Wednesday, August 20, 2008

light your grill sustainably

I know it's obvious to veteran charcoal grill-masters, but I'm consistently shocked by people who ask: "what is that metal thing?"

I'll keep this short: avoid the use of nasty charcoal fluid. It smells awful and isn't good for your food or body. Instead, purchase an inexpensive chimney-starter (pictured), which uses old newspaper to start coals for cooking. Enough said.

There are several schools of thought debating the correct way to use this device, but here's a process that works for me every time:

  1. locate two full pages from your daily newspaper (or your neighbor's)
  2. crumple up one sheet and place it in the underside of your starter
  3. fill the top with charcoal, place on grill grate
  4. light paper and let it burn off completely
  5. load the second piece of newspaper into the bottom
  6. light paper and let it burn off - your coals should be emitting some smoke and heat at this point
  7. drink 1-3 beers while waiting for coals to heat up (15-30 minutes, depending on the weather and amount of charcoal used)


Katy, Troy, Miles, Chloe and Kyra said...

Not that taking time to drink 1-3 beers is bad.. but if you want to speed up the process, put your crumpled paper in a bowl and lightly sprinkle a vegtable oil in it before putting it into the chimney and lighting. The paper will burn hotter and longer.

Housekeepers said...

this is a great tip. it warms my heart to think of your entire family huddled around the screen to type that response.