The advantage of the charcoal grill lies in its multifunctionality. If you do not use the lid, you can use the classic recipe for a low&sllow kitchen, when food is cooked for a long time on a small fire, soaked in smoke.
If the lid is closed, the grill cooks high&quick when, thanks to the strong ambient heat, food quickly gets browned on the outside and remains juicy on the inside. The classic charcoal grill is medium brown steaks.
In this short but informative video, you will learn a few useful lifehacks from the grilling expert Jamie Purviance:
There are several simple rules and ways to smoke BBQ to help you cook a delicious delicacy and surprise others. But before, we recommend you to take into account these short but important tips:
|Place the coals and meat on opposite sides of the grid. This creates an indirect cooking zone and ensures that the meat retains its high quality.|
Keep an eye on the temperature
|To control the temperature, watch the grill cover and the air outlet opening. Check the cooking temperature every 15-20 minutes. Add coals every 1.5 hours.|
Choose the right cooking method
|Chicken breasts, steaks, fish fillets, and vegetables should be roasted over hot coals. Whole carcasses of poultry, meat on the rib, brisket, or scapula, should be cooked slowly. Tender meat, young poultry, and fish should be cooked quickly, but not directly over the coals.|
Prepare products correctly
|Cut the meat across the fibers. Shrimp can be fried both peeled and in shells. All products must be thoroughly washed, but any excess moisture must be removed before being sent to the grate. Use salt at the very end of the cooking process.|
Experiment with pickles
|For the juicy natural flavour of the steak, use only salt. For a variety of flavors you can use rosemary, basil, coriander, parsley, tarragon, spicy Mexican spices, honey, mustard, olive oil, lemon juice and much more.|
One of the important prerequisites for proper smoking is the proper location of coal and products. To create two indirect temperature zones, it is necessary to lay coal on one side and pieces of meat on the other.
Cooking starts with the charcoal being allowed to heat up, then it is placed on one half of the grate. But, you should place a metal tray with water.
Liquid makes it easier to clean the grill afterward, as it is in this tray that fat drains off when smoking. The water also creates evaporations, which help to keep food juicy for a long time. Another function of the water is to stabilize the temperature level during cooking.
Then add some wood chips to the coals and bring the unit to the temperature specified in the recipe.
Keep an eye on the temperature
Extremely high grilling temperatures are achieved through the internal flow of air. Thus, to create a uniform, not too high heat, it is necessary to limit the oxygen supply to the boiler. To do so, close the cover of the unit and the ventilation openings tightly.
Then open the air ducts by about one-third. Once the grill temperature has reached 100 degrees, you can put the meat on the grill. Try to put the pieces of meat away from the coals. Now close the lid and half-close the top hole of the duct.
Keep a close eye on the temperature throughout the cooking process. You should do this every 15-20 minutes. You can adjust the heat with the lower duct. If the fever has increased, cover the opening; if the temperature has decreased, open the air duct a little. Every hour and a half you will need to add coals as they will burn.
Little things you need to know
To prevent food from sticking to the grill grate, it must be heated in advance and lubricated with vegetable oil. Once the grill has been used, it must be well cleaned. To add more flavor to the smoke, you can throw a few chips or branches of fruit tree or grapevine well soaked in water on top of hot coals.
You can also add a few spicy herbal twigs, such as thyme or rosemary. Wooden skewers (brooches) are often used for barbecues. They are convenient for cooking shrimps, small kebabs, vegetables and much more. Before using such skewers should be soaked in water.
Choose the right cooking method
Small products, small or thin slices such as chicken breasts, steaks, fish fillets, and vegetables should be roasted over hot coals. This is the direct method. They will be quickly covered with crust and remain juicy inside.
Bigger, tougher, and oily products, such as whole carcasses of poultry, meat on the rib, brisket, or scapula, should be cooked slowly. Otherwise, they will burn and the inside will be raw. To do this, the coals should be pushed aside or spread on the sides (indirect method).
Very tender meat, young poultry, and fish should be cooked quickly, but not directly over the coals, otherwise, they may turn out to be too dry.
If you close your barbecue boiler with a lid, you will get the effect of an oven. That’s usually done with an indirect cooking method. If you prefer uneven roasting, you’d better leave the boiler open.
The best way to barbecue
Beef can (and even should) not be completely fried, so it will be tastier and more aromatic. But not fried pork and poultry meat can be unsafe. River fish should also be cooked to the end, and good sea fish, such as Norwegian salmon, can be a little off the grill. It is always better not to fry shrimp than to overcook it.
Fish steaks should not be thinner than 2-2.5 cm. Small fish, such as trout and sardines, should be fried as a whole. Small fish, for example, the same sardines, is much more convenient to cook on the grill, stringing them a few pieces on wooden skewers.
Steaks are cooked on average 5-6 minutes on each side, trout – 5 minutes, sardines – a few minutes. The finished fish will have clear juice. Vegetables for a barbecue should be cooked in whole or cut into large pieces.
Put them on the grate cut side, pre-lubricated with vegetable oil. Fish and vegetables are good to bake in foil. They are cooked in their own juices, and the dish turns out to be dietetic. So you can cook almost any food.
How to prepare products correctly
The meat should be cleaned from the film so that it does not shrink it when frying and the pieces do not deform. It’s better to cut the meat across the fibers. It will save more juice and it is easier to chew it. Shrimp can be fried both peeled and in shells. In large shrimps except the shell should remove the black small intestine.
If you want, you can leave the tails uncleaned. The shrimps are cooked for up to five minutes. To prepare the squid fillet, it must be dusted with boiling water, cleaned from the top of the film, well washed, and dried.
Usually, it is sliced with rings. Roast such rings for 2-3 minutes (they should become opaque). All food must be thoroughly washed, and before being sent to the grate – wipe off excess moisture. Salt better at the very end, this will save more juice.
Find the best backyard smoker in our previous article.
Experiment with pickles
Most professional cooks are very skeptical about marinating beefsteaks. It’s believed to kill the taste and aroma of the meat. It’s enough to grease with vegetable oil, preferably olive oil.
Even salt and pepper steak are recommended at the end or after cooking. But, there is always room for experimentation, so marinades should be selected for your liking. You can add some spicy herbs like rosemary or smear the steak with a spicy Mexican spice and serve with salsa.
Dry basil, coriander, parsley, and tarragon are good for pork. Try marinating pork ribs in a mixture of honey, mustard, and lemon juice. Universal marinade for fish – olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper. It is possible to use white wine. For salmon, try the mixture of mustard, sugar, and rosemary.
Not sure about burgers time on a grill? Check our burger grill time chart.
For whole fish, such as carp, stuff with herbs (dill, parsley), and slices of lemon. In any case, when buying fish, do not forget about lemons and white pepper. It fits the fish better than black. For shrimps, it is enough to use a simple marinade of butter, garlic, and lemon.
Chicken breasts combine well with sour-sweet marinades and sauces in Thai or Chinese style. It is also delicious with Indian spices. Try curry marinade, yogurt, and lemon juice. If you like cinnamon, mix it with garlic, molasses, and olive oil. It’s a great marinade for chicken, too.
You can only do with spicy herbs, especially good thyme and rosemary. And also very tasty small slices wrapped in ham and fried.
Any product, unless it’s hard meat or you use some special recipe, should not be marinated for long. Just a few minutes, up to an hour, tops. Pieces of onion, garlic, or herbs must be removed before cooking, they will burn.