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The 10 Commandments of Great Grilling

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Post Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:41 pm
Steven Grilling Guru
Grilling Guru

Posts: 253

Hi, everyone. On the home page (http://www.barbecuebible.com), you'll find my 10 Commandments of Great Grilling. I'm eager to hear about what rules of smoke and fire YOU live by.

Cactus1 well done
well done

Posts: 741
Location: Indian Head Park, IL.
My big three ...
1. Keep it clean. Clean my grill grates both before and after a cook when the grates are warm or hot. Keep ash from accumulating in my grills or smokers. Smother and let coals die out naturally and remove and clean grill the foloowing day.
2. Keep it lubricated. For most cooks this isn't a problem bt for things like fish, some chicken, or some veggies, I make sure my grates or grill pan is well lubricated.
3. Keep it covered. Use my Mavericks with my WSM's and will only remove lid to mop or sauce near the end of the cook. Keep my One-Touches covered and only remove lid to turn or sauce near the end of the cook.
* IHP Cactus Farm & Sauce Shack *
18 1/2 & 22 1/2" WSM
22 1/2" OTS
26 3/4" OTG

ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7119
Location: Stoughton, WI
It's funny to think about being sure to have enough fuel since I almost always have multiple bags of charcoal on hand, but sometimes running low does happen.

I'll add a recommendation for safety, especially when burning charcoal or wood. Long sleeves shouldn't have big, loose cuffs (but since it's not 1974 this isn't a major problem) and long hair should be pulled or tied back, and I always wear shoes. And a fire extinguisher within easy reach is never a bad idea, especially for those who're just starting out with live-fire cooking.

Post Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:32 am
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5693
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
ScreamingChicken wrote:
It's funny to think about being sure to have enough fuel since I almost always have multiple bags of charcoal on hand, but sometimes running low does happen.

I'll add a recommendation for safety, especially when burning charcoal or wood. Long sleeves shouldn't have big, loose cuffs (but since it's not 1974 this isn't a major problem) and long hair should be pulled or tied back, and I always wear shoes. And a fire extinguisher within easy reach is never a bad idea, especially for those who're just starting out with live-fire cooking.


Thick leather gloves like welding gloves are a must, as are a spare set of tongs dedicated solely to fire-tending. And that fire extinguisher is still a must whether you've been grilling for a week, or 20 years. Accidents still happen.
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:49 am
Cactus1 well done
well done

Posts: 741
Location: Indian Head Park, IL.
CharredGriller wrote:
ScreamingChicken wrote:
It's funny to think about being sure to have enough fuel since I almost always have multiple bags of charcoal on hand, but sometimes running low does happen.

I'll add a recommendation for safety, especially when burning charcoal or wood. Long sleeves shouldn't have big, loose cuffs (but since it's not 1974 this isn't a major problem) and long hair should be pulled or tied back, and I always wear shoes. And a fire extinguisher within easy reach is never a bad idea, especially for those who're just starting out with live-fire cooking.


Thick leather gloves like welding gloves are a must, as are a spare set of tongs dedicated solely to fire-tending. And that fire extinguisher is still a must whether you've been grilling for a week, or 20 years. Accidents still happen.

I don't have the leather - I use silicon. I do have extra tongs but use a long handled slotted stainless steel spoon to move my coals.

I always keep a good supply of charcoal on hand. I've been on the grills so much in past 30 days that I've had to open my 4th bag of charcoal since mid-June this past Sunday.
* IHP Cactus Farm & Sauce Shack *
18 1/2 & 22 1/2" WSM
22 1/2" OTS
26 3/4" OTG

Post Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:18 pm
Attrill well done
well done

Posts: 663
Location: Chicago

Definitely a good list! I'd add:

- Never use lighter fluid/matchlight briquettes
- Always use metal utensils, never plastic. This seems like a no-brainer but I've already seen people melt 2 spatulas this summer.
- Always give yourself extra time. Almost every mistake I've ever made has been because I've rushed something because dinner was running late.

I also never have a problem with running out of fuel, but it does happen to a lot of people. The first time I grilled at my father in law's house he said he had plenty of charcoal. I shouldn't have trusted him, 1/4 bag doesn't count as "a lot" when cooking for 15-20. Fortunately he had nearly a cord of oak that I cut into small pieces :lol:

CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5693
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
Cactus1 wrote:
CharredGriller wrote:
ScreamingChicken wrote:
It's funny to think about being sure to have enough fuel since I almost always have multiple bags of charcoal on hand, but sometimes running low does happen.

I'll add a recommendation for safety, especially when burning charcoal or wood. Long sleeves shouldn't have big, loose cuffs (but since it's not 1974 this isn't a major problem) and long hair should be pulled or tied back, and I always wear shoes. And a fire extinguisher within easy reach is never a bad idea, especially for those who're just starting out with live-fire cooking.


Thick leather gloves like welding gloves are a must, as are a spare set of tongs dedicated solely to fire-tending. And that fire extinguisher is still a must whether you've been grilling for a week, or 20 years. Accidents still happen.

