Tips on controlling the flame and temperature when grilling on the barbeque

Tips on controlling the flame and temperature when grilling on the barbeque

Below are some important tips for grilling on the barbeque.

Controlling the flame and temperature are very important for grilling on the barbeque. To control these two aspects you must, firstly, light a fire which you then allow to ‘settle’; this means that the surface of the coals turn uniformly grey in color.

The total area covered by the coal after it has settled and spread out must be larger than the total area of the food you are planning to grill.

To achieve a correct cooking result and temperature distribution, you must divide the grilling surface into two zones, cold and hot. You can do this in two ways.

  • The first is to increase the amount of embers by increasing their thickness. By reducing the thickness you gradually create less heat intensity and thus, the cold zone. 
  • The second way is to differentiate the distance between the food and the grate, if your barbeque offers this possibility.

Why do you need 2 zones? Food cooked on the barbeque gains its flavor from the changes caused to its outer surface (intense color) by high temperatures. In order, however, for the food to also be cooked on the inside and not burn on the outside it must continue to cook at a lower temperature; this is why it is necessary to have a second, cooler cooking zone.

To check whether you have achieved the correct grilling temperature, you can perform a simple test. If you place your hand over the hot zone at a distance of about ten centimeters you mustn’t be able to keep it there for longer than 1-2 seconds or 4-5 seconds for the cold zone.

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