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Best Foods to Grill

Charcoal Briquettes in a pyramidIt all starts with recognizing that nothing gets past a charcoal grill! Charcoal grilling is lots of fun. Even just watching food cook and listening to the sounds of sizzling steaks or hot crackling coals warms you up! The whole neighborhood also gets filled with that unmistakable aroma. How about creating a variety of great tasty foods? Another big plus!

Whether you want to cook steaks, whole turkeys, brisket, hamburgers, chops, chicken. you name it, the charcoal fire has an application for that! You want to prepare delicate foods like fish and vegetables? There is a solid place for that on the charcoal grill. Use your favorite smoking to step it up and enhance the hardwood flavor of your food on a charcoal grill.

Charcoal Briquettes burning in a pyramid shape

Grilling with charcoal mostly employs the direct grilling method.

In this method, food is placed directly over the radiant heat source to cook.

The heat conducted through the cooking grid burns grill marks or crosshatches onto the food.

There are numerous to be shared in applying this method for fun, flavorful grilling, every time.

It's only with this method of grilling that food acquires that signature seared 'charcoal flavor' also referred to as char-broiled. You can not get that from a bare gas grill.

Hot Glowing ashy-gray briquettesCharcoal grills generally burn hotter than wood or gas. It's harder to control heat on a charcoal grill, but there are proven ways of doing it successfully.

Grillspot Tip! - Charcoal grills are generally light and easy to tip over. Place your grill on a flat, level surface and keep an eye out for small children and our furry friends. Do not leave the grill unattended.

The Best Way to Light a Charcoal Grill

This is how to light a charcoal grill. First off, the fuel used for a charcoal grill is either or , also known as char wood or chunk charcoal.

Grillspot Tip! - Lay sheets of aluminum foil at the base of the grill before placing and lighting the coals to make for easier grill cleaning and disposal of used coals and ash.

You can light the coals directly on the grill, although the best way to do this is by using a also known as a chimney starter. You can also buy already lit charcoal. Just kidding.

An electric coil starter will light your coals with no mess but that just takes away the fun of lighting a charcoal grill.

Stack the right amount of coals in a pyramid shape in the middle of the grill. This allows for maximum air-flow to enable the coals to burn efficiently, with less smoke.

Grill Surface ThermometerSpray a light coating of starter or lighter fluid on the charcoal or briquettes, to get them just soaked. Store the lighter fluid away from the lighting grill. With practice, you can light coals without the need of lighter fluid! Plain old newspapers and a little fanning action will do the trick.

Wait a minute for the coals to soak in the fluid. Avoid excess fluid. Some coals are sold ready to light in the bag. There is even no need to open the bag, just strike your match!

Some charcoal briquettes are infused with burning compounds. No lighter fluid needed for self-igniting briquettes!

Grillspot Tip! - After the first use of 'Instant', self-igniting or self-starting briquettes, re-seal the bag tightly with clips or better still, tape. The burning compounds will evaporate from an open bag. The makers do not include a 'Use by...' date to let you know how long the coals stay effective in an opened bag. Save yourself some disappointment and dough! Seal that joker up!

Always use a long-neck grill lighter or match to start the fire. Try quickly lighting opposite sides of the charcoal stack. Allow the coals to light and burn for at least 20-30 minutes. Just make sure the coals are hot and glowing before you start grilling. The characteristic ash-gray color that briquettes acquire as they burn is a sure indication that they are ready to use for cooking!

Hot, glowing, ashy-gray Briquettes

There should be no smoke. If your coals are still smoking, give them away. No, just kidding. Give them a few more minutes to burn or try fanning them gently.

With your gloves on, use some long-handle grilling tongs to evenly spread the hot coals on the grate or firebox. Wait for all the obvious flames to die down before placing your food on the grill.

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