While there is still some debate, the majority of experts agree that food cooked over charcoal tastes much better than food cooked over gas. Yes, gas cooking is faster and more convenient, but when you have enough time in the world on the weekend, charcoal seems to be the way to go.
Grilling over charcoal can take some time getting used to for all of us who grew up on gas grills, and it may require some trial and error. Here are five frequent rookie mistakes when barbecuing over charcoal that we all do and how to overcome them.
DON’T: Overlook to use a chimney starter to spark the coals.
The charcoal itself is the most crucial aspect of charcoal grilling, and preparing the coals is the most time-consuming element of the procedure. You may be tempted to add lighter fluid, but remember that any lighter fluid you use will flavour your food, something none of us wants.
Instead, fire the coals with a chimney starter. It’s easy to do: just stuff the bottom of the starter with newspapers and fill the rest with charcoal. Then fire the bottom and leave the rest to science. Make sure to place around 15-20 minutes for the charcoal to thoroughly heat up before putting it into the bottom of your grill, based as to how much you’re firing.
DON’T: Before the coals are ready, pour them into your grill.
“I’ll wait until my coals are completely grey before dumping them out of the chimney and then into my grill base,” repeat after me. This is crucial, and while we understand you and your company are likely hungry, a little patience will pay off in the end. The issue is that if you don’t wait and put the coal to the barbecue while some of it is still smoking, you’ll have a lot more trouble keeping the temperature under control.
The dark charcoal will continue to heat, and the manner you’ve laid out the charcoal in the grill would no longer correspond to the temperatures. Before you go in anything, let your chimneys do its job and let those coals become nice and grey. Search online if you’re looking for BBQ charcoal.
DON’T: Preheat your grill to almost the same temperature on both sides
With gas grills, you can easily adjust the temperature on each side with a simple twist of a dial. With charcoal, though, you can do this by dispersing at least 75% of the embers to one side, resulting in two distinct temperature ranges. This gives us the option for cooking different dishes at varying rates and allowing your food rest over low to no heat until you get everything else ready before eating.
DON’T: Before you start cooking, don’t forget to prepare the grill
You should preheat your grills before putting any food on the slats, just like you would your oven (similarly, ensure those racks are clean before you keep anything on them). When your coals are evenly dispersed in your grill, cover it and let it set for five to ten minutes before laying any items over the coals; you should hear a light sizzling when the meat, fruit, or vegetables make contact with the grates.