The Beginner’s Guide to Charcoal Grilling

If you’re thinking of saying goodbye to gas grilling for the traditional charcoal technique, you will need to make a few changes to the way you cook. Don’t let the thought of grilling with charcoal intimidate you, however. With a few simple techniques, you’ll be enjoying that telltale charcoal flavor in no time.

Choose Your Charcoal

You may be surprised at the number of choices you have when it comes to charcoal. Start by making a choice between lump and briquette charcoal. Lump charcoal is more expensive, but it’s an all-natural product that lights quickly and creates little ash. Briquettes are affordable and burn for a long time, but some people are turned off by the large amount of ash they create and their chemical smell. You may find that you need to experiment with both kinds to kind of out which gives you the results you want.

Light Your Charcoal

The safest and easiest way to light charcoal is to use a charcoal chimney. With a charcoal chimney, you put a base layer of crumpled newspaper down and top with the charcoal. Light it and let the charcoal burn for about 10 minutes before dumping it into the grill. Alternatively, put charcoal directly into the grill into a pyramid shape and add lighter fluid to the center and edges. Carefully light the charcoal in two spots and put the lid on for about five minutes to let the charcoal start burning.

Set Up Charcoal for Indirect or Direct Heat

Indirect heat involves putting food on the grill grate away from the charcoal, letting the heat within the closed grill do the cooking. Direct heat involves placing food directly over the charcoal. Generally, if you are cooking food for more than 20 minutes, you will need to use indirect heat at least part of the time. For indirect heat, move the heated charcoal to the center of the grill. For direct heat, spread it our across the bed of the grill.

Whatever your favorite form of grilling is, Friedmans Appliance has the tools you need, from charcoal and gas grills to the Big Green Egg. Contact our home appliance store near Pleasant Hill at (925) 808-2950 to learn more.

How to Light Charcoal

When you pick up a charcoal grill from the appliance store , take the time to learn how to use it properly. You can’t do much with your grill if you can’t light it, and there are a couple of ways you can do it. Read on for a quick look at how to light charcoal.

It’s easy to light a charcoal grill, and you don’t even need to have lighter fluid to get the grill going. Take paper scraps and bunch them up in the charcoal grate. Create a pyramid over the paper using your coals, and then light the paper on fire. The flame will slowly cause the charcoal to catch fire and light up your grill. Some people use a paper towel or cotton rag soaked in cooking oil to craft a clean burning wick out of household supplies.

Friedmans Appliance is an appliance store serving Pleasant Hill that carries dryers, refrigerators, BBQ appliances, and everything in between. Our website has an overview of the appliances we offer, and you can call us at (925) 808-2950 if you have any questions on grilling with charcoal.

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