Cooking over charcoal is the most efficient and tasty method for all meats!
Everything you need to know
Meats cooked over charcoal are so much more delicious than what you can accomplish on your stovetop. We prefer grilling which offers different temperature zones – extreme heat directly over the coals or more moderate away from the coals. Why then do people more rarely choose cooking with charcoal? An unofficial survey tells us that the majority of people prefer to buy gas grills even better than buy charcoal ones. The reasons expressed are; the time required to start the barbecue and the dirt from the charcoal against the ease of the gas.
Keep reading and we’ll turn you into charcoal barbecue experts.
Charcoal vs briquettes
The difference between charcoal (in large pieces) and briquettes
Charcoal for cooking
- Made of hardwood (hickory, mesquite, oak or other hardwood)
- Ignites faster than briquettes
- Slightly more expensive
- Burns at a higher temperature, faster, and ignites faster than briquettes for perfect grilling
- Cheaper than charcoal
- Made from a mixture of ground and compressed charcoal, starch, charcoal dust, nitrates, lime, etc.
- Briquettes burn longer and evenly (they are all the same size and shape) 2 types of briquettes – plain (lighter fluid
- Required for ignition) and combustible briquettes. The latter are imbued with flammable compounds which aid combustion. (Keep the bag tightly sealed to prevent combustible material from evaporating)
Buy charcoal 100% natural, recognized for its rapid combustion. The best fire starters for cooking with charcoal
DIY fire starter:
- Orange peels burn well
- Paper, but avoid magazines
- Pine resin in an old egg carton
- Fire starter
- Newspapers or paper towels soaked in vegetable oil
Cotton balls coated with petroleum jelly – heat the jelly in a small saucepan and place the cotton balls in it with tongs, then store them in a small airtight container such as a pill jar.
- Newsprint balls dipped in bacon grease
- Commercial BBQ Fire Starter
- Lighter fluid
- Chimney lighters make it easy to ignite your charcoal barbecue
Chimney lighters are the best. Unlike combustion gasoline, no aftertaste is left on your food. Using newspaper is the safest way to light coals. With the use of a fireplace starter, the hottest coals will usually end up in the bottom, and when you empty it, the hotter coals will be evenly distributed for optimal cooking.
Using a fireplace starter is the best way to light your charcoal barbecue
The fireplace starter can light coals and charcoal briquettes. It is a metal cylinder, usually black in color that allows you to light your charcoal barbecue efficiently, easily, safely and at low cost. The cylinder contains intense heat allowing the piled up coal to ignite more quickly. This ignition device creates a heat wave which rises in the chimney by an ascending air current.
How to use the fireplace lighter
First of all, place the fireplace lighter on the charcoals in the grill. This allows good air circulation over the coals.
- Open the air vents.
- Place a few sheets of newspapers or kindling in the bottom.
- Fill it with the coals.
- Place one of your homemade fire starters there like cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly. The oil burns before the paper, which slows down the combustion and does not have to add more paper to start your fire.
Light the preparation you have concocted [newspapers, coals and the fire starter of choice]. Be prepared for a huge amount of smoke. About 20 to 25 minutes later, your coals will be ready for cooking. Fire may come out from the top of the fireplace. If you use the briquettes, you will find gray ash in the corners. Generally, coals heat up faster than briquettes. When visiting the hardware store, be sure to look for a fireplace starter that includes an extra handful. This will allow you to pour the hot coals into the grill. A larger fire starter will start the fire faster. Get one made of solid metal]
Make your own fireplace lighter
You can certainly buy one at the hardware store, they’re inexpensive, and the idea of a fire-resistant grip is interesting. However, it is rather easy to make one yourself. The concept is quite simple and involves creating a cylinder capable of supporting the charcoal while directing the air duct to start the fire quickly.