Compared to grilling on an electric or gas grill, grilling on a charcoal grill is a little more complicated because it is more “manual”. You have to put more effort into creating, controlling and maintaining the heat and fire. You also have to keep an eye on your food at all times. But once you master a tandoor grill, using other types of grills becomes a breeze!
Follow these helpful tips for all charcoal grill users:
Use a lighter
Lighting a charcoal grill with lighter fluid is easy, but there’s a big risk that your food will taste like kerosene. Use a kindling instead – all you need is a sheet of paper and a match to light about 100 briquettes in less than 30 minutes.
Start with a 6-quart model, which is readily available at most home improvement and hardware stores.
Know how much charcoal to use.
Once you become familiar with how to use a kindling, you can better control the heat of your grill. Fill the kindling with charcoal for high heat, 1/2-3/4 for medium heat and 1/4 for low fire, which is great for smoking and grilling whole poultry, large roasts and pork ribs.
Regulate the temperature using the vents.
With electric and gas grills, you can easily adjust the temperature of the grill by turning knobs. This is not possible with a charcoal grill. However, you can control the heat of the coals by opening and closing the vents.
This way, you can control the oxygen supply – when you open the vents, more oxygen is supplied, making the grill hotter.
Dealing with embers
Most grillers use a spray bottle of water to combat flare-ups, but this will only blow ash into your food. Flares are usually caused by dripping grease or sauces into the hot coals. Instead, move the meat to the indirect zone (not a fire zone).
Use wood chips to enhance flavor.
This is one of the best arguments for a charcoal grill: you can add wood chips to enhance the flavor of the grilled food. Use fruit woods like apple and cherry or the classics hickory and mesquite to add a delicious smoky flavor to your food.
Charcoal grilling takes a lot of practice and patience! Follow these useful tips for charcoal grill users and you’ll be a certified pitmaster in no time!
Adrian T. Cheng is a food blogger and grilling expert. After years of grilling experience, testing different grilling accessories and trying delicious and unique recipes, he shares his knowledge with everyone on his blog. For more grilling secrets, tips, recipes and more, visit Adrian’s website where he posts other interesting products and articles about grilling.