Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 42 total)
  • I’ve never used a charcoal BBQ!
  • Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Full Member

    So yeah, not alpha male let’s get that out of the way.

    From another thread I’m going to take the plunge on a portable Weber, because it just works for what I’d like.

    But I’ve never used a BBQ, I’ve always just used the chimenea with logs. Badly.

    Tips? Basic you tube videos that a relevant for this size of thing? How the **** do I light it and keep it going? Healthy recipes that can be cooked by an idiot?

    I’ve literally no idea what I’m doing and can’t find a YouTube video that covers my pathetic level of basic questions.

    It’s this one, because it’s funky and portable. I assume I’ll just chuck some portable coals in a bag

    https://www.johnlewis.com/weber-go-anywhere-charcoal-bbq/p721705

    (And yes I’m probably being a bit lazy, but I know there are a lot of you here that are experienced and can save me hours of waffle & adverts!)

    Premier Icon toby1
    Free Member

    Mini chimney starter and wood wool lighters, decent quality charcoal, the cheap stuff will have agents in that taint your food. Any half decent BBQ book or site will talk about zones/cooking areas, i.e. hot directly over coals, good for steaks, indirect not over coals cooking, lid down vents open, good for chicken, sausages etc. Depending on where you are in the country there are some ace local producers of charcoal these days.

    There’s nothing alpha about it, some of us are obsessed and spend too much time/money on BBQ.

    Check out DJ BBQ on YouTube and his books if you are into it 🙂

    Premier Icon joshvegas
    Free Member

    Is it a go anywhere?

    Webers come with very decent instruction on how to cook various things. its either hot and fast or low and slow.

    cut the rack in half and the chimney starter which you absolutley should get fits in when not in use.

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Full Member

    It is a go anywhere, but I could only find assembly instructions on the Weber site

    Premier Icon HungryHungryHippo
    Full Member

    From memory, they do come with good how-to-bbq instructions in the box.

    Premier Icon joshvegas
    Free Member

    yeah sorry in the box

    its pretty comprehensive

    Premier Icon scruffythefirst
    Free Member

    Don’t get briquettes. The instant light lumpwood bags are ok to get started with. Use 2 for any reasonable quantity of food. Mostly leave it alone until the coals are mostly all white, then give them a bit of a stir and push them slightly to one side. Start with small food until you get used to cooking big things slowly – chipolatas and chicken wings. Keep things moving and turning, if the fat flares up move stuff away from the flames.

    Sausages and burgers before chicken – they cope with the heat better/don’t need to be cooked as slowly. We pre/half cook the chicken in the oven to be safe

    Premier Icon mrb123
    Free Member

    Chimney starter definitely worth getting.

    As others have suggested, anything that needs to be cooked through (chicken, sausages etc) can be started off in the oven and then just flashed on the bbq to finish.

    Premier Icon i_scoff_cake
    Free Member

    Spare your neighbours the nuisance assuming you don’t live in the middle of nowhere.

    Premier Icon thestabiliser
    Free Member

    Yes have a can of cold beans in the cupboard under the stairs like a normal person

    Premier Icon joshvegas
    Free Member

    Spare your neighbours the nuisance assuming you don’t live in the middle of nowhere.

    OR get less miserable neighbours

    As others have suggested, anything that needs to be cooked through (chicken, sausages etc) can be started off in the oven and then just flashed on the bbq to finish.

    This is totally unecessary if you follow the instructions. failing that get a temp probe and ACTUALLY check its cooked.

    Premier Icon jag61
    Full Member

    To get it going after initial lighting I use my hot air gun paint stripper thing once well lit just leave alone much better than flapping a bit of cardboard at it

    Premier Icon dropoff
    Full Member

    Always use proper charcoal, B&Q sell some really good stuff. Always use white spirit to light it, about and aerosol capful will work. Doesn’t smell or taint the food like some firelighters. Tin foil is your friend to shield delicate food.

    Premier Icon Bazz
    Full Member

    Buy decent lumpwood charcoal, the loose stuff is much better than the pre packed stuff where you light the bags, they tend to be full of tiny pieces of charcoal that fall through the bottom grate and ruin the airflow, it still isn’t particularly expensive, around £6 a bag which should do 3 barbeques.

    Food wise barbeques always bring out the carnivore in me, but halloumi is also great, as are stuffed mushrooms/peppers/tomatoes, i’m sure there is loads on the web.

