Hot Off The Grill – Sizzling Tips For Charcoal Fanatics
(NAPSA) – For dyed-in-the-wool charcoal lovers, the flavors and aromas imparted by charcoal grilling are simply irreplaceable. It’s the distinct smoky flavor that only charcoal can provide-along with the challenge of building and mastering a live fire-that continues to fuel this nationwide obsession with the charcoal grill.
‘Something deep in our human DNA drives us toward the primordial satisfaction of cooking over crackling flames and glowing embers,’ said Chef Jamie Purviance, author of the new ‘Weber’s Charcoal Grilling: The art of cooking with live fire.’ ‘Each time we light a live fire, we reconnect with generations of ancestors all the way back to the beginning of civilization.’
Whether you’re a novice griller or a well-seasoned veteran, here are a few tips and tricks of the trade for charcoal grilling from Purviance:
Charcoal briquettes burn longer than lump charcoal and need replenishing less often, but lump charcoal provides greater heat and woodsier aromas. Here’s a tip: Use both. Light your fire with a bed of slow-burning briquettes and add lump charcoal for additional heat and smoke. Not using enough charcoal is a crucial and common mistake. ‘A good rule of thumb is that your charcoal should extend at least four inches beyond every piece of food. Otherwise, the food will not cook evenly,’ said Purviance.
Light It Right!
The easiest and best way to light charcoal is with an aluminum chimney starter. This essential tool also serves as a ‘measuring cup’ for the fire. Filled to the rim, it provides enough coals to build an initial bed of embers in a kettle-style grill. A word to the wise-lighter fluid is off limits! According to Purviance, ‘It burns foul chemical fumes that can ruin the clean aromas of a good charcoal fire.’
Mastering The Fire
The grill should always be preheated for five to 10 minutes with the lid closed so the grate is hot enough to sear food properly. While cooking, the heat can be adjusted by rearranging or replenishing the coals according to what various foods require. ‘This added bit of personal involvement is what really makes mastering a charcoal grill a true art form,’ said Purviance. In his book, Purviance teaches how to anticipate what the fire is going to do and how to control it, so that grillers get the results they want.
Going Out On A Limb…
Oak or mesquite? Hickory or apple? When it comes to smoking on a charcoal grill, the options are endless, so take a chance. Adding wood chips or chunks can add an extra layer of flavor to your grilling. To help the chips or chunks smolder rather than flame up, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before adding them to the fire.
From seared steaks, roasted vegetables, smoked fish, barbecued ribs, wood-fired pizzas and even caramelized fruits, there’s really nothing that can’t be cooked over charcoal.
For more information on ‘Weber’s Charcoal Grilling,’ or for additional charcoal grilling tips and recipes from Purviance, visit www.livefirewisdom.com.
Prep time: 25 minutes – Grilling time: 8 to 10 minutes