Cooking with Charcoal
There are some real advantages and some
disadvantages to cooking with charcoal. The big advantage is that charcoal has
an indefinite storage life and is relatively inexpensive. You can buy a bag of
charcoal, put it in a plastic container, and store it in your garage for years.
The disadvantage is that you have to use it outside. It is very toxic. You
should not even use it in your garage. This can be uncomfortable if the weather
is very cold and you have to cook outside. Also, if your yard is not secure,
your grill and your food may be stolen.
Learning to cook with charcoal takes practice, but there are many ways to do it.
You can use a simple stand up grill as pictured above. You can use a tabletop
grill. You can even put the briquettes on the sidewalk or in a fire pit.
There is a difference between a Dutch oven and a
cast iron pot. A Dutch oven has a flat top for the charcoal briquettes to sit
on. It has feet so that briquettes can also go under the oven.
In general, you need about 30 pieces of charcoal to cook a pound of meat. A lot
will depend on the temperature outside. It is said that cooking with charcoal is
more art than science. Some things are easier to make than others. Like many
things, if you want to get good at it you need to read, study, and practice.
Briquettes and be hard to
light. More so if it is windy. Most people buy charcoal starter.
Pictures above is one that willl light your briquettes with newspaper. It
is easy to store. You can also use lighter fluid directly on the briquettes, but
as a petroleum product, it will get old.
Even if you have a wood stove, a grill is good to have for times when the
weather is very hot, and you don't want to have a fire inside your home. It may
also be easier for you to bake bread in a Dutch Oven using charcoal.