BBQ FAQ

All your barbecuing and grilling questions answered

Ever wondered something about barbecuing, but were too shy to ask your neighbors or friends? You don't have to worry about laughter here – we answer everything you need to know or have ever pondered about barbecues and grills. Ask away!

What is direct cooking?

This method grills food directly over the heat source. Foods that take less than 25 minutes to cook, like chicken breasts and steaks, are grilled effectively using direct cooking.

What is indirect cooking?

With indirect cooking, the heat source is placed to the side of the food, not under it. Foods that require lengthy cooking at lower temperatures, like whole turkeys, should be indirectly cooked.

Should I cook with the BBQ lid open or closed?

Leaving the lid closed greatly reduces cooking time and seals in the natural flavor and juices of the food. When the lid is closed, less charring flare-ups occur. Vents will allow sufficient airflow so that you don't have to worry about your food getting burned.

What is BTU rating?

BTUs, or British Thermal Units, indicate the volume of gas a grill can produce. BTUs do not refer to cooking power, as many believe. As the number of BTUs increases, so does the amount of fuel that is used. Too many BTUs can damage the grill's burners. In general, grills with larger cooking surfaces require a higher number of BTUs.

What is the total cooking area?

The total cooking area is measured in square inches and includes primary cooking areas and any warming racks. When determining the appropriate cooking area for your family, keep in mind the number of people and the type of food you cook.

How do I start my charcoal grill?

Hardwood charcoal lights easily and burns longer then low-grade charcoal, which contains fillers that make lighting difficult and burns out quick.

Fire starter cubes ignite easily and won't leave a bad taste on food.

Chimney starter holds coals in a cylinder over the charcoal grate. Ignite over charcoal cubes or crumpled newspaper.

Send your questions to editor@barbecuesandgrills.com and we'll do our best to find the answer for you!

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