Charcoal Grills Come in Many Designs

 

There are a number of types and styles of charcoal grills that are in use and on the market today.

You can find grills that rectangular, round or square, with or without lids, and many different types of venting systems that are used for temperature as well as venting away excess smoke.

Most charcoal grills will fit into 3 very distinct styles or categories:

Ceramic

A ceramic grill is a great choice because of the extreme versatility of the grill. Ceramic chambers retain heat and moisture probably better than any other type of grill on the market very well. Because of this heat retention, it is possible to get the ceramic chamber to produce and hold the heat of 500 degrees and in some cases, it can go to 750 degrees. This makes the ceramic grill versatile enough to bake pizza as well as standard functions.

The vents are located like most grills at the top and bottom of the grill. Understanding the airflow and close attention to the vents and you are able to monitor and control the heat produced in the cooking chamber. Because of the temperature control adjustments, it is possible to cook almost anything on this ceramic grill.

The major drawback of the ceramic grill is the initial cost. They can be rather expensive, but if you are looking for a quality product this should at least be a consideration.

Barrel

By: fictures

The barrel grill gets its name from the description of the grill. This grill is nothing more than a barrel-shaped container that has been sliced in half and then joined together with hinges. The top half of the barrel forms the lid and the bottom half becomes the heating chamber with the charcoal and a grill located on the top of the lower area. The food to be cooked will lay on this grill for cooking.

Just like with the ceramic grill there are vents that are located on the top and bottom for airflow to control the heat in the chamber. A barrel grill will normally have a chimney located on the top of the grill to help the escaping smoke stay away from the crowd.

You will normally cook with the lid closed and the heat is controlled in the grill with the bottom vents. I normally control my heat only with the bottom vents. The top vents are either 1/2 to fully open and I do not change them.

Another barrel configuration is the offset firebox. This is nothing more than the heat source (wood or charcoal) is located in another container attached to the grill. The same cooking principle and controlling the heat with the vents remain the same.

Kegs

These types of grills are known for there compact shape, they look like a kettle. The major characteristic is the potential for even heat distribution.

Photo by tsakshaug

The kettle grill consists of the domed lid, a cooking lid or grid, charcoal grill, lower chamber for the ash, vent holes at the bottom, and most of them have an ashcan at the bottom of the grill. The grill will either come with legs, they might have wheels and there are now some models that fit in a lightweight cart for moving and a small workspace.

The vents are adjustable holes in the bottom of the grill that also serve the purpose of removing the ash into the catch can at the beneath the grill. The charcoal is placed on the grate and there is empty space for air to circulate below the charcoal.

By keeping the kettle covered by the lid you can accomplish several things. First, you reduce the possibility of flareups that are dangerous and can ruin your food. Second, the drippings from the food fall onto the hot coals and will enhance the flavor of what is being cooked.

Two Choices of Fuel

There is a disagreement among outdoor cooks that shows how important charcoal grilling is the backyard chef.

Lump Charcoal or Charcoal Briquettes?

Lump Charcoal

This is charcoal in its purest and natural form. This is easy to light and does give off a natural wood smoke flavor. Lump charcoal is also easier to clean because it will leave less ash after use.

Lump also contains no fillers or chemicals so any of the smoke effects will be natural Lump is also responsive to oxygen so it is easier to regulate the temperature.

Charcoal Briquettes

Among some outdoor cooks, anyone who uses charcoal briquettes are referred to as using the fast food of charcoal.

Briquettes are great for the backyard cook because they are generally uniform in size and shape. Each briquette burns much the same as any other briquettes. They light easily, burn uniformly and are easy to get. The problem is that in some briquettes chemicals are used to assist in getting the proper shape and this can be a problem. This is why it is important to see the ash on the briquette before you begin to cook.

What is the Love of Charcoal Cooking

I believe people cook with charcoal for several reasons.

1. Flavor

Charcoal cooking is nothing more than slow-cooking meat. You can get the same result with the slow cooker indoors but it is impossible to get that smoking woodsy flavor except on a charcoal grill. Smoke from the charcoal surround and enters the meat from all angles.

2. Portability

Many grills now come equipped with some type of wheels and are now easy to move almost anywhere in the yard. You can even load a grill and bag of charcoal into the truck and go almost anywhere to cook.

3. Temperature Range Adjustments

With the simplicity of the venting system for temperature control, you can cook almost anything on the same grill.

4. Charcoal grills are really simple in there design and construction so they are simple to clean and care for.

5. The Culture

As strange as it may seem there are many people that look forward to going outside on the weekend and fire up the grill to cook. They take great pride in their cooking and really spend time trying to perfect their skills and recipes.

You will never get a BBQ lover to admit they regret the time spent cooking on the grill.

Originally posted 2020-03-28 00:22:26.

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