Are you new to grilling? Are you afraid to light a barbecue?
Well, have no fear. It’s not as complicated as it looks. If you’re thinking about buying a barbecue, I’ve got a little break down the pros and cons of charcoal and gas grills. For those just finding their way around a grill, I’ll follow up with some of the first steps to throwing some food on the barbie. And for those who are already all fired up, I have some recipes ready to go, as well as a bunch of barbecue tips and tricks.
Which Barbeque to Use? Charcoal or Gas?
Despite what some fervent grillers say, one isn’t necessarily superior to the other. There are pros and cons to both grilling methods, so it’s really your call! Here’s a rundown of some of the pros and cons:
There’s a full range of prices:
- inexpensive grills are easy to find, and upscale models are available too (+)
- Gets very hot (+-)
- Needs to be manually lit and preheated for a minimum of 20 minutes (usually much longer) (-)
- Cleaning is more complicated due to ashes (-)
- Smoky flavor every time you grill (+-)
- Tough to keep a constant temperature (-)
- You get to play with real fire (+)
- Typically pricier than charcoal, though inexpensive models are available (+-)
- A more complicated grill means more parts that can break (-)
- Easy to clean (+)
- Has the option of smoky flavor or not, with use of wood chips in a smoker box (+)
- Convenient (+)
Get Your Grill On! (How to Use your Barbecue):
If you’re using a charcoal grill, empty the ashes from your last grilling session. Both types of grills need to be pre-heated before you start cooking. Gas grills turn on easily (make sure the lid is open while you’re lighting the grill!), but if you’re new to lighting one. To light your charcoal grill, you’ll need a chimney starter.
Top tips: Please don’t light your charcoal with lighter fluid! It seems like a quick fix, but it can make your food taste a bit like a “chemical.”
Let the gas grill heat up for at least 10 minutes, and your charcoal grill for at least 20 minutes.
After your grill is preheated, use a brass-wire brush to scrape the charred goo and gunk off of the grate. You’ll need to give it a good scrape at the beginning of grilling season. Then, during grilling season, a quick brush before and after grilling should do. After you grill your last meal for the summer or fall, leave the grease on the grate to prevent rusting over the winter.
Top tips: If you don’t have one of those brass-wire brushes, you can use some aluminum foil to do the trick!
Once your grill is clean, oil the grate by grabbing an oiled paper towel with some long tongs, and wiping it over the bars. You’ll need to use an oil with a high smoking temperature, like canola oil. Now that your grill is hot and the grate is clean, your food won’t stick to it as much, and you’re likely to get those classic grill lines.
Top tips: Use onion to oil the grate, provides extra taste and less sticking!
Grab a few recipes and get cooking!