Things To Look For When Buying a Charcoal Barbecue
What to look for when buying a charcoal barbecue
Compiled by Peter Stevenson
For most people, the idea of a bbq involves a white hot, charcoal fuelled beast, pumping out plumes of smoke to supply that delicious flavor we all know and love. Although a lot more simple to choose than a gas bbq, you may still find several options – some more fascinating ones which you may have never actually considered in fact – which have to be weighed up to unite master with the correct barbeque grill.
Size and portability
Unlike gas where you have to also think about coordinating overall dimension with the number of burners, with charcoal the bigger the area, the more charcoal you throw in. For any portable bbq which you plan to take to the beach or recreation area, you neednâ€™t worry about anything but cost. However, if you are planning on entertaining more guests, then youâ€™ll start needing bigger barbecuing areas and quality. In addition, remember that the good thing about charcoal means you can always use your bigger bbq to do small cook-outs; simply add less charcoal and keep everything tightly packed in the middle instead.
Build and temperature management
In the event that portability isnâ€™t an issue, do not attempt to save money with a cheap build. The thing you don’t want is it blowing over, or even the handles of the grill falling off and dropping your meat or even burning yourself. If you go for posh versions you can have the look of the slinky gas barbecues but put charcoal in instead. Donâ€™t bother – the best part about charcoal bbqs is simplicity. In the end, charcoal barbecuing is basically a process of chucking a large bag of coals into a metal container and hovering a barbeque grill over it. Get a solid, durable barbeque grill with great handles which rests securely in place on the barbecue. Numerous gas grills come in the form of chrome-plated steel, but better still ones will be solid stainless steel or enamel-coated. Enamel coated areas are a lot more common on charcoal bbqs than with gas, which permit easy cleaning, heat preservation as well as weather protection, however are susceptible to cracking. Complete the package with welded or strong-bolted legs to keep it securely in position.
So whaty type to go for? The main way to control the heat within charcoal cooking is to raise or even reduce the height of the barbeque grill, so consider getting a range of levels, in addition to additional grills to maintain various levels at all times (allowing you to cook a lot more delicate foods simultaneously). Temperature can also be controlled with lids and air vents, so if you fancy roasting in addition to grilling go for an enclosed style such as a pot drum. A temperature monitor can be purchased individually should you not acquire one with your enclosed system. Small touches also assist upon more commercial models such as 1 touch coal waste removal slots as well as hinged grills you are able to fit it in the dish washer.
Simple models: Braziers
A good starting point for periodic barbecuing needs is really a mid-size Brazier design. Probably the most familiar to most of us, Brazier simply means a charcoal tray with no vents or lid, where temperatures are managed exclusively by the height of the barbeque grill. They are obtainable as hemispherical cookware, drums or even as long rectangular trays such as â€œtrolleyâ€ models, complete with wheels and frequently table areas at the side to put various bits and pieces. They range in size from medium to large and are reasonably priced, however donâ€™t expect them to last forever or be made of the greatest stuff.
The lidded, vented and more flexible abilities of the kettle style are a recommended purchase, and still do not carry a hefty price tag. You should expect build quality to be better, so if bought in a shop test the lid – it should be heavy and well hinged. Look for coated or even stainless steel vents which will resist rust, and consider the barbeque grill, as often the handles are so little you will have trouble picking up the barbeque grill with oven gloves on. The beauty of kettle models is in the versatility; open the lid and grill as normal, but close it and you suddenly gain the ability to roast. Additionally, with the lid closed you can allow that beautiful smoky flavor to permeate much more into the actual food, and flare ups from the drippings are no longer a problem in the enclosed environment. Posh models have heat probes, however to be honest you are able to stick a simple chefâ€™s thermometer in there and save your self some dosh. Charcoal dividers are a nice touch, letting you place the coals on one side and cook the meat in the far end to roast much more gently with the cover on.
Something different: Slow cookers
In the event that you are used to flash burning (ahem, â€œcookingâ€) your own typical range of sausages and burgers then you might have never thought of slow cooking. The best part associated with charcoal cooking is that flavoursome smoke, so why give your own meats such little time in in order to soak it up? Slow cooking food models are more gentle version of the pot style, using controllable air vents in order to determine how warm the charcoal becomes. Crucially, the slow cooked, smoky tenderness is achieved with a water pan in the bottom – keeping meats, vegetables and fish moist. Big enough to cook a whole roast in, youâ€™ll certainly be wowing your visitors with something a little different.
Price: ~ Â£200
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