Summers are about to roll in! and there’s no better way to celebrate with your friends and family than a barbecue. Barbecuing or grilling your food gives an amazing taste to it and those black grill marks look beautiful. If you’re not confident about how to set up your barbeque and how to cook your food to a crisp, read the following guide to set up your barbecue.
Before you place your food over the grill make sure to preheat it. This applies to both the gas grill and the charcoal grill.
How to set up a Barbecue
How to choose the charcoal for a natural smoky flavor
To heat up and cook your food on a barbecue you would require charcoal. There are two different varieties of charcoals used and each of them has a unique feature.
- Charcoal Briquettes: This type of charcoal has medium heat and might last for a longer period.
- Wood Charcoal: This type of charcoal burns fast and as it burns hot, it adds flavor to foods.
Before you begin with your cooking process over griller, wait for it to heat up for about 20 minutes. When you’re done with it, then close the lid and allow it to cool down before you start emptying the ashes.
How to light the grill when you are using a charcoal
Using a chimney to lighten the charcoal is the safest and most efficient way. You need to place the coals in the chimney and light the charcoal with a few sheets of newspaper. Coal will catch fire quickly and starts glowing quickly.
Then pour the coal into the barbecue when they are really hot. Nowadays, you may come across electric charcoal which could take hardly 2 minutes to get lump wood charcoal into a red hot one.
Replacing charcoal grill with gas grill
The gas grill requires a propane tank that will need to be fitted properly before you begin with your cooking. Here you’ll have to connect the grill gas to the nozzle of the propane tank. One advantage is, here you can modify the temperature and placement of the fire by turning on and off the controls.
If you don’t have a chimney, light the charcoal in the stack
Push balls of newspaper or natural firelighters (for example: – wood shavings or wool) between the charcoals. First, light the paper and firelighters, and let the flame catch. Allow the coal to die down again so that you won’t burn your food.
This could be quite time-consuming but when a few of the coals catch the light, then the rest will catch on their own. So you need to have patience and make sure not to add more firefighters. If the heat dies down while you barbeque, add coals to the outside of the barbeque and allow them to flame up and die down before you cook.
Decide whether you need direct cooking or indirect cooking
Know how you can arrange your coals to get different heat zones and more control over your barbecue. There are different ways of cooking over barbecue
- Direct cooking
- Indirect cooking
When should we go for direct cooking? Lightening an even layer of coal will cook your food the same as you cook on high heat in the hottest pan. Direct cooking is good to go if a piece of meat or fish is thick, then it should be cooked quickly using direct heat. Following are the food that you cook well with direct heat – Kebabs, seafood, flatbreads, grilled veggies, steaks, and chops.
In short, if you want to have a crisp texture over the top layer of your food without losing its moisture from the inside, direct cooking is the better method.
This is the way of cooking your food especially when you think of using an oven rather than a grill or a pan. Basically, here you’re just placing some distance in between the food and the heating source or placing any object in between the food and the heat source.
Here you will have to set up your barbecue such that it creates two separate zones. One side will have the coals or burners and another side will have only the food. While you close the lid on, the hot coal will form the temperature and you will have an indirect gentle heat forming inside the lid. Make sure you do not check and open the lid of the barbecue frequently as it would lose the heat immediately as soon as you open it.
Preheat before cooking
If you’re using the charcoal then use a chimney to light your grill and if you’re using a gas grill then just turn on the gas for it. Allow your grill to heat up to 10 – 20 minutes. A gas grill will hardly take 10 minutes to warm up whereas a charcoal grill might take up to 20minutes.
Place the grate over the coal or gas grill to preheat.
6 useful Tips to Barbecue
- Check the vent: Do not forget to check the vent at the bottom of the barbecue. Fire needs some air to burn the coal.
- Look for the hot spot: Carefully move your hands 6 inches above the grate. If you fail to hold you’re at one place for more than 3 to 4 min then it must be the hottest spot of the grill.
- Make use of good quality grilling tools: Use a pair of tongs or any spatula to place your veggies or meat over the grate. You can also make use of grilling mitts and aluminum pans. Make sure that you flip the food only once or twice to keep the juices in it. Avoid handling cooked food with the same tool which has uncooked food residue on it.
- Test the meat temperature: Check out the temperature of the food through a thermometer to know the doneness of the food.
- Clean the grill: To clean the grill, you can make use of an inexpensive wired brush.
- Recognize when your coals are ready: If you start cooking while your coals are not ready, it might overcook or burn your food. Here is the color code to know when to start cooking.
- If the coal is black or grey in color, it means that the coal is not ready to begin cooking. So you can just sit back and relax.
- If the coals are glowing white hot with red centers, this means that the coal is ready for direct cooking.
- If the coal is white but still very hot, this is the time where you can go for indirect cooking.
You Must Know About