True aficionados of barbecue whether it is beef or pork always agree that charcoal barbecue grills better than gas grills. Some folks that have been at it in a commercial setting for years swear they can taste the gas in the finished product. So if you are going to tackle some true barbecue the first ingredient you need is charcoal and something to burn it in like an outdoor grill or charcoal smoker.
Charcoal used in cooking has been around for about five thousand years and so has man’s search for the perfect oven to burn it in. Today there are many different makes of charcoal barbecue grills although all follow the same basic way of cooking. You get the charcoal lit either in the grill or in a chimney. You have airflow from the bottom of the unit through the charcoal, which feeds the fire and exits upward through an open grill or vents in the lid if the lid is shut. Your food is cooked above a flame on a grill, which is a grid of welded steel rods.
Consumer Charcoal Barbecue Grills
There are two classes of charcoal barbecue grills; consumer and professional. The consumer brands of charcoal barbecue grills are well made, have sufficient grilling real estate, work well and easily. Some different designs for charcoal grills are the famous Weber kettle grill, the ceramic grill or kamado style cooker, charcoal smokers and pro styled grills with offset smoke boxes. Some grills have gas powered starters for the charcoal. The kamado style cookers can be used to grill, smoke or even bake in with additional accessories. Charcoal smokers have vertical grills so food items can be stacked for smoking. The pro styled grills and commercial charcoal smokers have more space for cooking for larger groups of people.
Professional Charcoal Barbecue Grills
The professional charcoal barbecue grills come in all types of sizes and shapes. The pros will make a grill out of anything. Brad Orrison from Mississippi has a grill made out of an old Woody station wagon. The thing about the professionals is they need the grill space to either cook for an army if they are catering or cook a whole hog or two if competing and the fire power to be on time in either situation. Most of these units are run on wood and charcoal with gas ignitions. Most of the units for commercial and competition are on trailers to be towed. You can get sinks, fryers, water systems or just about anything you want put on these. Check out the Klose BBQ Pits from Texas.
No matter how big or bad your charcoal barbecue grill or pit is cooking and smoking food is all the same. You can do just as good on your food on a small charcoal cooking grill as you can on a big pro unit. Just like anything else you get good by practicing.