    Premier Icon towpathman
    Full Member

    Weber charcoals are good quality and worth it. Can usually pick them up in posh garden centres

    Premier Icon frankconway
    Full Member

    dropoff beat me to it.
    Wrap most/all food in foil – I would do all.
    Salmon in foil on a bbq is great – it only takes a few minutes
    Another suggestion – boil some (new) skin-on spuds on cooker, slice and cook in oil coated foil parcel with sprinkle of sea salt – mmm.

    Premier Icon thestabiliser
    Free Member

    Jersey royals on a stickas above Parboil and brush with oil, seasoning of choice- Carbabs

    Premier Icon dmck16
    Free Member

    Chimney starter with a few bits of vegetable oil drizzled scrunched up newspaper in the bottom – cheap and it works well.

    A half decent temperature probe helps too. I got a double probe – one for the meat, one for the bbq itself.

    I have enjoyed using the Pitt Cue Co. Cookbook – it provides good tips on how to best use the bbq, and plenty of recipes too.

    Check out BBQ Pitt Boys on YouTube for more inspiration and entertainment.

    Lumpwood is good for burgers and sausages, but don’t be put off using briquettes – season a whole chicken, stick a can of beer up its arse, put a couple bits of hardwood on the coals, then cook/smoke it low & slow. Surprisingly easy

    EDIT: sorry, just clocked that you’re going for the portable version, so a whole smoked chicken might be tricky…🙃

    Premier Icon binners
    Full Member

    Premier Icon toby1
    Free Member

    Wow, no need to precook and the early phase is when you get the smoke into the meat.

    Wrap Salmon in foil, yes, everything else benefits from smoke and charring so no need to foil it.

    Also, done buy cheap charcoal and your neighbours won’t complain, well mone don’t anyway.

    Premier Icon Mikeypies
    Free Member

    If you have bought a weber go anywhere you are well on the way to success.

    Some of the advise previously posted isn’t going to help you .

    This site will guide you and explain what, why and how and give you a great understanding of what works and why,

    The Ultimate Destination For BBQ Recipes, Science, And Reviews

    The only must buy is a chimney starter , charcoal wise brickets are absolutely fine and are great for slow cooking even cheap ones. The only stuff to keep away from is the instant lighting stuff as it can taint the food.

    Investing in a instant reading temp probe is a good idea and you will find that you will use it all the time in the kitchen and with the BBQ

    There is no need to precook food and if not treated carefully there is a good chance of food poisoning.
    With a covered BBQ you can setup two zones by having the coals on just one side so you can direct grill and have an oven on the otherside.

    Have fun and read up on the basics at the amazing ribs site and you wont go far wrong, one top tip is to try cheap meat from Aldi Lidl etc first so if the temps go wildly wrong when smoking you won’t be too upset.

    Have fun and let us know how you get on

    Premier Icon timba
    Free Member

    Light it before you think you should, the charcoal needs time before you can start to cook
    Leave it out in the rain to clean it. Bin it because it’s now rusty (that probably only applies to cheaper BBQs)
    Take sandwiches and a flask

    Premier Icon oldbloke
    Free Member

    I’ve got that one you list and it is a great bit of kit.

    Learn how to use the vents under the coals and the vents on top to govern the speed of the charcoal lighting and then cooking. You can burn sausages in seconds or slow cook if you want. Everything else, others have covered.

    Premier Icon freeagent
    Free Member

    I think others have pretty much covered it –

    Small charcoal chimney starter would be my first purchase.

    Understanding the basics such as a 2-zone fire (hot one side – cool the other) is well covered on loads of YouTube vids + every BBQ Cook book.

    Best charcoal ive found is BigK lumpwood in the brown paper 15kg sacks. Some Morrisons stores are currently doing it for £22, but if you have JJs Food service branch near you its about £18.

    If you’re planning to cook much beyond sausages and burgers then a small instant read thermometer is a good buy – Thermopen are the market leaders but i have an ‘Inkbird’ from Amazon for about £20 which has been great.

    I’m not sure i agree with the advice to part-cook you food in the oven – unless you’re pretty diligent with your temperatures (and go straight from oven to BBQ) you risk giving people food poisoning.

    If you are on FB – join the ‘Country Wood Smoke’ UK BBQ page – they are a friendly bunch and full of good advice.

