I still remember my first time cooking on the grill like it was yesterday. More than a few years back, I got myself one of those minature charcoal grills that are sold at the dollar store (I think I paid 20 bucks for one), because at the time me and the Missuz were living in a second floor apartment unit. Shoot, that didn’t stop me – I would barbecue on the balcony! Safe to say, that isn’t optimal.
Anyhow, I basically learnt through trial by error…there were some good meals, and then there were some “learning experiences.” But it was great fun all the same. In them days, I would try to cook everything on that little grill. And honestly, I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong until a buddy of mine invited me to use the grill at his place (I can’t recall why; I think he knew I enjoyed grilling more). That experience opened my eyes to the need for a genuine grown-ups grill. Once we moved, you better believe that thing was at the top of the to-do list.
That’s what I love about outdoor cooking: everybody gets there a slightly different way. Some people get trained as pups from their daddies. Other folks learn from watching the cook at the football tailgates. Heck, I even knew a guy that learned in the Boy Scouts (now that’s what he said – who am I to correct him?). The point is, we all learn in our own way. And now, it’s time for you to learn to cook on the grill from the advice given here at cookouteveryday.com! And without further delay…
Let’s fire up that grill!
Lighting The Charcoal Grill
Learning to grill with charcoal is simple. It’s mastering the art that will come with time. But before anything gets cooked, we gotta get that grill goin! And to fire up the grill, we will need
four five things;
Let’s get started;
First, empty your charcoal into the bed of the grill, on top of the
bottom rack. Now make sure to open up the vents so that the fire you will start can eventually breathe.
Second, arrange the charcoal into a pyramid shape. It doesn’t have to be too high, but make sure to place this pyramid in the center of the grill.
Third, spray the lighter fluid on the briquettes. I recommend
squirting around to bottom and working up to the top. However, towards the top, spray inside of the stack. This will get your fire hot faster and you won’t need a whole lot of lighter fluid ignite the fire.
Fourth, strike one of the matches and place it at one point of the base of briquettes. Done properly, the lit match will ignite the lighter fluid that you spayed on the briquettes earlier. Repeat, and try to place a lit match at each point of the four ends of the base. (Tip: do this
quickly, but don’t rush. Once the flame catches the briquettes, it spreads quickly!)
Fifth, let that fire burn for 20 minutes or so. This is key, because you want to make absolutely sure that your charcoal is fully heated. You will know when it’s good to go, because the coals with be completely gray and ashed over. This
means that your coals are fully heated and ready for cooking! (Tip: if the charcoal is ashed over but you can still see flames, just give it another couple of minutes for the flames to die down before placing the grill rack back on the grill.)
Sixth, Grab the grill rack with the long thongs and place it back on top of the grill. Remember, the grill will be hot, so make sure to have a firm grip on the rack and place it on the grill carefully. The grill is now ready for cooking.
If you follow these directions carefully, you shouldn’t have any problems while you learn to cook on the grill. But here are a few things to consider for charcoal grilling safety:
Although this is a controlled fire, keep in mind that you are starting a fire! Please keep the lighter fluid at least 10 feet away from the grill, just to be safe. I’ve been grilling for years, and I still practice this.
NO CELL PHONES OR GADGETS!!! I want you to pay attention to what you are doing; firing up a grill is easy. The flip side of that coin means that if you tip that thing over, then you could have an uncontrolled fire on your hands. For goodness sake, just concentrate on what you are doing those first few times. An once of prevention…
Keep that pair of long thongs handy. Sometimes a portion of the coals don’t light with the others. The long thongs are good because you can safely grab the unlit coals and place them in the center of your pyramid. Once the fire is going, those things will light just fine.
Keep the grill open so you can easily see how the fire is progressing. There’s no harm done if you close it, but for now, open is fine.
Taking the time to learn to cook on the grill with charcoal begins with properly igniting your fire and getting it ready. Next comes the best part…cooking that delicious barbecue!