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 neighborhood 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.
your Dutch oven must have a flat top for the charcoal briquettes to sit on.
It also must have feet so that you can also put the briquettes 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.
can be hard to light the briquettes, especially if it is windy. Most
people buy a charcoal starter. The one on the left will light your
briquettes with newspaper, which is easy to store. You can also use
lighter fluid directly on the briquettes, but as a petroleum product, it will
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 with charcoal.