I watched a video of a guy cooking steaks directly on the coals yesterday, I will be giving it a go later. He lit the BBQ with a very nice looking device called a Looftlighter, an electric gadget from Sweden, how do you light yours?
OK then! What's so special about a charcoal BBQ? Surely the "BBQ taste is achieved by the smoke from the melting fat dripping onto hot things. Charcoal has no taste & is used in filters to take out smells. Hell, they even use it in "Odour Eaters" , you know, the things you put in your shoes to stop the smell of yer feet! Bet you never thought you were cooking over anti smelly feet stuff. Give me a gas BBQ any day & to hell with the macho bit. I just want to cook things, not prove I can light a silly little fire! :-)
On a tangent but I dispute the DNA - watched some of The Island with a group of men spending 8 hours rubbing sticks together to 'make fire'. Both a girlfriend of mine in the UK and I were apparently yelling simultaneously at the TV to take one of three pairs of specs they were wearing and pinprick the sun - they were on a tropical island. But no, they preferred oozing blisters.
Put a pile of charcoal lumps into a pyramid, stick half a dozen 1/2 pieces of firelighter at intervals around the pyramid, use 4 inch long "cooks" matchsticks to light all the firelighter bits, leave for 20 minutes until well lit, then spread the charcoal out to cover the bottom of your bbq. If for some reason, like there's no breeze at all, the charcoal doesn't catch well use the wife's hair dryer to perk it up; or the leaf sucking hoover thingy on reverse thrust !
PS I've never tried cooking steaks, like on the video, directly on the coals - but I'd guess they could be cooked for a little longer on a griddle and then wrapped in silver foil. However I always use charcoal - like James - as its not a proper bbq if a few bits don't fall thro' the griddle onto the coals - then the dog gets a treat too.
Great video. I've a barbecue with a little starter gas cylinder. You just pile up the coals and light the gas flame. after around ten minutes all the charcoals are nice and red and you turn off the gas and put the food on.
Where's the fun in that! C'mon, we're blokes, it is in our primitive DNA to make proper fires just like our pre-historic ancestors, some paper and wood and as a sop to modern life a box of matches rather than rubbing two sticks together...ha ha!
That's a question that tickles me pink remembering...we had just bought a bottle of absinthe from Andorra, well u have to don't you. So, whilst we had to struggle to get it off my brother, we couldn't find a better use for it than to use it for lighting the bbq.