When it comes to grilling great tasting food over an open flame, charcoal grilling is what usually comes to mind. Of course there are other fuel sources for grilling, but few offer the tantalizing aroma and flavorful results of charcoal.
Which is why, even with the innovations over the decades in grilling, that charcoal is still a dominate force in grilling circles. Charcoal has the advantage of imparting flavor directly to the meat and thus it enhances the dining experience. Charcoal grilling is a great way to enjoy delicious food, while spending quality time with family and friends.
Charcoal Imparts Flavor
One of the biggest advantages to charcoal is the fact that it imparts flavor to the food that would otherwise not be there using gas or another fuel source. This is primarily due to the fact that charcoal does not combust evenly or completely.
There are combustion by products left as part of the process. The particulates will rise and deposit on the food and thus creating the smokey flavor. When using all natural lump charcoal or any of the natural charcoals, this is actually healthy and poses no risk.
However when using the normal briquettes, the chemical fillers and additives added to help light them quickly and help maintain the shape, also do not burn completely and can themselves be deposited on the food. This creates the potential for toxic chemicals to be added to the food, not only spoiling the flavor, but creating a health risk.
Therefore, it is advisable to avoid using charcoal that is not all natural to curtail or eliminate the risk. Depending on the amount of starting fluid used, this can also alter the flavor of the meat and can deposit residual hydrocarbons on the meat that can increase the potential for a health risk. To eliminate this problem, it is advised to use a chimney starter.
Five Representatives of Charcoal Grill Types
Top Gourmet Offset Smoker
This grill – Char-Broil Offset Firebox Grill/Smoker is modeled after the traditional barrel style barbecue pit and offers an offset smoker, allowing the grill to be used as both a smoker and grill. With over 250 square inches of cooking space. this grill can produce a generous level of grilled or smoked food.
It has side vents and dampeners for heat control and is easy to clean, thanks to the removable ashpan. The grates are porcelain coated for good heat distribution. This grill would be great for any home.
Bestselling Outdoor Tabletop Grill
Designed as a portable grill for camping or tailgating, this versatile grill – Lodge Model #L410 Cast Iron Compact Grill can be used anywhere. The cast iron construction of both the grill body and grates offer excellent heat production, retention and distribution.
The grates are adjustable and the grill has a front access door to help manage the heat. This is a great model for representing the portable and compact charcoal grills and would be at home for any party or event.
Best Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill
The Weber Model #14401001 Kettle Style Grill is the original, kettle style grill. This style promotes heat distribution by focusing the heat in an upward direction, making sure the heat gets to the meat. The body is porcelain coated steel for great heat production and retention and the plated steel grate has great heat distribution.
One advantage to this style is the one touch system used by Weber to remove the ashes as they collect easily towards the bottom. The lid has vents for heat management and this style grill is great for bistros, apartments and even homes.
Best Premium Charcoal Grill
This grill – Dyna-Glo Model #DGN576SNC-D Double Zone Grill is an excellent example of dual zone, charcoal grilling. It has two zones, that can be adjusted from the outside to help control the heat and the cooking grates are porcelain coated, cast iron for superb heat distribution.
The front has dual access doors for heat management and the top chimney has a adjustable flue cap for even more precise control. All heavy duty construction means this grill will last for generations and provide excellent grill foods for any size home.
Best Kamado Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker
Brought from Asia, this Kamado style grill, Char-Griller Model #26720 Kamado Style Grill offers an innovation in heat production, retention and distribution. The Kamado style grill uses a ceramic fire base to create excellent heat and when coupled with the vents and dampeners, this style can provide superior heat management.
Thus producing excellent grilled results. In addition, this style can roast, smoke and bake and therefore opening up all types of possibilities for versatile cooking. The egg shape helps focus the heat to where it needs to be and thus eliminates hot and cold spots in the food.
This specific model has a built in temperature gauge and two side shelves with accessory hooks for plenty of storage. For those who are serious about grilled food, the Kamado style grill is an excellent choice for getting awesome results.
To protect the investment, regardless of size, of a new grill, it is highly recommended that the unit be covered when not in use. For the best grilling results and the longevity of the grill, be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions. As always, never allow flammable materials within five feet of a hot or cooling grill and never operate a grill on an uneven surface as tipping can result.