11 Jan 2023 | BBQs

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Using a Charcoal Grill

During the holidays, many homeowners are thinking about how they can entertain friends and family. One of the popular ways to do it is by firing up a grill and preparing a barbeque.

If you know a thing or two about grills, you are probably aware that nothing beats the tastiness of meals prepared using charcoal grills. Gas and electric models might be more convenient, but they can’t match the smoky aroma of charcoal-grilled barbeques.

The problem of using charcoal BBQ grills is that the extra effort needed often leads to errors. Here are the top five mistakes you need to avoid when using charcoal burners.

Not Cleaning the Grill Before Cooking

Charcoal grills need regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure that they work correctly. This applies to all grills, whether private or public.

Cleaning removes food stuck from previous cooking sessions. Such remnants can be harmful if consumed. When cleaning, preheat the grill, as this makes removing the old food bits easier. For stubborn stains, use a stiff wire brush.

Failing to Use a Chimney Starter for Lighting Coal

The most critical aspect of charcoal grilling is the charcoal itself. This is why people take their time when preparing the coals.

However, some people opt for shortcuts and use lighter fluids, which alter the food’s flavour. The recommended method is using a chimney starter to light the coals. Ideally, you should heat the charcoal for at least 20 minutes before adding it to the grill.

When you rush your charcoal, it becomes harder to regulate the temperature. Ensure that all the charcoal is grey before throwing it into the grill.

Using the Wrong Type of Heat

When using a charcoal BBQ grill, the charcoal will heat your food directly. It is worth noting that some foods cook better over direct heat, while others taste sweeter with low to medium heat. Using the wrong type of heat often results in overcooking or undercooking a meal. In some cases, you might burn the food.

Before you start cooking, consider the type of heat that works best for the food you have. Generally, foods that cook faster work well with direct heat while those that take longer to be ready cook best over indirect heat.

Neglecting the Vents

A significant advantage of the gas grills is the amount of control over the temperature they give you. While this seems impossible when using a charcoal grill, you can regulate heat using the upper and lower vents.

Most models have a vent at the lid and another at the base. These openings control airflow through the grill; the wider they are, the higher the temperature, and vice versa.

Lifting the Lid Frequently

Unlike their gas and electric equivalents, charcoal grills become hotter when you lift the lid. Opening the lids increases the flow of oxygen to the coals, causing them to burn faster. This can lead to burning of food.

Ensure that you put the lid back immediately after checking whether the food is ready. This particularly applies when cooking foods that require more time, like pork shoulder and ribs.

Charcoal grills might be renowned for producing tastier foods than other types, but using them doesn’t guarantee a mouthwatering meal. Ensure that you avoid the mistakes above if you want to make your family and friends crave more of your barbeque foods. If you are looking to upgrade your grill, give us a call on 02-9838-1300 or visit our website and we will help you make the right pick.

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