Barbeque Basics Part 3: Come On Baby Light My Fire

07 Sep

If you’re caught up on Part One and Part Two we can get started on lighting up your grill


No, not that kind of grill!

If I were to recommend any singular grill for a wide variety of grilling, it would be a Weber 22.5 inch grill.  You can get a true dual-zone fire, and use it for smoking, as well as your every day backyard BBQ.  We got one on Craig’s List for less than 50$ that was only used once or twice.


Remove the cooking grate from your grill and put you chimney on the charcoal grate below.  Fill the bottom with your wadded up newspaper and put the charcoal on top.  You will see a wire insert inside that separates the top from the bottom.  Light the paper through the holes in the bottom and wait.  Seriously, wait.  Go inside and prep your food or something while that sh*t heats up.  Hardwood charcoal takes 15-20 minutes and briquettes take 25-35 minutes.  Don’t wait too long though, or else your coals will just turn into ash and you will have to start over.

When I say to start your grill, you should automatically assume I mean a dual-zone fire unless otherwise specified.  This really gives you the best control over cooking temperature.  After your coals have heated up in the chimney, just spread them out on one side of the grill and leave the other side empty.  Also, if you are using your grill to smoke, the empty side will be where you place a pan of water for your wood chips.  So, how do you know how hot your grill is?  Well you stick your hand in of course!

Not, so fast.  Do not actually put it in the fire, just about 5 inches above .  Now with a flat palm see how long you can comfortably leave your hand there.  Please note that I am not encouraging you to forceably leave your hand above a hot grill just for masochistic sh*ts and giggles.

  • 2-4 seconds is high heat: about 450-550 degrees F
  • 5-7 seconds is medium: 350-450
  • 8-10 seconds is low: 250-350
  • 11-12 seconds is really low: 200-225
  • 13-15 seconds is really really low: 175
  • 15+ seconds: why bother? lets just order a pizza.

I know that is really scientific and all.  If you can’t figure that out, you could always get a grill with a thermometer in the lid, which is what we are going to spring for next.

Grilling is just like any other hobby, no rational person expects to pick up golf clubs for the first time and play like Tiger Woods.  It takes a bit of practice, you will ruin some food, but once you master it you can create flavors, the likes of which, your taste buds have never experienced.

Bonus point: when the zombie apocalypse happens you will be able to cook for yourself in a world without electric stoves.



Posted by on September 7, 2012 in Uncategorized


5 responses to “Barbeque Basics Part 3: Come On Baby Light My Fire

  1. Be

    September 8, 2012 at 7:04 am

    I love all three parts and am right there with you on your directions and preferences.

    For the thermometer I would go with something cheap like this
    one. It works fine, but I rely more on the meat thermometer.

    For my grill I really like the Chargriller with the side firebox. It’s big enough for two zones and it works well for smoking. However, I did notice that they are selling some without the cast iron grates which I recommend.

    • Primal Smoke

      September 8, 2012 at 7:07 am

      We have bought some really expensive digital thermometers from Big Green Egg that you can leave in the meat while smoking and they have all broke. Our little instant read seems to be the best one of all. I will have to try the one you suggested, it is tough to find something that can stand up to the heat


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