The wood grill is not very eco-friendly, yet it is the non-plus ultra for many barbecue friends. The smoky taste and the open glow are just part of the BBQ for most people. According to Statista, around 50.5 percent of Germans grill at least once a summer each month.
Finally summer - the sun is shining and the grill is hot. Get up with the steaks on the grill and the enjoyment can start. A truly delicious treat, with the family and friends to smell the scent of roasted meat, fish, or vegetables and to enjoy the delicacies. Even with wood grills, there are some features and quality features that you should consider. In addition, there is an almost unmanageable number of different models to choose from.
The different grill shapes and models
Grilled food Funnel or column barbecues are among the most popular types of barbecues in Germany. Your column creates a chimney effect that quickly and adequately supplies the embers with oxygen. The air is sucked in through ventilation slots from the base into the funnel or circular top of the grill. The reason for the high popularity is usually also the favorable purchase price.
More and more often a charcoal grill is bought as a kettle grill. This consists of two hemispheres, the lower one is equipped with a carbon grid, on which the fuel rests. In addition, it has a built-in grill, a drip tray, an ash container, and a ventilation slide. The lid also allows indirect grilling and thus a kettle grill is ideal for grilling large pieces of meat.
With a suitcase grill, the two halves can be folded into a suitcase. The charcoal gives your grilled food a slightly smoky taste. The suitcase grill is easy to transport, but only a few models have a cover and are therefore not suitable for indirect grilling.
If more friends are invited, then the swing grill is the best choice. The grate offers ample space for grilled food with a diameter of up to one meter. It hangs on chains on a tripod stand or gallows. Underneath is a large fire bowl. The grate can be easily swiveled to the side, so refilling charcoal is very easy.
The smoker is more like a smokehouse. The food is located on a grate in a drum-shaped smoke chamber. Outside is the firebox. The hot smoke passes through the smoke chamber and exits through a chimney pipe. The smoker is intended for the preparation of larger pieces of meat.
The advantages of the wood grill
The aromatic grilled food: One of the biggest advantages is the typical grill taste, the unmistakable smoke aroma comes about through the charcoal.
Also very advantageous is the quite reasonable purchase price. There are already entry-level models for just under 10 euros.
A big advantage of charcoal grills is the huge variety of products. In the end, but it probably remains a matter of taste whether smoker, kettle grill, column grill, etc.
The transport of a charcoal grill is easy to realize if you want to barbecue with your neighbors in the garden, in the park or at the lake.
The charcoal grill needs no other energy sources such as gas or electricity.
The disadvantages of grilling with wood
The unpleasant smoke when igniting the coal bothers your own lungs as well as the nice neighbors next door.
When barbecue fat drips into the hot coal, harmful vapors and annoying fires that usually have to be extinguished arise.
The barbecue cleaning is relatively time-consuming. First, you have to cool the charred coal and then dispose of it. The residues from the food to be grilled on the grill should be removed with a steel brush.
For inexperienced barbecues holding the right temperature is usually difficult. Too high temperatures burn meat and vegetables, with too low temperatures, the barbecue experience can take much longer.
Barbecuing with charcoal incurs a relatively high follow-up cost. The constant purchase of charcoal and possibly lighter is much more expensive compared to gas or electric grills.
Direct vs. Indirect grilling - these are the differences
Grilled food When directly grilling, the food is positioned directly above the heat source. These high temperatures of up to 270 ° C can be achieved. Due to the strong heat, the food is seared and it forms a tasty crust. The direct grill method is very suitable for chicken breasts and fish fillets as well as steaks and hamburgers. Even vegetables can be grilled so. However, grilled fat can drip on the glowing coals and produce harmful substances.
When indirect grilling the food is not directly above the embers, it is almost the lid of the grill closed. The heat is radiated from the sidewalls and the lid of the grill and the meat is gently cooked. The coals or embers are arranged so that the coal is not below the grilled food. Indirect grilling is ideal for grilling larger and thicker pieces of meat. A kettle grill is ideal for indirect barbecues, for example. But even smokers cook their meat according to this principle.
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Barbecuing is an art. Anybody can throw a piece of meat on burning coal and eat it, anyone can. But the longer you go and the more you taste, the more wisdom rises from the thick smoke. What do you need to make a barbecue? How do you recognize advanced grill masters?
You do not have to rush in expenses so that the barbecue evening succeeds. But a few small, smart investments make a big difference.
Even a supposed cheap grill can deliver great results. For almost what matters is what matters. When it comes to coal, you should not just take the cheapest, but spend quietly one euro more for pieces or even-sized bricks without impurities. As an igniter, the safe, solid ignition aids are often sufficient, the liquid burn off not only good but also fast. And so does not have to be the unwieldy lighter.
Briquettes or charcoal
Charcoal the classic charcoal can be ignited faster and after about 25 minutes, the embers are optimal. It usually gets hotter as well, up to 700 degrees. Charcoal is suitable for short barbecue events with sausages and steaks. A disadvantage: the embers do not last very long. Unlike briquettes: it takes about 50 minutes for the first meat to be put on the grill. With an ignition fireplace, the briquettes are ready for use after just 20 to 30 minutes.
Tip: When charcoal purchase you should pay attention to the quality. The packaging should be marked with the DIN EN 1860-2 standard. Charcoal with this label was not made with artificial glue and is free from harmful substances. In addition, it is recommended to combine the good flammability of the charcoal and the long burning time of the briquettes.
The right barbecue lighter
Of course, the grill lighter also belongs to the right equipment when grilling. These are available in a number of forms and variants, which we briefly explain below:
Kindle Fireplaces: Better than Blowing, Wagging, or Holding a Hairdryer Grilling is a kindling fireplace. The slender pots are filled with lighters and charcoal, then you have to stand casually for about 20 minutes, finished is the completely and evenly glowing charcoal.
