It is too hot to cook inside. So, pack up the food and move it outdoors!
Our grill of choice is charcoal with a chimney starter. We do not like our BBQ to taste like lighter fluid, so we don’t use it (who knows what’s in that stuff).
When I first got a grill – I felt like I was in over my head. But I was determined to learn how to use the grill without any help, so I could become a backyard chef.
After hours of researching and trial and error – I have a system set up and I thought I would share it with you.
Here is my method: How to Use a Grill?
- Make sure the grill grates are clean, and the old ash is dumped.
- Load charcoal into the chimney on top of the Grill, add newspaper and light.
When you start seeing flames at the top, pour the coals over the bottom of your Grill and wait until they turn an ashy gray.
- Once the coals are a gray color, arrange them equally on the bottom of the grill base. Tip: leave an area of the Grill with no coals – this really helps when you have a flare-up (flare-ups happen when the juices from your meat hit the fire). No matter how tempting it is – DON’T use water to tame flare-ups – it will cause ash to get all over your food – DON’T ask me how I know this.
- Put some oil on those grates to keep your food from sticking. I wad up some paper towels, dip them in olive oil and use a pair of tongs to grease the grates.
- Learn how to control the temp. This takes some getting used to. But once you get the hang of it – it isn’t that bad. There are vents and dampers on the top and bottom of the Grill. The wider you open the vents – the more oxygen – the HOTTER the Grill gets. To lower the temperature, cut off some of the oxygen flow by closing the vents – don’t close them all the way, or your fire will go out, which is no fun – because you will have to start all over.
- Now you are ready to cook!
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Grilling the Food:
Now that you are cooking with fire, here are a couple of tips for cooking straight from the garden!
It just so happens that our garden is not far from our Grill. So many times, we will pick the vegetables, wash them off, cut them up, and put them right on the Grill.
Our favorite vegetables to Grill:
Grilling Vegetables is pretty easy.
All I do is cut the vegetables up (always make sure to cut them large enough, so they don’t fall through the grates – don’t ask me how I know this).
Make a marinade of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Coat the vegetables with the marinade and lay the vegetables directly on the Grill (medium heat).
Depending on the vegetables – the grill time is 10-15 minutes. Just grill until the vegetables reach your desired tenderness. 
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How to Grill Chicken:
Grilling chicken on a charcoal grill can be tricky. If you don’t do it right – it will be bone dry.
Following these tips will help you grill the chicken you are proud of serving!
- Tenderize the chicken. Go to town on the chicken with a meat tenderizer tool.
- Marinate the chicken. This is my favorite marinade.
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Marinate the chicken for a couple of hours before grilling.
- Place the boneless chicken breasts on the hottest part of the grill.
- Let grill for 3 minutes.
- Rotate chicken 45 degrees and place back on the grill.
- Cook for 4 minutes.
- Use tongs to flip the chicken breast.
- Grill for two more minutes.
- Rotate 45 degrees and put back on the grill.
- Cook for additional 2-4 minutes.
- Use a meat thermometer to make sure meat is 165 degrees in the center.
- Let meat rest for 7-10 minutes before serving.
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Temperature Guide for the Grill:
The temperature dials on a gas grill are a good indicator of the heat level. But, how do you know the heat level of a charcoal grill?
You can gauge the temperature by using your hand. Keep your hand close to the fire and count the seconds until your skin cannot tolerate heat.
The heat will drop the longer your hand is above the fire. This technique applies to both charcoal and gas grills.
Should You Move Your Food Around the Grill?
One common myth about grilling is that you shouldn’t flip grilled foods too often. Instead, to achieve even cooking, move your foods around the grill.
Cook Over Indirect Heat:
Some foods taste better when they are cooked without heat. First, light only one burner at a time. Next, rotate your food around, so it cooks evenly.
How to Know When It’s Done
There are not any general guidelines about grilling times. Grilling is not a simple process.
- Law 1: While you may cook for more extended periods of time, you cannot “uncook.”
- Law 2: Undercooked meats may cause your death
- Law 3: Experience is the best way to cook to good doneness. But a meat thermometer is essential to verify your accuracy.
