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How to Get Your Charcoal Grill Ready


The major difference between grilling and cooking on the stove or in the oven is that grilling is a combination of both. Grilling is a combination of direct heat and indirect heat. The charcoal coals in your grill is direct heat and when the lid is put down this is indirect heat.   

Grills have higher heat and less control then on a stove or in an oven. With your oven you can set the temperature precisely, but with a charcoal grill you don’t have control over the heat heat, unless you are using a thermometer to know what the temperature the heat is. Most gas grills do have a thermometer build into the lid.

Grills can reach temperatures of 500 degrees in a just a few minutes when the lid is down. One thing about gas grills as most do have a high, medium and low heat control. Charcoal grill heat is controlled by how gray the coals are.

First thing before adding the briquettes to a charcoal grill, is to dump out any ashes into a trash bag that were left over from a previous barbecue. Clean off the cooking grates with using a wire brush. You always want to start cooking with a clean grill.

Set the coals into a pyramid shape or in a mound in the center of the grill, then douse the charcoal with lighter fluid and wait a couple minutes before lighting. A chimney starter is also a great way for starting the coals. One can also purchase ready to light charcoal. With those type you light the bag the coals are inside, or open the bag and mound some of the coals into your grill.

Use an electric fire starter or long matches to light your coals. Once your coals are lit need to wait 20 to 35 minutes before before adding your meats, poultry, hamburgers or other foods onto the grill. Coals should be in a gray ash color and not smoking. If they are not at this state give them more time.

If one puts food on the coals before are at a gray ash state and not smoky they will be too hot, flame up and cook your food to quickly. 

After your coals are ready spread the hot gray coals out on the grate with the use of a long handle tongs. Wait for flame and smoke to settle down before being ready to cook.

Before placing food on the cooking grate spray it with a cooking oil spray, this will help from food sticking and make it easier to clean once the grill has cooled down. Now you are ready to start cooking!