Welcome to day one of ’30 Days to better BBQ’, I’m so glad to finally be able to get the event under way and I am fired up about encouraging more people to get out and use their BBQ’s to cook all kinds of exciting food.
The theme for week one is all about learning how to set up your BBQ and keep that temperature under control. This will include tips on lighting your BBQ, choosing the right fuel, adding the correct amount to achieve your desired temperature and then keeping that temperature under control while you cook.
Kicking off with the first tip is my good friend Phil Hoyle from Love2BBQ.co.uk. Phil is passionate about showing people the variety of different food they can cook and why their BBQ is the best way to cook it. You can follow Phil on twitter (@love2bbquk) and check out his recipes on his website Love2BBQ.co.uk
Take it away Phil
The importance of Fuel
One of the key elements to doing good, relaxed BBQ is the fuel you use and how you light it – both can be areas of pain. When I started out on my BBQ journey I would use instant light charcoal BBQ bags. They are great for getting your BBQ going quickly but they will give you a relatively short cook time, which will find you rushing to get all your food cooked. Couple with this the quality is typically poor and you won’t get a consistent heat source each time you use them.
I graduated onto briquettes, mainly to get a longer cook time, and then had the challenge of getting them lit, which invariably took forever. Some people are put off by briquettes as they are manufactured and don’t have the natural smokiness of charcoal, but coupled with smoking chips or wood chunks you can easily infuse smokiness into your food.
If I were starting out again today I would really recommend buying good quality briquettes, such Aussie Heat Beads, Weber Briquettes or an environmentally friendly option such as Nature Coconut Shell Briquettes. All of them give a really long and consistent cook. By consistent, I mean each time you cook with them you will pretty much get the same temperature on your BBQ and same cook times, which will help you improve your cooking each time you BBQ. Also, knowing you have heat for a long period will make you BBQ in much more relaxed way, which will be reflected in the quality of your food.
Coupled with good quality briquettes I would invest in a Chimney Starter. This makes it incredibly easy to light your briquettes quickly and hassle free (around 20 minutes depending on the brand of briquette). Once ready simply empty them into your barbecue and begin you cook.
Cooking over the wrong fuel will make the task of creating outstanding BBQ a lot harder than it needs to be, but choosing the right fuel will give you the confidence to try new things as you can be sure of a consistent heat. In tomorrow’s tip, we’ll dive into the differences between lumpwood charcoal and charcoal briquettes plus some tips on choosing a good quality fuel.
Big thank you to Phil for getting the event under way with a killer tip and one that is so important when starting out.
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