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Nutritionista How-To: Charcoal Grilling for Dummies

Posted May 05 2010 10:30am

I don’t own a grill, charcoal or otherwise, and I definitely don’t know the first thing about grilling. In fact, I’m sort of intimidated by the whole thing — I bought a stovetop grill for that very reason!

So I asked my grill-loving boyfriend to help me with a mini-tutorial (appropriate considering his mini-sized grill!).

He took all the pics and wrote the captions for the tutorial. Hope it helps!

First, you’ll want to build a pyramid with your charcoal before lighting the fire. The pyramid is crucial, so make sure it’s right before you start. Add lighter fluid, light the fire, and you should get what you see in the picture.

When the fire dies down, the charcoal will be hot. Let them sit until the edges turn white (about 10-15 minutes). When the edges turn white, spread them evenly across the bottom of the grill:

Put the grate on, let it get hot, and add your food.

The key to grilling is controlling your fire. Depending on what you’re cooking, you might need to use low, medium, or high heat. You can control the heat with the ventilation holes. More air/open vents = more oxygen = higher heat. Less air/closed vents = less oxygen = lower heat. Medium heat would mean the vents are partially open.

In this picture, the vents are mostly closed, meaning the heat is pretty low.

If you use your grill properly, you can make a feast like the one here:

Do you have any other tips and tricks for getting the most out of your grill, charcoal or otherwise?

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