As we embrace summer, there is no better way to celebrate than, by getting the family outdoors and cooking on a BBQ. One of the key things to remember when cooking on a BBQ is to get the right temperature.
Firstly, it’s important to use 100% natural lump charcoal as these light up easily, burn better, and won’t taint the flavour of your food. Whilst briquettes can be used, they may take longer to ignite, due to the large variances in materials. Also, ensure that the charcoal you use is dry otherwise damp fuel can take a long time to ignite. Please note these are rough guidelines only, the exact ignition time can also be impacted by the temperature outdoors and weather conditions.
To know when the coals are ready, try using the simple hand method. Once you have a light cover of grey ash over the coals. Place your hand roughly 15cm above the cooking grid. You should only be able to have your hands over the grill for the following times before it becomes too hot.
Watch the video to see how Michelin chef, Heston Blumenthal gets the charcoal burning at the right temperature on the Everdure Hub BBQ.
Difference Between Direct and Indirect Cooking?
Depending on the type of food you want to make you will need to alter the heat. Charcoal BBQs don’t have temperature dials, so you need to manage the layout of the charcoal.
The Direct Cooking method is used when searing or flame grilling steaks and vegetables. Use this method for thin meats that you want to cook quickly, such as burgers or thin-cut steaks. Once the charcoal has fully ignited and ash has formed, simply spread the charcoal evenly around the charcoal tray and place the grills back on.
The indirect method of cooking is ideal for meats, which need to be cooked through like larger joints and meat on the bone. It’s also perfect for more delicate items such as fish. Once the charcoal is fully ignited and ash has formed, simply spread the charcoal to the sides and leave an area clear for grilling. You can put the coals in various areas depending on the type of food you are cooking. Using the indirect method means food won’t burn or scorch, whilst getting cooked through. There are so many variations for this, where you keep the charcoal depends on the type of food you are cooking.
Watch the video to see how Heston Blumenthal prepares the perfect steak using the direct cooking method and how you can change the temperatures for charcoal.
To cook a pig using a rotisserie you need to use the indirect cooking method to ensure it gets cooked through.