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King of the Grill

Know how to cook the perfect steak? We do.

King of the Grill

Learn the secrets

Building a Great Charcoal or Wood Fire

To raise grill temperature, increase the airflow by opening grill vents or fanning coals.

Charcoal fire building

Step 1: Place charcoal in bottom of grill in a grid-like fashion. All briquettes should be touching. For approximately 45 minutes of grilling time, build a double layer of charcoal in an 8 x 8 grid.

Step 2: Cover coals with lighter fluid and light. Let it burn down about 30 minutes, coals will look ash white. To test the temperature of the coals, cautiously place your hand 4 inches above the grill rack. If you can count up to 4 seconds then start grilling. If you have a thermometer, it should reach between 350 to 375 degrees F.

Step 3: Let the grilling begin.

 

Wood chunk fire building

Step 1: Stack 3- to 4-inch chunks of wood over three sheets of crumpled newspaper or a starter stick. (Hickory is a dense wood that may require more paper or lighter fluid to start the fire.)

Step 2: Open vents.

Step 3: Light paper; let wood burn 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 4: Extinguish flame by closing lid and vents for 30 seconds.

Step 5: Adjust vents for desired cooking heat level. Begin grilling.

 

Adjusting the temperature

To raise the temperature of charcoal or wood, use one or all of these methods:

1. Move the coals closer together, tapping off the ash.
2. Increase the airflow by opening grill vents or fanning coals.
3. Lower the height of the grill grate 1 or 2 inches closer to the coals.

To lower the temperature of charcoal or wood, use one or all of these methods:

1. Spread the coals farther apart.
2. Reduce the airflow by partially or fully closing some or all vents.
3. Raise the height of the grill grate 1 or 2 inches farther from the coals.

 

Notes about building fires

  • Grills vary. Watch steak sides; turn when a cooked color is evident one-third of the way up the side of steak.
  • Steaks totally trimmed of fat cook 25 percent faster. Use caution.
  • Grilling with the lid closed reduces cooking time by 2 to 3 minutes and adds a smokier flavor to the meat.

 

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