    As for you tube – My Favs are ‘How to BBQ right’ ‘Heath Riles BBQ’ and ‘Meat Church BBQ’ but there are loads of others – i personally think YouTube is the worlds greatest cooking resource.

    If you want to buy a book – ‘Food and Fire’ by Marcus Bawdon is a good place to start.

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    Assuming it’s not too late just do the sensible thing and get gas?

    Charcoal bbqs are the equivalent of insisting on making your own puff pastry instead of just buying the stuff.

    Wood has something to offer in terms of finished product, charcoal adds nothing but mess and faff in comparison to gas.

    Premier Icon ransos
    Free Member

    Assuming it’s not too late just do the sensible thing and get gas?

    Might as well go the whole hog:

    Premier Icon dday
    Full Member

    Noooo! – No cheap lumpwood charcoal! Spikes in temperature, then drops off rapidly, and dumps ash all over your food. Just get the Weber briquettes, and a starter chimney, one small firelighter below gets it going, long burning steady heat without the smoke and ash.

    I have a Meater probe, and trust me, my Weber does way better than our Fan oven when it comes to temperature management.

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    Might as well go the whole hog:

    Absolutely, I even buy shirts with collar integrated into them too.

    Charcoal is the imperial measure of man. Its about harking back to some golden age that hasn’t existed for generations if it ever did.

    In which case cook on wood and actually add something to the food.

    Premier Icon flyingpotatoes
    Full Member

    Definitely get a meat probe.

    As for recipes/rubs I’ve recently been using this for rubbing onto chicken and letting it sit for a few hours before cooking. Indirect cooking on the BBQ with the lid on before putting over the coals for a minute or two to finish it off

    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
    1/2 teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
    1/4 teaspoon dried parsley

    Premier Icon llama
    Full Member

    Some foodie books with bbq stuff in:

    honey and smoke – sarit packer – lots of veg, lots of kebabs
    food from the fire – ekstedt – good luck, but its worth persevering and finding the ingredients

    Premier Icon toby1
    Free Member

    Charcoal is the imperial measure of man. Its about harking back to some golden age that hasn’t existed for generations if it ever did.

    Question: If you hate BBQ and cooking on charcoal so much, then why are you commenting on a thread asking about cooking on charcoal? I’m not looking for an argument, but it’s like going into a coffee thread and telling people you think tea is what they should be making.

    Premier Icon ransos
    Free Member

    Charcoal is the imperial measure of man. Its about harking back to some golden age that hasn’t existed for generations if it ever did.

    Each to their own. I just use it as an effective and cheap way of cooking outside.

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
    Full Member

    wow, all these years BBQ’ing and ive never even heard of, let alone seen a chimney starter!

    every days a school day……

    Premier Icon vintagewino
    Free Member

    Webers are great, I have owned and used several to the point of destruction over the last 20 years. But now I have a Monolith Classic Pro II and oh my it is the best thing I have ever bought.

    Lumpwood charcoal is my preference (and obligatory in the Monolith) but briquettes are good if you are cooking on the weber for a long time or in the dead of winter. The restaurant quality lumpwood charcoal from B&Q is pretty good, I’m also liking BioGlow charcoal (they deliver) though the vaunted eco-credentials are somewhat offset by the fact it turns up wrapped in plastic.

    A meat thermometer is definitely a good call, but as for wrapping everything in foil… no way!

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    : If you hate BBQ and cooking on charcoal so much, then why are you commenting on a thread asking about cooking on charcoal

    Well really the op is “what are your tips for cooking on charcoal as I’ve never done it and think I’m going to buy a bbq”

    What I’m saying is why Charcoal? It’s a poor choice of tool.

    So to follow your analogy it’s a bit like the billion and one “you don’t actually want an espresso machine, you want a filter/aeropress or a better grinder” responses that come up on every “recommend an espresso machine”.

    It’s far from not liking bbq, quite the opposite, its that the commonly pushed idea that bbq is charcoal is daft.

    There are better methods (on a domestic scale) for grilling food outside. There are better (in so much as charcoal doesn’t) ways of smoking or adding smoke flavour to food grilled outdoors.

    Charcoal is an old outdated method of doing it but people like it because it’s more “real” than gas. Otoh, the op is already cooking over wood which is far better than either gas or charcoal (can’t say I think a chiminea is the right tool for that job mind).

