What are the advantages of charcoal barbecues?
Until recently, cooking with charcoal barbecues was common. And although over time people have been opting for other options, the truth is that a barbecue that uses charcoal today is much more recommended than other models:
- It is very economical: There are dozens of models on the market, which are adapted to the needs of each person. Of course there are models that are expensive, but there are others that are quite cheap and interesting.
- Their fuel is cheaper: The time when buying coal was almost prohibitive has come to an end. It is also much healthier now that charcoal is used for this type of barbecue.
- It has a high calorific value: Although gas or electricity can reach high temperatures of approximately 300º, nothing resembles the calorific value of coal. It can reach a temperature of up to 500ºC, perfect for roasting.
- Easy to transport: Charcoal barbecues are much easier to transport from one place to another. In other tyes, such as gas, you have to think about the barbecue plus the bottle. It can be taken anywhere without taking up too much space.
- Different nuances to the taste of the meat: Depending on the type of charcoal used, the meat has a unique and different taste. As if that weren’t enough, the smoke generated by the embers also helps to make the flavor of the meat something special, with a texture that can’t be achieved with other types of barbecues.
- You can cook with wood: Just because it’s a charcoal barbecue doesn’t mean you should only use charcoal. Many people use firewood to make their dishes at these fantastic barbecues, and enjoy a great chat with that nice smell of burnt firewood.
- Different cooking levels: Most modern charcoal barbecue models allow you to raise or lower the level of the charcoal bed, as well as the grates on which the meats and vegetables are placed. This makes it possible to achieve different firing levels at different speeds.
- Easy to clean: Until recently, cleaning a charcoal barbecue could be a real headache. Today, however, many of them have a «one-touch» function, which allows fast and efficient cleaning in a short time.
What do you have to look at when buying a charcoal barbecue?
Choosing a barbecue is quite complicated, as each person needs specific characteristics to meet their needs. However, there are a number of common features to look for when buying a charcoal barbecue:
- Barbecue or grill…. don’t get confused!Many people think that a grill is the same as a barbecue, when in fact they are very different. If you go to the store and see a barbecue without a lid, it’s not a barbecue. This is what is known as a grill. The barbecues have a lid, to cover the ingredients and to make them with the heat of the interior. Even if you use charcoal, if it doesn’t have a lid, a charcoal grill won’t interest you much.
- Will you take her with you?Choosing one of the many models of charcoal barbecues on the market will depend on the type of use you are going to make of it. If you’re taking the barbecue with you when you go on a trip, you’ll be interested in a model with wheels. On the other hand, if it is for your terrace or garden, you can save by buying a fixed barbecue.
- What kind of fuel will you use?You have to be very careful here. It is true that most models are mixed and allow the use of wood and charcoal for heating. However, some models are exclusively for use with coal. You’ll have to ask before you buy it.
- How much are you willing to spend?Charcoal barbecue catalogues: When you look at charcoal barbecue catalogues you will see that there are many prices. Actually, do you need to buy the most expensive model? Of course not, because you can go for cheaper models. If it’s for a garden, or when you’re out and about, buying a small charcoal barbecue will be more than enough. For gardens, if you like to make family meals, you should still look for a larger design.
Where should you place your charcoal barbecue?
Before you proceed to buy a charcoal barbecue, you have to think, do you have enough space to have it? Not every house offers you the space to have one. So, what do you need to take into account to locate your barbecue?
- Wind direction: Generally, wind direction does not play a major role when using charcoal barbecues, since it closes the lid so that the meat is made better. But what if you tried to cook with the lid open? The wind can be a big drawback in the process, so you have to look for an isolated area, or one where the air currents are not too strong.
- Look for an area near a tree: Be very careful with this. It’s nice to cook on a barbecue near a tree, but you don’t have to stick to it. You have to find a place where you can cook under its branches, but at a prudent distance so that, if any ember jumps, there is no fire.
- A protected area that isolates noise: Not all residents like the noise that can be made when having a barbecue. That’s why you need to have fences or bushes that isolate noise.
- The perfect size: It is usually recommended that the location area of a barbecue, whether garden or terrace, be at least 10 square meters, thus having enough space to enjoy comfortably cooking in your fantastic appliance.
- Will the smoke disturb?Think that barbecues generate a lot of smoke, and that it will move with the wind. That’s why you have to place it away from doors or windows, to prevent odours from entering your home. Besides, it’s also not good to cook right next to where you’re going to eat, because it will make your guests uncomfortable.
- In the garden or on the terrace?The best place to have a charcoal barbecue is certainly the best place to set it up. In the garden it is possible to have it, but it must be located on a slab soil and free of vegetation. On the terrace it is always a better option, but this has to give a clear area and that the wind does not come from the front, to avoid that the smoke penetrates into the interior of the home.
- How about a kitchen barbecue?Today there are some models of barbecue that can be installed in kitchens and prepare dishes as they used to be done in the past. Why not try them?
Is it easy to clean a charcoal barbecue?
A lot of people have a hard time with the idea of buying a charcoal barbecue because they are hard to clean. However, the most modern models allow for easy, fast and time-saving cleaning in the process.
The steps to follow to clean a charcoal barbecue are:
- Start by removing the ashes and embers left over from the roast. These may be somewhat stuck to the walls of the barbecue, so you will need to use a spatula to remove them.
- Once all the ash has been removed, it is time to dispose of any food that may have been left behind. Special barbecue brushes can be used for this purpose. In addition, special liquids are also available in stores for this process. Some are specific to your barbecue model.
- Having removed everything, it is best to let the barbecue dry outdoors. Or you can use a dry cloth to remove the remains of the cleaning product.
How often do you have to clean a charcoal barbecue? Ideally, you should clean it thoroughly after each use. But just doing it once a month should be enough to keep it in good condition. If you remove the remains of food, preventing them from sticking together, you will be able to clean the area of the embers less frequently.
Are they better than other barbecues?
Certainly, charcoal barbecues have many advantages, and in some respects outperform other barbecue models. For example, the calorific value is certainly higher and the smell of burnt wood is pleasant. It also gives the meat a different texture. And, of course, it is much easier to transport, not requiring a strong external power supply to operate.
But, perhaps, their biggest drawback is controlling the amount of coal. With an electric or gas-powered one you don’t have to think about controlling how much coal you have left. Maybe it’s a glitch. Still, the attraction of these barbecues is that you can experiment with different types of charcoal until you find the one that gives the best flavor to the meat according to your personal taste.