Precision engineered charcoal grills





Here is more specific information, opinion and barbecue lore broken down by categories of food:



Charcoal grilled shrimp
Shrimp grilled in the shell. Do it
this way if you want to use them
in a salad, or you just enjoy getting
a little messy when you eat.


Pork shoulder roast set up on the slow cook rack with drip pan and slow-burn charcoal train
The B1 grill set up for a true
classic—pork shoulder.
You can get this one perfect on
our grill and have pulled pork
sandwiches all week.


Techniques for mastering the grill

Grilling looks fairly easy, but there are many variables and much to learn. In some parts of the world, grilling is a chef's specialty that requires a lifetime to master, and is highly sought out in the restaurant business. You should taste perfectly grilled foods once in your life. It's not an accident. To be honest, after grilling for many years and watching friends and so-called experts ruin expensive food, my current theory is that, for most of us, if something turns out perfectly, it's sheer luck. So let's get a basic understanding of what this is all about.

Foods prepared on the charcoal grill are made using three basic techniques. (1) Grilling, (2) barbecueing and (3) smoking. But you'll find different terms to describe the equipment and the techniques depending on what part of the world you grew up in.

For instance, in Texas a "grill" is a big stainless steel starship control panel used to burn meat over a gas flame; a "barbecue" is a black metal sphere used to hang meat over charcoal until it's too dry to eat.

We're kidding, of course. Texas has some of the best food, equipment and grill chefs on the planet. They just grew up using their own terms for what they do.

In other parts of the US "a barbecue" is a get-together where everybody enjoys smokey, tender meats and traditional side dishes. You don't cook on a barbecue, you eat barbecue (while attending a ... barbecue). True southern Barbecue can only be made from one of the sacred four: (1) pork ribs, (2) pork shoulder, (3) beef brisket, and (4) chicken. (Chicken is new to the club and can be rejected if there are no women around.)

There are even judged contests where the art of barbecue is raised to new levels and people compete up through regional contests to the world championships. These amazing foods are prepared on a "pit" which is a generic term for anything from a hole in the ground to a side-smoker-on-a-trailer-as-big-as-a-tanker-truck.

The process usually takes all night and the equipment is big, expensive, and ugly. People spend years figuring out how to win best in show for a particular item like ribs or brisket so everything is very competitive and secretive. If you don't join a team and learn the secret handshake, you may never figure out how it's done. But this food is far and away better tasting than what you typically get in a "barbecue" restaurant. (You can get pretty close to competition-quality barbecue on our B1 backyard grill with a little practice and some of the techniques describe in this site. Most competetive barbecuers use a wood fire for smoke and charcoal for consistent heat. You can use the same techniques on our B1 grill, and you can get excellent results in far less time.)

The only reason to get into this discussion is to learn how to make great tasting food. You can master this art from experts who have been perfecting it for generations. We can help you cut through the jargon and get to the eating.

We love grilling, barbecuing, smoking, searing, charring, caramelizing, browning, crisping, scorching, toasting and generally experimenting with man's oldest form of cooking. But no matter what you call the equipment or the process, fire and smoke make things taste good. Most people would rather eat than talk about eating, so, we offer our simple ground rules and stand back. 

Use charcoal. 
You can make the most amazing flavors with a live charcoal fire "seasoned' with the smoke from wood chunks, vines, spices, and other things we'll tell you about later. Or you can sear delicate foods like vegetables and seafood with dry heat and no smoke at all. We've created our equipment to give you solid options and tools to get it perfect.

Cook everything you can on the grill. 
The timing can vary from an all night captain's watch to a 30-second sear. Smoke and fire are versatile flavoring ingredients, if you know how to use them. Whatever you want to experiment with, if it doesn't fall through the grate, it'll probably taste better cooked over fire. Try everything you can think of. Our ancestors somehow made it to the top of the food chain. Enjoy it while it lasts! :-)

Eat, drink and be merry. 
Enjoy life eating wonderful foods with your family and friends. (Most barbecue is just varying degrees of excellent.) Everybody loves the flavors. Our ancestors have been eating food cooked over a wood fire for thousands of years. It's probably in our DNA. And it's always a good excuse to have some fun.

Play with fire. 
You know you want to. 




Perfect steak and onions, grilled salmon steaks, grilled pizza
New York Strips and Gooey Onions
Salmon steaks



Direct heat ... expensive meat ... constant attention. You should light a fairly large load of charcoal and spread the coals evenly under the cooking grate. If you need more grilling surface area, or more concentrated heat, add another layer of charcoal wherever you need it after you have spread the initial load and it will quickly light. This gives you a uniform direct heat zone with the heat lever to control it.

