How to Build a Charcoal BBQ Grill Cooking Fire
Building your charcoal bbq grill cooking fire is more than just opening up the bag, dumping in the charcoal, dousing it with lighter fluid and throwing on a match.
The key to a good grilling fire is to have an even fire. You need to evenly distribute the coals to minimize temperature variation and get good, even grilling.
The number of charcoal briquettes you use will depend on the size of your grill, the amount of food you will be cooking, weather conditions and cooking time.
As a general rule of thumb, when using charcoal briquettes, plan on using about 30 briquettes to cook 1 pound of meat. Make sure that you are using enough charcoal briquettes to cover the charcoal BBQ grill pan in a single layer and extending out about 2″ beyond the area of the food on the grill. This will give you a good barbecue grilling fire.
Place the briquettes in the charcoal BBQ grill pan to determine the quantity then stack them up in a pyramid shape to light. Soak the briquettes with approximately 1/2 cup of lighter fluid, and let set for a few minutes before lighting.
Once the coals have begun to burn and ash starts to form arrange them with long handled tongs into a single layer. To have controlled temperature variation in your charcoal BBQ grill fire, a hot area and a not so hot area (called a two level fire), set up half of your fire grate in a single layer of coals and the other half in two or three layers of coals.
This will give you the hot and medium areas in your barbecue grilling fire to do your cooking. Use this method if you are cooking different types of foods at the same time.