It’s become an ongoing Summer tradition to hit a few of the day festivals a couple of times a year, which includes filling up on protein before the festivities, so we’re fuelled with enough substance to carry us through the encroaching 12hrs of “dancing” (for the lack of better words).
A few years back the guys purchased one of our fire baskets specifically for the preliminary chow-down, and it’s been the making of some – if I do dare to say myself – epic feasts.
So obviously, this seemed like an ideal scenario to showcase one of our products and impart some pearls of wisdom on how to get the best out of your charcoal grill.
1) Keep it clean for an authentic taste
Whether you clean it shortly after use or before using, don’t skip this stage.
A dirty grill full of old ash impacts the ability and quality of the cook, specifically the taste and tenderness.
I’ve found that a ‘two prong brush’ (Google it) is the most effective tool to scrub down the grill.
Clean once after you have preheated the grill and again after you have finished grilling. Use a wire brush or edge of a metal spatula to get those tough bits off, and I also suggested giving it a rinse and wipe down once it has cooled down.
2) Get your coals poppin!
Charcoal always needs a little nudge before it gets going, so use some newspaper and kindling (small dry twigs) to get the fire started. You can also use firelighters, which are available from most home and garden shops.
Using something to lightly fan the early flames can help the charcoal to ignite, but do this with care, and don’t get your face too close unless you want a budget eyebrow wax.
Tip: I have used twigs and sticks from a Rosemary bush to get things going before, and the smell was out of this world and I like to think it flavoured the meat once it was on the grill.
You want your coals to be turning white and glowing before you start to grill any meat. This will insure the grill is hot enough to cook properly.
Another Tip: Make sure you have enough Charcoal on the burn; too little and it won’t generate enough heat, too much and it will take too long to heat up. You need enough to cover the same area as the grills surface at a minimum of two charcoal bricks deep.
3) Preheat your grill before cooking
Sounds obvious, but there is always that one eager beaver whose hunger just can’t wait.
Putting meat or any other food on the grill before it is hot enough will inevitably result in undercooked/overcooked, tough, chewy, unpleasant munch. So once you have your coals going make sure you have your grill in place before cooking.
4) Oil the grill to stop the stickage
Avoid meat and other food sticking by applying oil on the grill with a basting brush.
Look for an oil with a high smoking point so as you don’t get a burnt flavour on the food.
Rice bran oil is a good flavourless option, while coconut and sesame oil offer an option with added flavour. I recommend checking out various tables and charts online to explore all your options.
5) Don’t stab, basting is better.
Smothering and caressing oil onto the meat or other food is a must, but it is all about timing. Applying too soon and you will burn it to a crisp, apply too late and you won’t cook the marinade.
Use a basting brush to marinade the food two-thirds the way through cooking. This will see the best results. Rest your meat for 3 to 5 minutes in a cool tray off the grill before serving.
DO NOT stab the meat, you will lose all the flavour from the fatty juices into the hot coals, causing excessive smoke and flames that will burn your food.
6) Enjoy the process.
Cooking over the on a Fire Basket Or Chimenea Grill should be a social experience, so do it with friends, family and loved ones.
Food is served.
Oh, and don’t forget to clean the grill!
Safety Tips when cooking on a Fire Basket Or Chimenea Grill
Cooking on a Fire Basket Or Chimenea grill brings its own dangers, so there are safety aspects you should be aware of:
- Be aware that it is not just the grill that gets hot, every metal surface will reach a temperature that can cause serious burns. Keep children and pets well clear when in use and for a good few hours after. The heat doesn’t stop when you stop cooking.
- Avoid using lighter fluid and other flammable liquids to get the fire started. Not only is this not ideal for food contamination, it can be very explosive.
- Think about where your fire basket or chimenea is positioned before you start. Place on a hard flat surface, preferably stone or a paving slab, and nothing flammable, as the heat can become quite intense.
- Take into consideration which way the wind is blowing i.e. will the smoke blow into your neighbours direction? Be conscious and considerate.
- Don’t locate your fire basket or chimenea amongst dry grass, or under a tree during a heat wave. Fire and heat = not good.
Happy BBQ’ing, folks!