What are the advantages of charcoal barbecues?
For many years, charcoal barbecues have become the perfect companion for those who liked to cook outdoors. Today there are a god few restaurants that continue to serve food cooked with charcoal. But for what reason? What is the advantage that this has? The meat does it taste that good?
Until not so long ago, cooking with charcoal barbecues was common. And although over time people have been opting for other options, the truth is that a barbecue that uses charcoal is much more recommended than other models.
- There are very economic: There are dozens of models on the market, which are adapted to the needs of each person. Of course there are models that are expensive, but there are others that are quite cheap and interesting.
- The fuel is cheaper: The time when buying charcoal was almost prohibitive has come to an end. In addition, it is much healthier now that charcoal is used for this type of barbecue.
It has a high calorific value: Although gas or electricity can reach high temperatures, of approximately 300º, nothing resembles the calorific value of coal. This can reach a temperature of up to 500º, perfect for roasting.
- Easy to transport: Charcoal barbecues are much easier to transport from one place to another. As an example, with Gas Barbecues you have to think about the barbecue plus the gas cylinder. The charcoal barbecues it can be taken anywhere without taking up much space.
- Flavour of the meat: Depending on the type of charcoal used, the meat gets a unique and different flavour. As if that were not enough, the smoke generated by the embers also helps the flavour of the meat become something special, with a texture that cannot be achieved with other types of barbecues.
- You can cook with wood logs: Just because it is a charcoal barbecue does not specifically mean that you should use only charcoal. Many people use firewood to make their dishes on these fantastic barbecues, and enjoy a great chat with that pleasant smell of burning firewood.
- Different cooking levels: Most modern models of charcoal barbecues allow raising or lowering the level of the charcoal bed, as well as the racks on which meats and vegetables are placed. Thanks to this, different levels of cooking can be achieved at different speeds.
- Easy to clean: Until not long ago, cleaning a charcoal barbecue could be a real headache. However, today many of them have a “one-touch” function, which allows fast and efficient cleaning in a short time.
What do you have to look at when buying a charcoal barbecue?
Choosing a barbecue is quite complicated, since each person needs specific characteristics to meet their needs. However, there are a number of common characteristics to look at when buying a charcoal barbecue.
- Barbecue or grill?: Many people think that a grill is the same as a barbecue, when in reality they are very different. If you go to the store and see a barbecue without a lid, it is not a barbecue. It is what is known as a grill. The barbecues have a lid, to cover the ingredients and that they are made with the heat of the interior. Even if it uses charcoal, if it doesn’t have a lid, a charcoal grill won’t interest you much.
- Will you take it with you?: Choosing one of the many models of charcoal barbecues on the market will depend on the type of use that you are going to give it. If you are going to take the barbecue with you when you go on a trip, you will be interested in a model that has wheels. On the other hand, if it is for your terrace, or garden, you can save by buying a fixed barbecue.
- What type of fuel will you use ?: Here you have to be very careful. It is true that most models are mixed and allow the use of firewood and charcoal to obtain heat. However, some models are exclusively for use with charcoal. You will have to ask before buying it. We explain how to choose the best barbecue charcoal and to obtain a truly professional result.
- How much are you willing to spend ?: When looking at charcoal barbecue catalogues you will see that there are many prices. Actually, do you need to buy the most expensive model? Of course not, because you can go for slightly cheaper models. If it is for a garden, or when you go on a trip, buying a small charcoal barbecue will have more than enough. For the garden, if you like to make family meals, you would still have to look for a larger design.
Where should you locate your charcoal barbecue?
Before proceeding to buy a charcoal barbecue, you have to think, do you have enough space to have it? Not all houses offer you the space to have one. So, what do you need to take into consideration to locate your barbecue?
- The wind direction: Generally, the direction of the wind does not play an important role when using charcoal barbecues, since it closes the lid so that the meat is better done. But what if you tried to cook with the lid open? The wind can be a major inconvenience in the process, so you have to find an isolated area, or in which the air currents are not very large.
- Find an area near a tree: You have to be very careful with this. It’s nice to barbecue near a tree, but you don’t have to be close to it. You have to find a point where you can be under its branches cooking, but at a prudent distance so if an ember pops up, a fire does not occur.
A protected area that isolates noise: Not all neighbour’s are happy with the fuss that can be made when having a barbecue. For this reason you have to have fences or bushes that isolate the noise.
- The perfect size: It is often recommended that the location area of a barbecue, whether garden or terrace, be at least 10 square meters, thus having enough space to comfortably enjoy cooking on your fantastic appliance.
- Will the smoke bother you ?: Think that barbecues generate a lot of smoke, and that this with the wind will move. For this reason, you have to place it away from doors or windows, to prevent odours from entering the house. Also, it is not good to cook right next to the place where you are going to eat, because it will make your guests uncomfortable.
- In the garden or terrace ?: Certainly, having a charcoal barbecue makes you have to think about the best place to install it. You can have it in a garden, but it has to be located on a flagstone floor and free of vegetation. On the terrace it is always a better option, but this has to give a clear area and that the wind does not come from the front, to prevent the smoke from penetrating inside the home.
- How about a kitchen barbecue ?: Today there are some barbecue models that can be installed in kitchens and prepare dishes as they were done in the past. Why not try them?
Is it easy to clean a charcoal barbecue?
Many people are put off by the idea of buying a charcoal barbecue because they are difficult to clean. However, the most modern models allow a simple, fast cleaning and save a lot of time in the process. The steps to follow to clean a charcoal barbecue are:
- Start by removing the ash and the remains of the embers that have remained after the roast. These may be somewhat stuck to the walls of the barbecue, so you will have to use a spatula to remove them.
- Having already removed all the ash, it is time to get rid of the remains of the food that may have stuck. For this you can use special brushes for barbecues. In addition, in stores there are also special liquids for this process. Some are specific to the barbecue model.
- Having removed everything, it is best to let the barbecue dry out in the open. Or you can use a dry cloth to remove the remains of the cleaning product.
- How often do you have to clean a charcoal barbecue? The truth is that the ideal would be that you clean it well after each use. But if you do it once a month it should be enough to keep it in good condition. If you remove the remains of food, avoiding that they remain stuck, the area of the embers can be cleaned less frequently.
Are they better than other barbecues?
Certainly, charcoal barbecues have many advantages, and in some respects they beat other barbecue models. For example, the calorific value is certainly higher, and the smell of burnt wood is pleasant. In addition, it gives a different texture to the meat. And, of course, it is much easier to transport, not requiring a strong external power to operate.
But perhaps its biggest drawback is controlling the amount of carbon. With an electric or gas you don’t have to think about controlling the amount of charcoal you have left. Maybe it’s a downside. Still, the appeal of these barbecues is that you can experiment with different types of charcoal until you find the one that gives the meat the best flavour according to your personal taste.
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