WoW! Take a Look at Some Great Barbecuing

Before we start

 - I've been asked to add a link to my 'How to produce the best food on a charcoal BBQ Safely' article. Here is the article (At the bottom of this page)

Lighting the barbecue

 Barbequing with wood is almost as old as man's discovery of how to use fire. All of those thousands of generations ago the earliest fuel would have been wood and grass. It would not have taken long for raw meat to find its way onto the fire in the cave, and the delicious aromas to start a riot of cooking when an animal was caught and killed.

BBQ must be the oldest form of intentional cooking. It's easy to imagine the cave providing shelter to an ancient family. They've figured out how to keep a fire lit and dragged a dead animal inside to eat. Knowing that waste meat on the fire makes them drool, it isn't difficult to visualise them putting slices onto a stick and intentionally scorching it. Later of course BBQ developed. Ancient American Indians developed underground ovens, still used today in places. In South Africa the BBQ pit is still a part of rural life, and urban life too where a garden is big enough!

For the rest of us 'moderns', we have a huge choice of different types of BBQ. City dwellers without a garden may well choose to use an electric barbeque, particularly where 'live' fire is not allowed. Gas BBQ's are another option too. Less mess than charcoal, but somehow missing the romance of the smell of charcoal. Electric and gas BBQ's are quick and clean - but lack drama!

Here's something for you to have a look at. I must admit it is something I'd missed, and it does look very interesting. It is called the 'Lotusgrill Barbecue'. It is similar to the Cobb, but as you'll see from the video it is much more orientated to 'barbecue' rather than 'oven'. German made. stainless steel and a cool exterior while cooking. The unit is ready to cook inside 5 minutes and is heat adjustable. Take particular notice of the steak shown cooking to confirm its barbecuing potential.

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UK Amazon Link to Lotus Grill BBQ

USA Amazon Link to Lotus Grill BBQ

Link to for Charcoal Barbecues

Link to for Charcoal Barbecue

How to Successfully BBQ with Charcoal                        (Back to the top)

Setting Up and Cooking With Your Charcoal Barbecue

Hedwig Storch BBQ


1. Take the grill out into the open air, because all solid fuels including wood and charcoal give off dangerous fumes. Always grill where there is plenty of ventilation.

2. You can use paper, fire lighters or BBQ lighter fluid to start your barbeque. It is not that important. We’re not going to start cooking until the coals are ready and any residue from firelighters or lighter fluid have gone. If your BBQ allows the fuel to sit on a small platform (for air flow) and you choose to use paper, the paper should be scrunched up at the bottom. Tip! A little squirt of lighter fluid will help get the paper going

3. Cover the grate area with a single layer of charcoal (if briquettes) or a modest amount (not too much) of lump-wood charcoal. You do not need to cover the whole of the BBQ if you’re only cooking for one or two people. Make sure that the area you do cover is larger than the area the food will take.

4. When you’re happy that you have adequately covered the base, draw all the charcoal into a mound. If you are using just lighter fluid, put it on now. If using standard firelighters, break them in half and place a few under briquettes around the edge.

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5. If there is a manual vent in the bottom of your barbeque open it now, use a long match to light the paper, firelighters or lighter fluid.

6. Leave the lid off the BBQ and allow all the flames to die out. This may take 10 minutes or so. Each piece of charcoal should be at least partially smouldering, if not, leave another 5 minutes or so and then use tongs or a hand trowel to spread out the charcoal.

Tip. I always put more charcoal on one end of the barbecue, tapering it off to nothing at the other end. This allows for an area to sear meat, a central area to cook at a lower temperature and an area for indirect cooking and keeping food warm. Open the lid vent and cover the BBQ. Wait 20 minutes or so. At this point open the BBQ. All of the coals should by now be covered in a white / grey ash. If not, give it another 5 minutes or so.

The waiting time I describe is not wasted time, it is part of the charm of the BBQ, almost a ritual. It is also the perfect time to chat with family and friends and have a beer!

Tip. You’re ready to start cooking. Put part of your meat at the hot end of the barbeque and sear it all round. If it starts to drip fat and flare, move the meat towards the middle (cooler) area of the BBQ and reload the hot end with new meat. Working this way you can manipulate the meat to cook it as you like it, without setting fire to it in the process.

Practice the above a couple of times and you’ll be an expert before you know it!

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