September 19, 2018

What’s a Charcoal Grill

People were grilling food in the Americas from before the Colonial times. Here, let’s talk about the charcoal grill and its various types as well as key components. When the time comes to buy a grill, the more information you have about it, the better.

Key components

The grill’s core is its cooking system. If you go with a well-constructed charcoal. grill, you will notice it has a sturdy and heavy-duty as well as plated steel cooking grate as well as a charcoal grate on which you can place the fuel. Last but not least, the charcoal grill also has a lid with some air vents in it that allow air to be released.

What to look for in your charcoal grill?

When choosing your charcoal grill, you need to ensure that it has an efficient grease or ash collection system to ensure the heat source does not get clogged and to ensure it remains free from run-off juices that can ruin your charcoal grill otherwise. Another aspect to choosing your charcoal grill is ensuring it is constructed solidly and it should feel sturdy even when you shake it. Also, make sure you go with a charcoal grill that is easy to assemble.

If you pick a good brand, then you can be sure that assembling the grill will be easy. Other less well-known brands may require lengthy assembly. Also, when you buy your charcoal grill from a reputed brand, you can rest assured the brand’s customer service will be up to the mark.

Consumer Reports Grill Buying Guide

How to grill food on a charcoal grill?

When you use a charcoal grill, you will notice it takes time to cook your food. You need to load the charcoal in a chamber under the grill gate and this is the main fuel source. The charcoal upon burning, will change into embers that will radiate heat in the direction of the top vent. You can control temperature by adjusting the vents at the top or bottom. Higher temperature is achieved through allowing more oxygen and vice versa.

Ceramic BBQ smokers

Ceramic BBQ smokers are one of the category for you to choose from. These grills are very versatile because the ceramic chamber is capable of retaining heat and moisture with utmost efficiency. Barrel grills look like you have sliced a barrel into two equal parts in a lengthwise direction. The kettle grill contains a lid and cooking grid as well as a charcoal grid. It also has a lower chamber and venting system as well as four legs. In some models, you will come across an ash catcher pan as well as wheels. The charcoal is placed in the lower chamber which looks like a kettle and hence the name, kettle grill.

Vertical BBQ Smoker

A vertical BBQ Smoker is a good option when you want to preserve your food longer and also when you want to give your food a different flavor. It can be used for both cold and hot smoking. The horizontal BBQ smoker on the other hand is perfect for cooking delicious pulled pork and mouth-watering briskets. It has a nice cooking chamber that allows for low or slow or even high temperature grilling.

Key features to look for

When choosing your charcoal grill, you need to look at its features before making up your mind. Each feature makes the grill more convenient to use and it also makes your cooking that much easier.

The first feature to look for is whether the charcoal grill is mobile or mounted. If you want to mount one that you can place near your outdoor kitchen, then you may want a mounted grill while if you want to hide it from sight, then you can go with the mobile option. Next, you need to look at a feature called the plate setter which is a flat piece of ceramic that is put in the grill above the charcoal fire. This plate directs the flames away from your food and thus ensures more consistency in temperature throughout the inside of the grill. With a plate setter in place, you can also put a pizza plate or rack on top to hold the ribs.

If you don’t want to burn your food, then make sure your charcoal grill has a grill light. You can choose between a free-standing grill light and one that is attached to the grill. Next, you want to look at the benefits of using a cast iron cook grid as it is durable and easy to clean and best of all, it leaves the ideal sear mark on your steak.

Charcoal grills with V-racks are also a feature worth looking at as these racks can be used to hold the ribs when upright. If you flip the rack on its head, then it can hold a roast or poultry upright.