The tantalizing smell and great taste of charcoal barbecuing is
an American classic. All you need is a bag of charcoal briquettes,
lighter fluid, a match and of course, some food. Grilling is essentially a game of watching and adjusting; cooking times are inexact. There are many great recipes for any type of meat or vegetable available online, and grilling is extremely amenable to experimentation. But beware — charring is your biggest enemy. Seal in moisture and grill away!
How To Start a Grill
- Remove the grate and form a pyramid of charcoal briquettes in the center of the grill.
- Evenly douse the briquettes with lighter fluid.
- Use a match to light the charcoal in multiple areas so it heats up evenly.
- When the briquettes are hot, they will start to accumulate a grey ash. Spread them out into an even layer, lay down the grate and put the food on top.
Hamburgers and hot dogs are American grilling favorites. To ensure a juicy burger, avoid pressing on it with a spatula. Every time the burger is pressed it becomes less juicy, so ideally only touch it twice: once to flip the burger and once more to move it from the grill onto someone’s plate. A hot dog will also lose its juiciness and flavor if scored. Bacon can be grilled for a few minutes on each side (thicker slices work better).
Grilled shrimp kebabs are absolutely delicious with a little lemon juice squeezed immediately after grilling. Simply skewer a few shrimp on a stick, lay the skewer across the grill, and when the shrimp’s color starts to change after a few minutes, flip the skewer over. You can also place a clove of garlic within the tail curl for added flavor.
There are various steak cuts such as hanger steak, ribeye steak and skirt steaks. Meats often cook best when they start at room temperature. After cooking a thick cut of meat, allow it to rest for a few minutes so it’s extra juicy.
Fruits and Vegetables
Many vegetables cook well on a grill, especially kebabs or thick vegetable slices like eggplant, zucchini and asparagus. The heat from the grill caramelizes the vegetables so that the moisture stays within the flesh. In order to shorten cooking time for hard, thick vegetables, pre-cook them until they are almost tender. A perfectly grilled vegetable should have a nice char on the outside and be soft on the inside.
Grilled Corn is the Best Corn
- Remove corn husks and soak cobs in water with one tablespoon of sugar for 30 minutes.
- Place corn on grill and cook for 15 minutes, rotating every few minutes so the corn cooks evenly all around.
- Top with salt and pepper, or spice it up with red pepper flakes.