Barbecuing requires a fire with a temperature between 180°F and 250°F. You’ll need to monitor the fire closely before you’ll be ready to start barbecuing.
Smokers and Charcoal Grills
- If you’ll be using a smoker or a charcoal grill, light a pile of coals using a chimney starter or the pyramid method .
- While waiting for the coals to heat, soak your preferred wood chunks or chips in water for 20 minutes.
- When the coals are covered in white ash and are glowing red, carefully place them in a pile in the fire chamber of your smoker or in the corner of your grill. Add 2–3 wood chunks or several handfuls of chips on top of the coal pile.
- Close the lid of the smoker or grill and open all the vents. Within a minute or two, smoke should begin billowing out of the vents.
- Monitor the temperature gauge until it settles on a temperature between 180–250°F. If the temperature climbs past 250°F, close the bottom vents halfway until the temperature has returned to the desired range. Never close the top vents when barbecuing.
- Place the meat in the smoker’s cooking chamber or on the side of the grill opposite the coals and wood pile. Close the lid of the grill or smoker.
- Ignite one of the burners and set it to low.
- Soak a handful of wood chips for 20 minutes, put them in a heatproof container, and place the container on the grill grate directly above the ignited burner.
- Close the lid of the grill. Within five minutes, smoke should start billowing out of the grill.
- Monitor the temperature gauge until it settles on a temperature between 180–250°F. If the temperature climbs past 250°F, turn the heat down until the temperature returns to the desired range.
- Place the meat on the side of the grill opposite the lit burner. Close the lid of the grill.