Charcoal grilling is by far the tastiest and best method for grilling any kind of meat.
We will show you how easy it is to grill with charcoal.
Why is the BBQ so popular in summer? It makes burgers and steaks as well as fish and vegetables taste delicious.
There’s grilling and then there’s charcoal!
Properly grilled meat using charcoal tastes so much better than what the stove. We love using charcoal for grilling any kind of meat for its natural ability to provide temperature zones–extreme heat directly over coals and more moderate heat away from the coals.
But then, why don’t people use the charcoal grilling method more often? Using an informal survey, we concluded that more people prefer grilling on a gas barbecue than with charcoal because
- it’s less messy,
- gas is easier.
- Charcoal takes more time.
Read on and we will convert you to a happy charcoal barbecuer in no time.
Is all charcoal created equal?
Lump charcoal vs briquettes
Lump charcoal Grilling
- made from hardwood (hickory, mesquite, oak or other hardwood)
- starts faster than briquettes
- costs more but not that much
- burns hotter, faster and more quickly than briquettes so it’s ideal for grilling
Briquettes for Grilling:
- Cheaper than lump charcoal
- Made of mix of ground and powdered compressed charcoal, mixed with starch, coal dust, nitrates, lime etc..
- Briquettes burn longer and more evenly (they are all the same size and shape) Brand name charcoal
- 2 type of briquettes – Plain, which need lighter fluid to start, and self-igniting briquettes. These are impregnated with flammable compounds that help them burn. (Keep the bag sealed well so the lighting compound won’t evaporate)
Best charcoal Grilling starters
Homemade fire starters:
- Dried fruit peels such as lemon and orange burn well.
- Chimney starter
- Newsprint or paper towels soaked in vegetable oil
- Petrolium jelly soaked cotton balls (heat up the jelly in small sauce pan and put cotton balls using tongs and sop up the jelly, store in a small container like a pill bottle
- Soak balls of newspaper in bacon grease.
- petroleum jelly soaked cotton balls
Commercial charcoal starter
- Lighter fluid
A charcoal chimney is used to light up both lump coal or charcoal briquettes. It’s a metal cylinder, usually black in color, that lets you start the charcoal grill the easiest, safest, cheapest and most efficient manner. It allows for intense heat to start the closely stacked coals faster. This type of starter creates heat waves are sent up the chimney from an updraft. Read more on chimney starters. Chimney starters are an efficient, safe and cheap. You can buy one at your local hardware store or make one.
Wood Chips make your charcoal grilling even more fun and tasty
Types of wood chimps for flavoring your charcoal
- Hardwood and softwood smoking chips are used to produce just enough smoke to flavour your grilled food.
- Softwood will smoke more than hardwood. Pine, spruce, cedar
- Hickory is a favourite – but it’s quite strong bacon flavour. It works well with pork, ribs, hams, poultry and beef. For Hardwood like hickory soak the chips in water for at least 20 minutes to prevent a bitter taste before putting them on the grill
- Mesquite: One of the most popular wood in the country, mesquite is a scrubby tree that grows wild in the southwest. Sweeter and more delicate than hickory, it’s a perfect complement to steaks, lamb and duck.
- Walnut – heavy smoke flavour, best to mix with lighter woods like almond, apple, pear, or pecan. Good on red meats like beef, boar, venison, bison.
Preparing Your Charcoal Grill
Lightly spray your cooking grid with cooking spray. This will reduce the food sticking on the grill.
The best weapon in your arsenal is a good cooking thermometer. They come in a variety of price ranges.
- Always thaw your meat in the refrigerator. Remove from the fridge about half hour before grilling to attain room temperature.
- Marinades from marinated meat should be discarded. Do not reuse them.
- Avoid using a pitchfork to stab and turn the meat. Precious juices will escape. Use tongs instead.
- Place cooked meat on a clean plate
Now that your charcoal barbecue is ready for grilling it’s time for the steaks.
Optimum grilling time for steaks varies with the size and thickness of the steak. Below is a time guide. Best to use a meat thermometer.
Dry rubs for steaks
Bison and elk need only some kosher salt and cracked pepper. Rub it with some olive oil before putting it on the grate.
Or rub it with seasoned salt and a bit of sugar. The brown sugar gets beautifully caramelized and almost acts like a glaze for the steak.
After the steak has been cooked – let it rest for a few minutes. The juices will be reabsorbed during this time.
All our meat contain NO antibiotics, NO hormones, NO steroids. Besides being good for you, they’re delicious!