The biggest challenges while grilling - Part 2:
How to get the perfect ember?
Once you made your choice for the right burning material, it’s time to get down to business. To ignite the coal pile, you need enough oxygen and a grill lighter.
There are three variations of barbecue lighter:
1. Chemical grill lighters such as firelighter- cubes, spray or gel, must be properly burned before you start to grill. Otherwise, the taste of your grilled food and your health will suffer.
2. Eco-grill lighters are made of wax, wood wool and other environmentally-friendly materials. Most eco-lighters such as wood wax cube and liquid bio lighters burn almost smoke-free and odorless. With the exception of the wax-impregnated wood wool: it inflames quickly but can also extinguishes fast and smokes smelly.
3. Electric lighters usually consist of a so-called heating coil. These devices are placed under the charcoal and have no effects on the taste of the grilled food. They heat up comfortably but need to be connected on a socket.
Oxygen is the key
In order to light up the coal, there are some helpful barbecue accessories:
The possibilities range from the luxury version, such as a special hot air blower to a piece of cardboard or just the hand. Ideally, there’s an air ventilation at the bottom of the grill, which provides the chimney effect. Use whatever you can find: the most important thing is that the coals or briquettes are getting continuously and properly ventilated. As a saying goes: “No sweet without sweat”.
Practical but not ideal
Many grillers swear on the chimney starter. It needs no electricity and is the darling of many grill masters. Depending on quality, you can buy these useful devices under 10 Euros in every DIY market. A chimney starter has the shape of a metal tube with handles and air vents. The device is divided into two parts. The upper part gets filled with coal, while the lower part gets filled with grill lighters. Through the chimney effect, the hot air gets sucked up by the vacuum and consistently glows the charcoal. Depending on the amount, it then takes between 15 and 30 minutes until the charcoal is fully burned. Afterwards, the embers can be carefully poured into the grill.
The disadvantage: When pouring the embers into the grill, sparks and coal pieces can fall out.
If you really want to be sure, wear fireproof gloves, solid shoes and pay attention on the wind direction before refilling. Attention: The chimney gets really hot, also after the usage. Keep hot barbecue parts always out of the reach of children.