It is barbecue season again, and it is time to get the grill out!
There are so many barbecue styles to choose from now. Everything from the old standby of coal, to gourmet kitchen style, six burner gas/propane grills. If you are stuck for choice, or depending on your budget, here is a quick list of the pros and cons to each type of open flame.
Old fashioned lump charcoal
Pro - Burns nice and hot and slow, there are no extra chemical additives, and you only need 1/2 as much as other types of charcoal.
Con - Weird sized chunks that you need to break down, and tends to spark.
Pro - Much easier and safe.
Con - The chemical coating must be burned off first, which can take 20 minutes.
Pro - Gives a Smokey flavor to your meats
Con - You have to be ready ahead of time for this one, by soaking them for 30 minute before placing over lighted charcoal.
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Pro - Totally convenient, and you get instant heat
Con - Not quite the same barbecue flavor as an open flame from charcoal.
If you have decided to go with the old fashioned charcoal for this years barbecue season, then her are a few more tips for lighting your barbecue.
How much charcoal should you use? For most downright serious grillers, with a stack of meat waiting, you will need a bed of charcoal about 2 inches deep. If you are not going to barbecuing a lineup of foods, then a single layer should work.
You can use charcoal lighter fluid to get your barbecue going. Let it soak in the coals for about 3 - 5 minutes, and then allow 25 minutes for the coals to burn that off and reach the right temperature for a hot fire. You need the coals to be good and hot and all lighter fluid burned off.
Once you have your coals ready, now you are ready for that first steak or chicken or whatever your choice is for this great barbecue season ahead. Before you do anything though you need to clean the grill. This is best done when you get that bed of coal hot.
Place the rack over the hot coals, heat it up for about 10 minutes, and then brush with a stiff barbecue brush, this will loosen and remove any dirt and debris from the winter, leaving you a clean grill..
Now that your grill is clean, brush with some oil just before placing your meat on the grill. This will stop sticking and will help make those grill marks you see in the restaurants. Everyone loves to see those! It is like it marks barbecue season!
Try not to stab at the meat too much, as it will release juices and dry out. Try and use tongs for turning instead of a fork.
If you are using wood skewers for your barbecue dinner, then make sure and soak them for 30 minutes in water before using.
Make sure you have everything outside with you. You don't want to be running in and out of the house leaving the barbecue unattended.
Have long handled utensils
any sauces and brush
a clean plate
your apron and hat
don't wear anything with loose and open sleeves. It doesn't take much to get burned.
Last of all ENJOY, barbecue season is here!