11 Jan 2023 | BBQs

How to use your charcoal BBQ

Weber is one of the most ubiquitous BBQ brands in the world, and their first ever model was a Weber Kettle. It’s still one of their best sellers, and since Home Heat & BBQ is known as the Weber Store, we have a keen interest in charcoal cooking. It’s not just meat either. We’re equal opportunity BBQ believers, so we’re okay with char-grilled desserts and veggies. We have a few tips on how to get the most from your charcoal BBQ grill experience.

Start by deciding the type of Weber you want. Our Smokey Mountain series is cylindrical and vertically elongated, allowing more space for your smoke to circulate. They also have moisture pans. These produce constant water vapour that keeps your cuts moist while they cook. Other options include the original Weber, portable BBQs, and Weber Summits, whose double-wall construction controls heat more efficiently, letting your food cook evenly all around

Get it warmed up

Many charcoal Webers have an ash catcher for easy one-touch cleaning. But just like wood fireplaces, BBQs light faster if they have about an inch of ash on them. So as you empty your ash catcher, consider reserving some of it to light your fire. You’ll have to remove the cooking plate or BBQ grate so you can access the char-basket below (sometimes called a charcoal grate). Barbequing is best done on medium-to-low heat rather than roaring flames.

This is because live flames might singe food on the outside, leaving the inside uncooked. Worse, the extreme temperature could burn your food to an unpleasant, flavourless, unpalatable crisp – and it could do this in mere seconds. Note that US Webers have chimney starters which Aussie BBQs rarely have, so you’ll probably have to light your Weber old-school. Start by filling the charcoal grate halfway, then sprinkling some used ash over your briquettes.

Set your temperature right

Light the charcoal. then and wait for ten to fifteen minutes until the outer surfaces’ ash over. You might not easily distinguish the fresh vs old ash, so use a timer. Put your cooking grate back onto your Weber BBQ and close the lid, allowing the Weber to preheat. The built-in lid thermometer will let you know when it gets to the heat level you prefer. Add or remove coals as needed, until you achieve the ideal number of degrees for your recipe.

Open the lid and brush your cooking surface with a light coating of oil. Use a brush rather than cooking spray, because aerosol oil droplets might re-ignite the fire. Place your food on the grate, preferably in thin slices. Let one side cook for a minute or so, then flip it. This sears the food, sealing the juices in. You can also baste the food with relevant fluids – like marinade or dressing

Some recipes call for water spray instead but apply carefully to avoid dousing your charcoal. Proceed with your BBQ-ing, keeping the lid on for moist results or raising it for extra crispiness. If the top is down, be more careful with your timer. Why? Well, it’s possible to raise the lid and check for doneness occasionally, but every time you lift it, you lower your cooking temperature, so that’ll mess with the process and can give you undercooked or unevenly heated dishes.

For more charcoal BBQ tips and extensive selections of charcoal Weber models, call Home Heat & BBQ today on 02 9838 1300.

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