salmon, and fatty protein.

Charcoal Grilling Temperature

Avoid Pre-Coated Briquettes

It would help to avoid pre-coated briquettes for a healthier and tasty meal using charcoal briquettes because they are coated with lighter fluid that will give your food a strange flavor.

Do Not Overdo the Charcoal

Amount Don't put a lot of charcoal on a grill. The amount of charcoal needed for lighting depends on what temperature you want. The more you use charcoal, the higher temperature you will get and the low quantity of charcoal you will get, the low heat.

Wait Until Your Charcoal Is Ready.

Before grilling your food, it is necessary to wait for the charcoal to turn white; if it is black and you start grilling food, then the food turns grey-white. On the other hand, if you over-grill the food, the temperature will rise, and some parts grill quickly or over-grill. So it would help if you waited until they turned grey-white before you started grilling your food.

Add Wood Chunks for Flavor

You should add flavored wood chunks, which are a pro-grilling tip. Always use dried wood like mesquite, walnut, hickory, apple, cherry, oak, straw, pecan, heather, alder, and camphor for flavoring. Moreover, all these woods gives your food a smoky one. Remember to soak the wood chips first.

Conclusion

Understanding how charcoal grilling works is essential to cooking effectively with a charcoal grill. Above in the article, we discussed you should always choose the right type of grill that is great in quality and affordable in price. Moreover, know how to install a charcoal grill and what to cook at high, low, and medium temperatures. Last, we discussed some pro tips for charcoal grills. This guide will help you to find the best charcoal grill for your outdoor space.