Dear Farmer Girl, how do I set up a charcoal grill? -Amy
Hi Amy, we love the smokiness and savory flavor of a grass fed steaks and burgers grilled over a bed of smoky embers. Many people think using a charcoal grill takes too long to start, but using a chimney starter (more on this in a bit) makes for about a 20-minute to 30-minute set up. Don’t be intimidated–follow these steps (and pick up a charcoal chimney starter–life saver!) and you’ll be a grill pro in no time!
The chimney starter works by placing newspaper underneath the chimney starter and lighting. The fire rises through the holes in the grate and sets the charcoal alight. The charcoal is ready when the charcoal is glowing red in the bottom and ashed over on the top. , This should take about twenty minutes or so. The chimney starter is then picked up by its handle and the lit charcoal dumped into the grill. Voila! You grill is ready.
A really important point to make here is that almost every time you grill, you will want your grill to have direct heat and indirect heat, so you can sear meat over the intense heat and then slow it down to cook through over the indirect heat. Do this by separating the hot coals; one section should have lots of coals stacked and radiating lots of heat, while the other should have a few coals spread out to provide less intense heat.
This involves searing the steaks over the direct heat for a few minutes on each side to get that flavorful crust; then move those babies on over to the indirect heat to bring them to your desired internal temperature (we suggest medium-rare). As always, remember that those hot steaks and burgers will continue to cook once removed from the grill. Pull them off before you think they are at the desired temperature. And don’t worry, all you gas grill-devotees. We love a good-old charcoal grill, but use what you’ve got–just remember to have both direct and indirect sections of your grill available, by adjusting your burners to high and low.
Happy & Healthy Eating,