Fast Low Smoke Briquette Starting
For years I would pile my briquettes into a pyramid, douse them with lighter fluid, and risk every hair on my forearms attempting to start the pile. Then I’d stand there, breathing fuel fumes just to make sure the pile lit properly. A nasty business at best.
Then my brother, who is a master cook if I must admit it, told me about the charcoal chimney starter (see picture left). You load it with charcoal, put a single sheet of newspaper in the bottom, set the entire thing on your grill, and light the paper through the holes on the bottom.
This works beautifully, doesn’t stink, doesn’t smoke as much, and most astounding of all, get’s all the coals lit at almost the same time. It is also much easier to control where the coals go when you dump the contents of the chimney. Brilliant!
Smoky Flavor on Gas
Do you want the smoke flavor, but are using a gas grill? No problem; get a small pan, just a few inches square, put your favorite wood (soaked in water overnight) in that pan, and set the pan on the burners. Problem solved.
Retain Meat Moisture on Coals
This is a trick I use when cooking a rack of ribs. I start with a really hot fire, and sear both sides of the ribs. This might take as much as five minutes per side, but no more.
I then remove the ribs and upper grill rack and place a stainless or carbon steel bowl filled halfway with water on the coals. I then replace the grill and ribs and allow them to cook, turning every ten minutes, for a half or three quarters of an hour.
I have also used a mixture of soya sauce, Worcestershire, and water in that bowl to impart some additional flavor to the ribs. It works beautifully and your ribs, or any other cut for that matter, will come out cooked, moist, and tender.
The moisture wafting up from the bowl helps keep moisture in the ribs.