Grilling is for tender meats such as steak, hamburger (pre-chewed steak), spatchcocked or cut up chicken, shrimp/crab/lobster and the more sturdy fish filets (salmon, swordfish, etc). You can also grill vegetables, fruits and tofu. And you set up for grilling in order to toast bread, sear Ahi, flash cook appetizers.

When grilling, you usually don't close the cover. Grilling is a radiant heat process and convective heat is a minor factor. Most of these foods are fairly juicy and will dry out and lose their innate flavors if you cook them too long with the cover closed. They are usually fairly thin (in cross section) so that the inside can heat up before the outside is burned. In general, to grill something, you heat the grate for deep char marks, raise the coals to brown, then lower to finish. The high heat sears the outside, giving intense flavors, and the inside stays tender and retains the juicy, fresh flavor of the food.

Be careful. The key to the perfect steak (or any ongoing obsession) is knowing when to stop. When you fire up our grill, you are controlling a lot of heat and the interior temperature of a steak can rise more than 10 degrees per minute. The difference between a perfect $30 steak, and shoe leather, is less than three minutes.

Also, the foods don't get lot of time to absorb smoke. So if you want an intensely smokey taste, you should add smoke chips at the beginning of the process. Once the outside is seared, you don't get much additional flavor into the food.


Grilled (spatchcocked) lemon chicken, smoked country style pork ribs
Whole chicken
Country ribs




Indirect heat ... cheaper meat ... have a drink. To barbecue, you want medium-high heat, but not directly under the food; and you want the cover closed to get smoky, convective cooking. Your grill is engineered for this. Use less charcoal than grilling or the temperature under the hood will shoot up to 700 degrees when you close the cover. After the light, leave the coals on the left side and put your food on the right over a drip pan . (The grill automatically creates a direct cooking zone on the left side of the grate, where you light the charcoal.)

You usually barbecue meats that have to cook longer because they are larger and thicker such as chicken, briskets, turkeys and roasts. They simply have to be on the grill longer in order to cook through. These cuts are also usually "messier" in that they drip fats and make a mess. Use the slow cook rack and you can get even the largest turkey into the grill. We always place an aluminum foil drip pan under the food. It fits nicely into the coal basket, and we also sell a stainless pan that works beautifully if you like to have everything in its right place. (Radiohead, favorite song.)



Classic pork spare ribs, a thanksgiving turkey, finishing off the pork shoulder roast
Smoked ribs
Roast turkey
Pork shoulder roast




Lowest heat ... cheapest meat ... take a nap. You can "smoke" on the German grill, depending on your definition of that term. We do not recommend that you try to achieve a true cold smoke, but you can get the same results as a competition side smoker or pit.

We use a technique where we light one end of the charcoal and it burns without any attention at a low smoky rate for up to two hours like a cigar. (For the light, form a "train" of charcoal on the left side of the coal basket. Light one end.) Then simply open the front door and add wood chips to generate the smoke. (Remember that you can do this without opening the cover and losing more heat.) You will see a consistent 250° to 300° for threee hours. Perfect.

You will generate a genuine "smoke ring", but you can't get the tenderness of true pit barbecue without one additional step. Wrap the meat in aluminum foil for an hour or more with some liquid inside the package and put them in the oven or back on the grill. Do this in order to get the meat hot enough (for long enough) to get to the "melting" point of the collogens. This can only be done using moist heat. The melting point occurs around 170° F, and it has to stay above 170° for an hour or more without drying out.

These ribs were smoked on the B1 grill using apple wood for smoke, lump charcoal, our home-made rub and a cider mopping sauce. The pink band around the edges is what the pros call a "smoke ring"  which is a ring of color caused by the interaction of smoke, temperature and correct technique. If it's there, it means the ribs are going to be smokey flavored, that you used a proper grill, and that you know what you're doing. If it's not there, you're not doing true BBQ.

This is when you get meat that is smoky and brown, yet so tender that grandma can take her teeth out. Use this method for brisket, ribs, cheap roasts, turkeys and hams. Use a foil drip pan and avoid a big mess. Throw the meat over direct coals for a few minutes after it comes out of the foil to char the crust and wow your guests.



Broiling is the same as grilling, but  the fire is over the food instead of under it.  Please don't try to broil on the German grill. 
Only in Australia, can you broil on this grill...

Return to previous page