Beginners guide on how to use a charcoal grill

Beginners guide on how to use a charcoal grill – words Alexa Wang

When everyone is talking about hitting the grill for the summer, it makes you wonder what it would be like to host a BBQ in your backyard, this time, you behind the grill. It can be intimidating to think of cooking food on high heat and direct fire, especially if it is your first time.

The secret behind being the best at charcoal grilling comes with experience and a lot of practice. However, there is a way to use a charcoal grill, even for the first time, and not be too terrible at it. Read on to find some of the tips you need in charcoal grilling, on this beginners guide article:

Get a good smoker

The number one step is to get the best grill smoker that can get you along in your grilling. If you have nowhere to start, look for the best charcoal grill smoker combo at, and you will be surprised at how easy it is to find a smoker that befits your needs and preferences.

Choose the meals to grill

There are endless choices when it comes to picking out what dishes to grill. Technically, it is possible to grill any food, but as a beginner, you will be relying on beginners luck if you were to choose any meal. Start with simple choices like corn and see how it goes. Follow through with recipes from professionals, adding your own touch to each meal.

When it comes to picking out meat, start with firm cuts that will not lose turgidity soon after you hit the grill. This way, you have plenty of time to get going on the cooking as you flip and turn.

charcoal grillUse wood

Even while the primary fuel in a charcoal grill is charcoal, wood is the ultimate fuel in bringing out the most tasteful grilled meals. Wood smoke introduces flavor on meat cuts, which can go a long way in making you better in grilling. Find out the types of woods that are readily available in your place. The most common choices are mesquite, hickory, oak, or any other hardwood you find. Better yet, you can go for wood chips. For this to work, soak some wood chips in water, then throw them onto your charcoal and cover the grill.

Always preheat your grill

The last thing you want is to elongate your cooking time for no apparent reason. When you place foods on your grill, it should be hot, and the foods should start cooking right away. Spare around 15-40 minutes before you start cooking to let your smoker preheat. The recommended temperatures are,

400-450°F – high

350-400°F – medium-high

250-300°F – low

Keep the grill closed

As a beginner, it is very tempting to keep checking your food every few minutes. This urge is usually out of excitement, but it does not do much as to better your cooking skills. Technically, you only need to flip your meat once or twice. Try as much as possible to resist the urge of over flipping. The more you keep the cover open, the more moisture you lose, and the slower your meat cooks.

While at it, use a spatula to flip your meat, instead of poking it with a fork. The fork will leave holes in the food, creating a pathway for losing juices. In the end, you will have a drier dish to deal with, which could be avoided by a simple change of the cooking tool.

The timing of food

It is normal to get a little bit nervous about whether your food is well-done, undercooked, or overcooked. Technically, the recipe you are following should give you an excellent lead to how long the dish you are preparing should take. Even then, various things can affect the cooking process including, your degree of heat, the cut of meat and personal preference, all of which can give you an undercooked, overcooked, or well-done result.

Instead of too much hassle, make the meat thermometer your friend. Other than that, be a natural and rely on pointers like the grill marks on your meat, the smell, and the firmness of the food to determine when it is ready.

charcoal grill



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