Outdoor Charcoal Grill Cooking Tips

One of the most popular items utilized for cooking outdoors is the outdoor charcoal grill for a variety of reasons including their affordability, the charcoal or smoked flavor it gives the food, and its versatility and portability when it comes to backyard grilling or taking them on camping trips or to tailgate parties. There are many factors when it comes to utilizing a charcoal grill successfully including the preparation of the food, the actual grilling process, and safety. Whether or not you new to the art of charcoal grilling, already own an outdoor charcoal grill, or are considering the purchase of one, these tips on charcoal grilling will ensure the success of your next outdoor barbeque.

Direct and Indirect Charcoal Grilling

The term “direct grilling” simply means grilling food on the rack directly over the heat while “indirect grilling” is grilling food without it being directly over the heat source. The decision on whether to use the direct or indirect grilling method should be based upon the type of food you are planning to cook. Smaller, tender or thinner cuts of meat such as hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage, steaks, boneless chicken breast, and fish should be grilled utilizing the direct heat grilling method. After the coals are hot, use a pair of tongs equipped with long handles to spread them evenly along the bottom of your charcoal grill ensuring that the area directly below where the food will be placed on the grill rack is covered.

The indirect grilling method requires an outdoor charcoal grill with a lid and should be used for larger pieces of meat including large steaks, chicken breasts, rack of ribs, and briskets. Prior to lighting, the charcoal briquettes should be placed in two small separate piles on the right and left side of the grill bottom leaving a space in the middle. The briquettes should then be lit and allowed to burn for approximately five minutes and then a shallow aluminum pan should placed in the empty space which will collect the drippings from the meat. After positioning your grill grid on top, place your meat on the grid so that it lies in the center and directly over the drip pan. The lid of your charcoal grill should then be closed leaving the air vent on top slightly open.

Outdoor Charcoal Grill Safety and Lighting Tips

Ensuring the safety of you and your family and friends is an essential part of outdoor grilling and there are several precautionary measures that should be taken when operating an outdoor charcoal grill. When it comes to lighting your charcoal grill, gasoline should never be utilized to light the charcoal and lighter fluid should never be used after the charcoal has already been lit. Any easy and safe way to light charcoal is to take small pieces of paper of saturate them with cooking or olive oil and place the briquettes in the shape of a pyramid covering the paper leaving a small piece sticking out which you can then light. The oil allows the paper to burn longer giving it time to light the charcoal. It is also recommended that you purchase the highest quality outdoor charcoal grill that you can afford in order to ensure the best outdoor grilling experience.

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