Planning a barbecue day with family and great friends is always an enjoyable event. In times like this, you want everything to be perfect, especially the food that you will be serving them. Barbecuing takes a lot of work to prepare because it requires patience and you want it to be the best barbecue they ever tasted. However especially for beginners, starting a fire will be the most difficult and challenging part of the job – especially when you are cooking in a barbecue pit.
It is important that you know how to build and maintain a clean fire. Controlling the heat also requires you to be vigilant because one wrong move and you can wind up with black and bitter-tasting barbecue that even your dog will not dare eat. It will take practice and few techniques but the result will be worth it. In this page, you will learn about how to control heat in a barbecue pit.
Tip 1: Prepare the pit.
Prepare the pit by cleaning and brushing the leftover ashes or any remaining fuel from the bottom of the pit. This will prevent the pit from clog that comes from the ashes that could make it difficult to start a fire (especially if you are using charcoal).
Tip 2: After cleaning is done, you can begin adding wood chips or briquettes (about five pounds) in the pit.
The amount of fuel you use will depend on the quantity of food you are about to cook. Burning too much wood or charcoal will cause heat levels to get too high. Just put enough fuel only to cook the amount of food you intend to grill. It is easier to add fuel later than removing the already hot fuel in the pit.
Tip 3: You can use old news papers to light the fire.
Place them under the pile or if you want to quickly start the fire, use lighter fluid and light it using a long-handled lighter or matches to avoid burning your hands. Burn the fuel for about 30 minutes or until the coals are glowing with fine white ash. Make sure the coals are at least 80 percent burned before adding the food item and the flames have died down. Adding the food before the flames have died down will cause the food to burn and char before the inside cooks.
Tip 4: Prepare the coals just right.
Make sure to evenly spread the hot coals in all areas of the pit so that you can use the entire area in cooking. Use long-handled tongs in doing this. To control the heat, you can move the hot coals or wood chips in the pit to change the heat setup. Separate and arrange the coals or wood chips into smaller piles for optimum cooking.
Tip 5: Check the coals.
If you think the cooking is almost done and the fuel still creates a great amount of heat, remove some coals and wood chips from the fire. In this way, you can reduce the heat intensity of your barbecue pit. Put the hot fuel into a non-flammable area or non-melting container.
Tip 6: Make some adjustments.
One way of controlling the heat is to alter the airflow of the barbecue pit by covering the airflow holes on its sides using stone or ceramic materials. Also, adjusting the height of the cooking surface can also control the heat that comes in contact with the food. Raise the level of the grill surface if the heat is too high for the food you are cooking.
Barbecue pits may vary from a simple hole dug in the ground where charcoals can be laid to a more complex commercially-made barbecue grill device. But, whatever barbecue grill you have, the secret to successfully grilled foods will always depend on how you cooked it. Controlling the heat in a fire pit should always be the main concern to achieve that perfect barbecue grilled food that you always want to be proud of.