Tips for cooking with charcoal BBQs
If you love cooking, chances are you love barbeques as well. This could be limited to family or have friends over for some burgers and drinks. Whatever the case, a cook-out is never complete without a BBQ grill. It would not be much of a barbeque, to begin with. Grills can be gas powered or charcoal powered. The type of BBQ is dependent on individual taste and preference. If you are more inclined to the charcoal bar becue or are just curious about how it works, here are some tips for cooking with a kettle series charcoal BBQ.
Before anything else, make sure your grates are clean. This will affect how the food tastes. If ash has accumulated at the bottom of the BBQ, it can obstruct the vents and make it hard to control your cooking temperature. Clear out the ash and use a stiff-bristled brush and suitable cleaning agent to wash out the grates.
Once the grates are clean, light the BBQ. This can be done using a charcoal chimney. Fill the chimney with as many charcoal briquettes as you need. Light up some sheets of old newspaper and place them under the charcoal column, or lay them inside the chamber below.
You will know charcoal is ignited when the briquettes at the top turn grey. A flame may flicker above the briquettes. Pour the heated charcoal onto the BBQ and spread it out. Some people prefer to avoid the hassle and light their charcoal BBQs using lighter fluid or a match, but that takes away from the experience of using a charcoal grill.
Place the charcoal-filled grates on the BBQ and pre-heat for a few minutes. This will prevent food from sticking onto the grates while cooking. Once this is done, dab the grates with oil by wadding up a paper towel and dipping it in cooking oil. Use a pair of tongs for safety. After they grates have been properly coated with the oil, the BBQ-ing may commence.
Temperature control is important to consider when BBQ-ing. If you need more heat, simply add more charcoal. Alternatively, open up the vents to let more oxygen in. Oxygen is what makes the charcoal burn. To lower your cooking temperature and slow your cooking process, limit the oxygen supply by partially closing the vents. Top vents are used to trap or release heat and smoke.
A high temperature is best suited for BBQ-ing burgers, steaks, and dense vegetables. It is perfect for acquiring a good burn on the outside but a juicy succulence inside. It also shortens cooking time. Use medium heat for BBQ-ing proteins that need to cook through completely. These include chicken, sausages, pork, hot dogs and fish. Some vegetables like scallions and eggplants should also be cooked on medium heat.
One handy item that is often overlooked is a food thermometer. The readiness of food is determined by its internal food temperature. This is especially important with meat. Place the thermometer on one of the top vents of the grill to determine the correct cooking temperature.
When the cooking is done, and the food has been devoured to satisfaction, it is important to clear out the charcoal BBQ. Do not splash water directly onto the burning charcoal as this can cause burns. Instead, use tongs to take the briquettes out. The kettle series comes with a tray underneath that makes it easy to collect used charcoal and ash for easy disposal. If left on the grill, the used charcoal can cause it the BBQ to rust. If it comes into contact with water, the charcoal will chemically react and oxidise the BBQ grates.