I don't have the leather - I use silicon. I do have extra tongs but use a long handled slotted stainless steel spoon to move my coals.

I always keep a good supply of charcoal on hand. I've been on the grills so much in past 30 days that I've had to open my 4th bag of charcoal since mid-June this past Sunday.


I switched to leather after I watched a silicone glove burn up when a friend somehow spilled a few coals on one from a chimney and melted it (his hand was OK, though). Silicone is OK for high indirect heat but not so good for direct heat. I pick up live coals with the leather gloves sometimes (in emergencies only).

And the same for me with charcoal. I grab a few bags on sale even if I don't really need them, and I keep them in a sealed and weatherstripped spare plastic garbage can with a bit of dessicant inside (basically a can or bag of silica gel). I ran weatherstripping over the top rim of the can, and it seals it beautifully.

The dessicant keeps out the ambient moisture and keeps the briquettes dry literally for years if you reactivate it periodically. You can reactivate the silica gel just by drying it in the oven. Plus, silica gel is what's in those little baggies that come with electronic equipment and some appliances, so it's easy to find and collect.
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Cactus1 well done
well done

Posts: 741
Location: Indian Head Park, IL.
CharredGriller - I'm still one of the dummies that dumps his chimney without the use of gloves. Burn myself one of these days and I'll probably become a convert. Matter of fact I probably should use them anyway - I have 4 or 5 pair of heavy leather work gloves in the garage. 4 year old grandson is fascinated by my grills. Probably start teaching him a little next year. Might as well start him off with good habits.
My garage is insulated and drywalled but not heated. Have a couple 4" X 4"'s with a sheet of plywood over that I stack my charcoal on, I use FIFO when it comes to use. Me and step-son gave our garage a good cleaning and rearranging last Fall to make room to store his 'vette for the Winter. Found 3 bags of RO lump behind some drywall from a remodeling project 4 years ago. It was fine and first lump that I burned in the WSM's after I found it. But the sealed can with the dessicant in it is a good idea. I usually save them and reuse them when I get them.
* IHP Cactus Farm & Sauce Shack *
18 1/2 & 22 1/2" WSM
22 1/2" OTS
26 3/4" OTG

CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5693
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
Cactus1 wrote:
CharredGriller - I'm still one of the dummies that dumps his chimney without the use of gloves. Burn myself one of these days and I'll probably become a convert. Matter of fact I probably should use them anyway - I have 4 or 5 pair of heavy leather work gloves in the garage. 4 year old grandson is fascinated by my grills. Probably start teaching him a little next year. Might as well start him off with good habits.
My garage is insulated and drywalled but not heated. Have a couple 4" X 4"'s with a sheet of plywood over that I stack my charcoal on, I use FIFO when it comes to use. Me and step-son gave our garage a good cleaning and rearranging last Fall to make room to store his 'vette for the Winter. Found 3 bags of RO lump behind some drywall from a remodeling project 4 years ago. It was fine and first lump that I burned in the WSM's after I found it. But the sealed can with the dessicant in it is a good idea. I usually save them and reuse them when I get them.


Actually, it should be a vented can with the dessicant in it. Alternately, I use a fine mesh bag and that works too.
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:01 am
Cactus1 well done
well done

Posts: 741
Location: Indian Head Park, IL.
CharredGriller wrote:
Cactus1 wrote:
CharredGriller - I'm still one of the dummies that dumps his chimney without the use of gloves. Burn myself one of these days and I'll probably become a convert. Matter of fact I probably should use them anyway - I have 4 or 5 pair of heavy leather work gloves in the garage. 4 year old grandson is fascinated by my grills. Probably start teaching him a little next year. Might as well start him off with good habits.
My garage is insulated and drywalled but not heated. Have a couple 4" X 4"'s with a sheet of plywood over that I stack my charcoal on, I use FIFO when it comes to use. Me and step-son gave our garage a good cleaning and rearranging last Fall to make room to store his 'vette for the Winter. Found 3 bags of RO lump behind some drywall from a remodeling project 4 years ago. It was fine and first lump that I burned in the WSM's after I found it. But the sealed can with the dessicant in it is a good idea. I usually save them and reuse them when I get them.


Actually, it should be a vented can with the dessicant in it. Alternately, I use a fine mesh bag and that works too.

Good point! I'm an old trucking company safety guy. Think D.O.T. still classifies charcoal as a Combustible. Don't pay attention, I'll have to go to the garage and check the warnings on a bag.
* IHP Cactus Farm & Sauce Shack *
18 1/2 & 22 1/2" WSM
22 1/2" OTS
26 3/4" OTG

sroach well done
well done

Posts: 1118
Location: Warrington, PA
Attrill wrote:
Definitely a good list! I'd add:

- Never use lighter fluid/matchlight briquettes


I can of laugh to myself when I see that tin can of lighter fluid on the shelf in a store.
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18.5 Kettle Gold
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