Many of us wait for special occasions like the 4th of July or some other happy times when we can set out a grill in our backyards. Not only this but setting up a grill on a beach and cooking food on it with the atmosphere full of the aroma of burning charcoal in the grill just brings water to the mouth. We start looking to mark the next date of a holiday on our calendars while inviting friends and close family members to join us in our charcoal grill party!
However, whether you are an enthusiastic and passionate cook who has been an expert in handling a grill, especially charcoal grills for that matter, or whether you are someone newly inspired towards a charcoal grill, the thing to remember is that everyone has a unique preference to how they like their food to be cooked on a grill.
Some people like to use propane gas in their grill, while many people who appreciate age-old rustic tastes prefer wood and charcoal. Everyone has an opinion but those who prefer to grill with charcoal can argue quite passionately about the positives and negatives of cooking food on a charcoal grill.
Some people prefer to use a propane gas grill because they are much easier to handle and control the flames and heat are all much simpler.
On the other hand, a grill with charcoal or wood is a little time-consuming and requires proper technique which people well-acquainted with charcoal grills must be aware of. However, the feeling of fulfillment and the compounded excitement with a grill, and that too with charcoal in it as primary fuel is an entirely wonderful and euphoric experience for most people.
People who are fond of cooking food on a grill believe that grilling is not only about lighting a fire and cooking. It is a whole dynamic experience that brings happiness to everyone present in that moment.
Difference between using a grill for grilling and barbecue:
As per the experts, grilling and barbecue are two separate things.
Using a grill with any fuel of your choice and saying that you are ready for grilling means that you are going to increase the heat, raise the temperature pretty high, sear a steak or sear a burger well on their grill, or even cook chicken.
But a barbecue all about going low, slow, steady, and being patient.
What to expect with a charcoal grill, wood pellet grill, and propane grill?
Charcoal grills take up around half an hour to forty minutes to heat up and be ready.
On the other hand, a wood pellet grill can give off and dissipate heat evenly and quite efficiently. The heating up time is also lesser than a charcoal grill.
However, a propane grill heats up pretty quickly, but the food cooked on this grill lacks flavor. Whereas food cooked on a charcoal grill and a wood pellet grill has a rich, smoky flavor that is more succulent.
What is more preferable, charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal for starting up your grill?
Expert and long-time grill-masters usually prefer to use lump charcoal instead of charcoal briquettes.
The lump charcoal brings out a very woodsy and rich aroma, but charcoal briquettes are good to provide a long, evenly dissipated heat.
Reasons to put out a charcoal grill:
Assuming that after much consideration, you decided to use a charcoal grill for your cooking session, an important thing to remember is that it is not the end when the food has been cooked and eaten. Once your grill session is over, you must not leave your burning charcoal as it is and try to extinguish the fire.
Now, extinguishing or putting out charcoal from a grill can be a little tedious because it can take more than 24 hours for all the lumps of charcoal to be consumed and extinguished completely.
There are many dangers of leaving burning charcoal in an unattended grill. For instance, a person or a child might think that since no one is attending the grill, it is safe to touch. However, the grill remains very hot for some time even when it is not being used, and it takes a couple of hours for the grill to completely cool down. A person can receive second to third-degree burns if they accidentally come in contact with still burning charcoal in a hot grill.
Another unfortunate instance can occur if someone or some animal collides with an unattended grill. The burning charcoal that was left there without taking care of it can spill on the collider and harm them, or these burning charcoal lumps can actually start a serious fire!
Environmentally speaking, this practice (read malpractice) of leaving burning charcoal in a grill after your grilling is over is quite dangerous too. The more you let the charcoal burn for hours and days in the hopes of giving them time to extinguish on their own, the more you will be responsible for having them release carbon monoxide into the atmosphere.
So, considering all these negative impacts of leaving burning charcoal in a grill once your cooking is over, it is quite evident that everyone who uses a charcoal grill must ensure that they put out their charcoal grill to keep everything safe around them.
Ways about how to put out a charcoal grill :
- If your charcoal grill has a lid, then once you are done with your cooking, just glide the lid up securely to trap the burning charcoal lumps inside and to prevent the air from reaching them to help them burn more.
- If your grill has vents, do not forget to turn them off too. By closing the vents and covering the grill with its lid, you will effectively close all the inlets of oxygen that the charcoal requires to burn. Whatever air would be trapped inside will be used by the charcoal lumps until they die off on their own.
- After covering the grill and closing the vents properly, you must not leave the grill It can harm anyone until it remains burning hot. Usually, it takes around 24-48 hours for all the charcoal lumps to extinguish, and until that is done, the grill remains hot too. So, you have to make sure that no animal or child or even an adult comes in harm’s way.
- Once all the charcoal has been put out, you have to scoop all the ashes properly without causing environmental pollution.
- Your grill may have an ash dump which you can use to scoop all the ash. Otherwise, it is advised to put all the ash and burnt charcoal on an aluminum sheet first, and then roll it in a metallic can/bin. This way, there will no chance and you will be absolutely sure that there is no actively burning piece of charcoal or some living embers amongst all the ashes. A small ember can start a fire, so it is necessary to be very cautious about it.
Also, never use a plastic can, to dump all the burnt charcoal and ashes.
- Before dumping the consumed lumps of charcoal, if you are very keen, you can use metallic tongs to skim through all the lumps and pieces of charcoal to see if there is a piece that can be salvaged and reused later? If you find a charcoal piece that can be used another time, you can put it back inside the grill or secure it in an air-tight container that is fireproof also.
Is throwing water on a charcoal grill to put it out is a good idea ?
When you look for ways on how to put out a charcoal grill over the internet, you will find that there is a difference of opinion. On the one hand, many people think that spraying water on burning lumps of charcoal can very quickly and effectively put them out. It is definitely less time-consuming.
On the other hand, there is a group of experts who believe that when you spray water on the burning charcoal to put it out, you can damage the cooker in your grill.
Some companies manufacture various types of grills, and they suggest not to use water for putting out your charcoal grill after usage. They say that water on your hot grill can damage its porcelain, and worse, it can crack your grill too.
Another important reason that does not go in the favor of pouring down water on your charcoal grill is that a sudden water shower on the hot grill can release a hazy steamy cloud. It can cause severe burning of skin too.
So, in any case, it seems that it is better not to spray down water on your charcoal grill to put it out and instead, have some patience to let it cool down on its own.