Grilling: Direct Heat on a Charcoal Grill
Elizabeth Karmel, author of Taming the Flame and creator of GirlsattheGrill.com, demonstrates how to safely clean a grill, pour in the charcoal, and set up the grill for cooking over direct heat.
Released on 11/11/2008
Direct grilling on a charcoal grill
is the most basic form of outdoor cooking,
and, you can see, once we have white-grey ash charcoal,
all we need to do is pour it out
into a single layer on the bottom of the charcoal grate.
It's absolutely essential that you don't cook
on the food until it's covered with a white-grey ash.
That's because, number one, it might be too hot and flaming,
and, number two, it may taste a little bit
like the fuel that you've used to help light the fire.
It's highly advisable to wear mitts
to protect your hands when you're doing that.
When you're doing this, you want to make sure
that if you've got young children or you've got dogs around,
that they're about five or six feet away from this,
because sometimes sparks do fly.
You pick up the charcoal and you just very gently pour it
as close to the charcoal grate as you can possibly get.
Then, you wanna put the chimney starter down,
either on a piece of concrete or an aluminum pan.
You can see that I didn't pour it exactly in a single line,
so I'm going to use a shovel
to make sure that I have this nice, consistent single layer
of charcoal briquette.
So, now all we have to do is replace our cooking grate,
let the grill preheat for about five or ten minutes,
because we want to make sure that the cooking grate is hot
so we get those great gorgeous sear marks on it.
Now, put the lid on, keep the vents open,
because that's gonna allow the charcoal
to continue to stay hot and glowing.
Once the grill has preheated for five or ten minutes,
there's one other thing that you need to do,
and that is clean the cooking grate.
Easiest way to do this is with a brass bristle brush.
You want the bristles to be brass,
and, if you use a harder bristle,
it might damage the cooking grate,
and then you just wanna go
against the grate until they're very, very, very clean.
Now, we're ready to cook.