Gas Grill Operation:
Control is that the most vital advantage of a gas barbecue. You’ll be able to control the temperature by turning a knob. These steps will ensure successful gas grilling:
- UnCover your grill, then activate the gas supply.
- Turn the control valves up to high, so light the grill. Follow the instructions on your grill’s manual.
- Preheat your grill. a decent grill should heat up in 10 minutes.
- Clean off the cooking surface.
- Place the food on the recent grill. You’ll be able to cook food quickly. If you progress, the food could burn.
- Flip whenever necessary, and take it out once you are done.
- For some moments, leave the grill on high.
- You can use a good brush to clean the grill surface.
- Close up fuel supply and control valves.
- Let the grill cool completely before you replace the duvet.
Do you want your lid to be open or closed on the grill?
Gas grills are best when the lid is closed. However, the lid should be taken off to produce the intense heat needed for high-temperature barbecue. The lid must also be down for indirect grilling.
Best tips for cooking on a gas BBQ:
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Grilling With Charcoal:
Charcoal grilling can be more artful than gas grilling. Charcoal grilling gives you a more authentic barbecue flavor and cooking experience than a gas grill, but it’s not as easy or as predictable.
There is no temperature control valve on a charcoal grill, regardless of how fancy or expensive it may be. Instead, the heat is controlled by building a fire, adjusting the vents, and keeping the lid on.
Although it requires more skill and knowledge, charcoal grills are just as versatile as gas grills. Charcoal grills can heat to temperatures of 700 F or 200 F. They can also cook slow and low. In addition, many charcoal grills offer rotisserie.
Charcoal Grilling Preparation:
It takes more than just charcoal and a grill to make charcoal grilling successful.
When charcoal grilling, there are many things to consider:
- The charcoal grill must be clean; ashes & debris block vents and make fire control difficult.
- Check that your vents are working; it’s challenging to adjust rusted vents.
- Make sure you have a pair of fireproof gloves. Be prepared for charcoal grilling.
- To lighten charcoal, use a charcoal starter.
- It would help if you kept the grill safe and away from prying eyes.
- Keep your grilling tools handy.
- A good stick or grill tool is convenient to move coals around on the grill.
- It’s worth it. Although charcoal grilling can be challenging to master, it is definitely worth the effort.
Charcoal Fires: How To Build One?
Building a charcoal fire takes practice. These tips will help get you started:
- The charcoal should be lit and then spread to make a fire.
- To reach the right temperature, charcoal takes between 10 and 15 minutes.
- Charcoal is ready to be grilled. It will have an ashy coat all over, appear white or grey, and be extremely hot.
- Spread your charcoal in one layer on the coal grate to create a medium fire.
- Light enough charcoal to make a fire by placing enough coals on the coal grates.
- To make an indirect fire, place the charcoal on one side of your coal grate. Then, turn the heat to the other side.
Charcoal: How to Take Care?
A charcoal grill isn’t like a gas grill. You cannot simply “turn on/off” heat. To turn on a charcoal grill, you must first build a fire. To turn off the grill, you need to shut it down properly. You can close the lid and vents of a charcoal grill to stop it from burning. The charcoal will not burn if there is no oxygen.
This doesn’t mean that the charcoal is safe to handle. The coals can stay hot for as long as 24 hours, so you should not throw them in the trash. You can also use the coals to light a fire. A tiny spark can light a fire, so make sure to dispose of the ashes properly.
You can also save any remaining charcoal. Once you’re done, take out the cooking grate and stir the charcoal. Then, close the vents. The next time you grill, make sure to add new charcoal to the rest of the charcoal and keep it lit. You can reduce your charcoal consumption by being careful and save money.
Clean is the best way to choose a type and style of charcoal. Unfortunately, many charcoals contain additives.
It would be helpful if you use natural charcoal without chemicals and light naturally with a charcoal chimney, electric starter, or natural charcoal lighters. You will enjoy better food and won’t pollute the air.
Grilling doesn’t matter what method you use; the goal is to have fun and make delicious food. You can take your time and be patient. Keep trying.
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