Video:How to Use a Charcoal Grillwith Ben Kurtzman
Many people like using gas grills because they are quick and easy, but a charcoal grill offers a distinct flavor and isn't much more difficult to use. Find out how to light and cook with a charcoal grill.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Use a Charcoal GrillHi, I am Ben Kurtzman for About.com Food, and today I am going to show you some tips for charcoal grilling. A lot of people like using a gas grill because it is so quick and easy, but charcoal grills offer a distinct flavor and are really quite simple.
Charcoal Grill SafetyWhen you buy charcoal briquettes, you can get ones that are already soaked in lighter fluid. These are the easiest and the simplest to get lit. In the interest of safety, make sure your grill is settled on a nonflammable surface. Also, make sure it is not near anything that could catch fire.
Starting the GrillBegin by stacking your briquettes in a pyramid. If your grill has air vents, open then up. This will increase airflow and help your charcoal burn better. Using matches, light the pyramid of briquettes in several places. After about ten or fifteen minutes the flames will die down and the charcoal will become gray with ash. Spread the charcoal out, and put the grill rack back on. Once the grilling rack is in place, use a grill brush to make sure it is clean.
Testing the Grill HeatYou can test the heat of the fire by placing your hand about six inches above the coals. If it is only comfortable to keep your hand there for a second or two, you are grilling with very high heat. If you can keep you hand there for five or six seconds, this is medium heat, and anything longer is low. Most of the time you will be able to cook without the grill cover, however, if you want to increase the heat, covering the grill is a quick way to do that.
Now that you know the basics of charcoal grilling, try it with different vegetables and meats. It will provide a different flavor than gas grilling, and it is not very complicated.
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