I am a world traveller & a mom of two, (8 & 6). I love to meet people, and am fascinated that there are 7 billion stories out there to be explored. I think Melbourne is the most happening city to live in with all the fun activities around town.
Published May 26th 2013
Flavour, aroma, perfect look
Originally, we owned a gas cylinder BBQ. It was easy to set up, efficient to cook on but a bit difficult to clean, yet the authentic BBQ flavours, aromas and tastes were somewhat lacking.
Recently we purchased a coal pit so that we could try the charcoal style BBQ. There is definitely a huge difference between the two types of BBQs. Charcoal is a bit tricky to light up and takes a bit longer to heat up and cook the food, but the end result is definitely worthwhile, with the flavours and aromas spreading throughout the neighbourhood and titillating the tastebuds. And a coal pit/kettle is easier to clean.
As mentioned, charcoal is a bit tricky to light up, but here are a few tips to make it work:
1. Use a shallow coal pit with a single layer of coal. It will light up faster and last for about 2 hours, which is usually sufficient to complete the cooking for one family.
Shallow charcoal pit, easy to place skewers
2. Lighter bricks are the most efficient way of starting the fire. These bricks are highly flammable, and the coal adjacent to these bricks catches fire, spreading it evenly throughout the piece of coal. Use sufficient pieces of the brick spread out evenly among the charcoal pieces
3. TIP: Keep a piece of cardboard handy to fan the fire if there is no wind to spread the fire to other pieces of charcoal.
The charcoal is almost ready
4. Prepare the skewers with meat and leave it aside. Do not place the skewers on the coal pit till the charcoal turns grayish white. That is when the coal will emanate heat rather than blazing fire, which will burn the meat from the outside and keeps the meet raw from inside (that is what happened to our first attempt with charcoal BBQ).
5. Place the skewers on the pit and soon you (and your neighbours) will start smelling and seeing the results of your efforts up to this point. The meat will cook evenly and just right on the inside and out.
Chicken pieces marinated with traditional spices cooking on skewers
Enjoy the meat with chutneys and light salad. Leave the breads out to fully enjoy the tasty flavours of the meat.
FEW MORE TIPS: 1. Afghan meat shops sometimes have pre-marinated chicken cubes or wings and mince ready for BBQs at very reasonable prices. Try it out for a flavoursome experience.
2. Charcoal pits are available at major department stores, but they are also available at Afghan grocery stores (try some in Dandenong), because BBQ very popular in the Afghan culture. Other BBQ items such as skewers, charcoal and fire-starter bricks are also available at these stores.
3. Make sure you place your BBQs in a well-aerated area.
4. Let the charcoal burn itself out. Once it has cooled down, clean it for the next time, and put it away.
Whether it is a family get-together or a special event such as Australia Day, a BBQ is fun to do, delicious to eat and always a memorable experience. Share your favourite BBQ tips and memories with us.