Conventional charcoal grills need not be a whole lot harder to work than their propane counterparts. Here are a few tips from Planter’s master (note the lower case ‘m’) griller:
* Charcoal chimney: These “chimneys”, or metallic tubes , completely eliminate the need for charcoal starter fluid and consistently produce well-lit briquettes. When the briquettes are ready (look for the gray ash, Obiwon), simply pour onto the lower (charcoal) grill. If desired, add wood as this time.
* For or added flavor, wood chips are highly recommended. We use hickory and mesquite for ribs, chicken, hamburgers, etc. Alder wood is used for smoking salmon.
* Weber grills are remarkably efficient—and affordable. There are three adjustable bottom vents and one adjustable top vent for regulating amount of oxygen reaching the coals. We open the vents early and gradually close them down.
*These grills become poor men’s “smokers” by spreading the coals, using a pan and indirect heat. Generally, the goal is cook at lower temperature and longer cooking times.
* “Catch-22” : Until your practiced it’s hard to know the temperature of the coals without lifting the lid.