These use the chimney effect.
The hot air rises and pulls upwards. The resulting negative pressure is compensated by inflowing air and the additional oxygen ignites the fire.
Obviously, an increased air intake leads to faster burning of wood or glow of charcoal. Grills are available either as battery-powered handsets or blowers with a small hand crank.
Heating Fork: A heating fork does not spray sparks or ash. A problem with the heating fork is that these briquettes can hardly ignite because they need far more heat than ordinary charcoal.
Paraffin cubes: Chemical grill lighters are highly flammable and will burn long enough to ignite the fuel. However, chemical grill lighter may affect the taste of the food, so it should be hung up only when the lighters are completely burned.
Liquid Lighter: The most common way to quickly heat the grill is to use liquid lighters. Once the flames have burned down, you have an optimal glow. Please only use safety liquid lighters. Under no circumstances are methylated spirits, gasoline, or other combustible substances. Never pour the liquid lighter into the flames or into the embers.
When grilling is especially a handy pliers important. It does not have to be special, but it should grip safely, lie comfortably in your hand and find a storage space. If you do not want to be particularly wild when you are having a barbecue, you also put on an apron. If you burn your fingers quickly, buy good protective gloves first.
Weber kindling fireplace
The extras: thermometer, brush, wood grill
Do you need more for a successful barbecue? No! But some things above all bring more options to the gridiron. The closest to the basic equipment is still a thermometer. If you are handling thick pieces of meat or are pursuing an accurate idea of the perfectly cooked steak, you should think about a barbecue thermometer. They are available in all shapes and colors.
More important than gadgets such as thermometers with a smartphone app or meat forks with temperature sensors are the basic functions:
Reliable and fast, the thermometer should work, and not consume much space.
Many accessories make completely new pleasures possible. If you want to marinate your meat thoroughly, you should plan the small investment for a good silicone brush.
Also wood now has many fans. The idea is simple: a piece of aromatic wood gives the grilled food an exciting, smoky aroma. But there are other alternatives to expensive smoker grills. Smoking boxes can be refilled again and again with wood and herbs and give the meat a special touch. If you just want to try it out or save space, you can also buy smoker chips, which you put directly into the coal.
If you want to grill fish or unwieldy pieces of meat, you should consider a fish roaster or other barbecue baskets. Skewers are classic - but more splitting wood bones make more skewers made of stainless steel.
And if you have children with you, you can make an unwieldy but unbeatable gimmick: popcorn pans. The large, hinged pans with breathing holes make first-class popcorn. But their size and weight make them more suitable for the garden than for the city park.
Bonnet and jar
Is the grill in a fixed place in the garden? Then you should protect him from the weather by purchasing a matching hood for it; if he does not already have a waterproof lid. The proper packaging and presentation of the food is not for everyone, but contributes much to the success of the barbecue evening.
Who does not grill in the garden at home, should think about good, stable plastic dishes that fit into the dishwasher at home. Enjoy cutting while preparing only sharp knives. According to the standards, you can transport the home-marinated and prepared grill pieces best in sturdy plastic containers.
There is nothing worse in the world than sticky, sooty rust. If you really want to keep the grill ready for use, you do not have to go to the cleaning center the next day, you also need the right tool. Rubber or work gloves and a good brush are required. It is more comfortable with electric brushes - but with plenty of soapy water and a little time, it also cleans itself well.
And before it starts again? The best time to think about barbecue accessories is after grilling and not before. So you have even better in the head, which was not so good, which did not work clean. So you have time to buy the best accessories and not the scrap that is currently lurking in the grating. And so you might also have the time to read a good barbecue book - on the subject, there are now all sorts of guides and grill bibles that inspire and whet your appetite.
Q. Are briquettes or better charcoal grilling?
That can not be answered so flatly. Charcoal itself gets noticeably hotter (around 700 ° C) and is quicker to temperature than the pressed briquettes. In addition, many fans of the charcoal swear by the aroma, which goes over when grilling meat and sausages.
Briquettes in turn offer a significantly longer burning time.
Depending on the grill used and the amount of barbecue, you can not give a general recommendation. Often, however, it is recommended to combine the two types. This gives a long burning time and a high temperature. In any case, pay attention to the DIN EN 1860-2 standard, which ensures the minimum requirements that they are free from harmful substances.
Q. Is a charcoal grill allowed on the balcony?
Basically, the barbeque is allowed on the balcony, according to the German Tenants' Association (DMB). In tenements, however, a landlord may generally prohibit the crickets on the balcony in the house rules.
But even without an explicit ban may not be grilled, if smoke pulls in neighboring apartments. Since this is a violation of the immission control law, even a misdemeanor plus a fine of up to 5,000 euros may be due. Decisive, however, is always the requirement of mutual consideration. Avoid smoke disturbances and take care of the neighbors.
Q. Is there a way to grill smoke free?
Completely smoke-free is probably none of these possibilities. Still, there are a few tricks that produce very little smoke. Tip number 1: If you use commercially available fuel paste and thus spread the charcoal, almost no smoke is produced.
This is already available for 1 Euro in the hardware store. Tip # 2: Use a hot air gun. A big disadvantage here is the very high volume of the device. Tip # 3: Use an electric grill lighter. This is just placed under the charcoal and slowly brings the coal to glow.
Q. Are there different qualities of barbecue briquettes?
Yes, there is. If you want to use good briquettes, you should pay attention to the DIN plus sign. This distinguishes products that have a particularly high carbon content and very little ash.
How much you are willing to pay for good briquettes, everyone has to decide for themselves. It is also important to pay attention to the DIN EN 1860-2 standard, which ensures the minimum requirements that the briquettes are free from harmful substances.