How Does a Charcoal BBQ Work? | UK Guide | 2023

How Does a Charcoal BBQ Work
A charcoal BBQ is an expensive way to grill food and enjoy al fresco dining. Unlike more expensive barbecue models that require you to attach butane gas tanks, charcoal barbecues rely solely on the heat generated by charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal. They are also a good option for those who only need to grill at even temperatures, although adjustable grill racks makes it easy to grill at variable temperatures. Using a charcoal BBQ is also fairly simple.

Charcoal Starters

In order to begin using a charcoal barbecue, you will need to use a charcoal stater to produce heat for cooking. A chimney coal starer is a useful accessory to have. This cylindrical drums can be filled with your charcoal material of choice, making it simple for you to light your fuel source and add heat to the cooking grate. You need to use an accelerant, such as lighter fuel, in order to light charcoals. Once coals have been lit and have begun to warm up, you can tip the cylinder out onto the grate of your barbecue.

Charcoal Varieties

There are two main types of charcoal you can use for a charcoal barbecue. Charcoal briquettes provide you with a longer burning time and are generally very affordable. However, they can be a challenge to light at times and also produce limited heat. Therefore, you will likely need a considerable stock of them to carry out prolonged cooking for a big grill session. Lump charcoal is another option. These irregularly-shaped pieces of charcoal tend to burn out more quickly, but they are easier to light and produce higher cooking temperatures than briquettes.

Adjusting Cooking Temperature

Once lit coals have been added to your barbecue grate, you can start cooking. If you only need to grill a single food item at the same time, you simply need to level out your lit coals for even temperatures. However, you may wish to cook multiple menu items at the same time. In this case, you will need to produce variable heat zones across the surface of your barbecue. Many charcoal barbecues include adjustable grill racks that can be slotted higher or lower than other sections of the barbecue. Grill racks at higher positions will reduce the amount of heat exposed to the food, providing you with a lower overall cooking temperature.

If your barbecue does not have adjustable grill racks, you can create variable temperature zones manually. To do this, simply move lit coals are around in the barbecue grate, with more dense mounds of coals likely to produce more significant levels of heat for high-temperature cooking.


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