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

Credits

Starring: Elizabeth Karmel

Transcript

00:00
(upbeat music)
00:10
Direct grilling on a charcoal grill
00:12
is the most basic form of outdoor cooking,
00:15
and, you can see, once we have white-grey ash charcoal,
00:19
all we need to do is pour it out
00:21
into a single layer on the bottom of the charcoal grate.
00:24
It's absolutely essential that you don't cook
00:26
on the food until it's covered with a white-grey ash.
00:30
That's because, number one, it might be too hot and flaming,
00:33
and, number two, it may taste a little bit
00:35
like the fuel that you've used to help light the fire.
00:40
It's highly advisable to wear mitts
00:42
to protect your hands when you're doing that.
00:44
When you're doing this, you want to make sure
00:46
that if you've got young children or you've got dogs around,
00:50
that they're about five or six feet away from this,
00:53
because sometimes sparks do fly.
00:55
You pick up the charcoal and you just very gently pour it
01:00
as close to the charcoal grate as you can possibly get.
01:06
Then, you wanna put the chimney starter down,
01:09
either on a piece of concrete or an aluminum pan.
01:13
You can see that I didn't pour it exactly in a single line,
01:17
so I'm going to use a shovel
01:21
to make sure that I have this nice, consistent single layer
01:26
of charcoal briquette.
01:27
So, now all we have to do is replace our cooking grate,
01:30
let the grill preheat for about five or ten minutes,
01:35
because we want to make sure that the cooking grate is hot
01:38
so we get those great gorgeous sear marks on it.
01:43
Now, put the lid on, keep the vents open,
01:47
because that's gonna allow the charcoal
01:48
to continue to stay hot and glowing.
01:52
Once the grill has preheated for five or ten minutes,
01:55
there's one other thing that you need to do,
01:58
and that is clean the cooking grate.
02:01
Easiest way to do this is with a brass bristle brush.
02:05
You want the bristles to be brass,
02:07
and, if you use a harder bristle,
02:09
it might damage the cooking grate,
02:12
and then you just wanna go
02:15
against the grate until they're very, very, very clean.
02:20
Now, we're ready to cook.