    Premier Icon johnx2
    Free Member

    get the washing in

    I’ve recently been using this for rubbing onto chicken and letting it sit for a few hours

    As long as the chicken likes it too I guess it’s okay to have a hobby.

    Premier Icon flyingpotatoes
    Full Member

    @Johnx2
    Everyone needs a hobby

    Premier Icon ransos
    Free Member

    Charcoal is an old outdated method of doing it but people like it because it’s more “real” than gas.

    Opinion ≠ fact.

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Full Member

    Please ignore any advice about using instant lighting charcoal bags / lighter fuel etc.

    Buy a chimney starter – link below is the smaller type that’s about right for the go anywhere

    https://www.johnlewis.com/weber-portable-rapidfire-chimney-starter/p231795412?sku=231795412&s_ppc=2dx92700071707753285&tmad=c&tmcampid=2&gbraid=0AAAAAD2el1ysQZohzIKiZZrnnkJkoeR1T&gbraid=0AAAAAD2el1ysQZohzIKiZZrnnkJkoeR1T&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIz6ym2MjD-AIVh7PtCh21Vg0hEAQYAiABEgJW3fD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

    You want standard charcoal briquettes – I avoid lump wood as it mostly seems to burn really hot and then die quickly. Briquettes burn longer and lower. These are good ones:

    https://www.bbqworld.co.uk/m/weber-barbecues/accessories/weber-briquettes-4kg-2022.asp

    Out of the cheaper brands you can get at the supermarket the ‘BBQuick’ ones have been the best I’ve found:

    https://www.argos.co.uk/product/9376333

    In terms of lighting the chimney starter you just need 2 or 3 lighter blocks sat underneath it – I’ve been using Weber ones but any old blocks are fine. You don’t need any kind of fluid on the charcoal and you’ll see a load of flame first and then it’ll probably look like it’s gone out – but it won’t have. About 20-40 mins later all the coals will be glowing white hot with no flames.

    Chuck them in the bottom of the bbq and away you go for grilling. I.e sausages / burgers / kebabs etc.

    Marinaded chicken thighs – skinless / boneless are good I find with a Smokey / spicy rub.

    If you want to cook joints of meat you don’t have a huge bbq but you probably could do some small lamb or pork joints – pile up the charcoal in 2 loads – 1 at each end with a gap in the middle. Meat goes over the gap so no direct charcoal heat on it.

    You don’t need to pre-cook stuff on the bbq or finish it off in the oven if you do it properly.

    An instant read thermometer takes the guesswork out of the equation – I’ve got one of these:

    https://www.bbqworld.co.uk/m/broil-king/broil-king-instant-read-thermometer.asp

    Try and cook with the lid on as much as you can – the vents control the temperature. Perhaps start with the top vents half open and the bottom ones also half open and see how that goes. The more air the hotter it burns broadly.

    If you want it super smoky tasting then get a few of the below in a bowl and soak them in water for an hour. Drain the excess water off and put some directly on the hot coals:

    https://www.argos.co.uk/product/2009793?gbraid=0AAAAAD9II9kUl7JVSPB8SS_pqPL0iku9l&istCompanyId=a74d8886-5df9-4baa-b776-166b3bf9111c&istFeedId=c290d9a9-b5d6-423c-841d-2a559621874c&istItemId=pqwxtmiiw&istBid=t&&cmpid=GS001&_$ja=tsid:59157%7Cacid:804-872-0397%7Ccid:14724886681%7Cagid:127894834975%7Ctid:pla-891075361905%7Ccrid:547311342847%7Cnw:u%7Crnd:12029176492057117274%7Cdvc:m%7Cadp:%7Cmt:%7Cloc:9045622&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=14724886681&utm_term=2009793&utm_content=shopping&utm_custom1=127894834975&utm_custom2=804-872-0397&GPDP=true&gbraid=0AAAAAD9II9kUl7JVSPB8SS_pqPL0iku9l&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIyNCQrMvD-AIVEbrtCh3r-A8YEAQYAiABEgL9gvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

    Edit – just seen the comments on gas is better than charcoal. I disagree – I’ve got a decent broil king gas bbq and it has its place for quickly cooking lots of food – but I’ve played about with smoking boxes etc and it just hasn’t tasted as good. It’s been alright but the Weber with charcoal briquettes and hickory smoking chips is ace

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