Alright. So last night was ~almost~ successful go at things… but not quite.

The chicken wasn’t 100% cooked through. I was very disappointed. When I thought my coals were finally hot enough, it turned out that they weren’t. Even after an hour & a half of cooking plus a good 10-15 minutes of resting when I thought it was done, turned out that my chicken was still raw in the leg. So I gave up at 615pm and chucked it into the oven at 410F for 15 minutes.

I am trying yet again to appease the Grilling Gods…

So far I’ve let about 4/5 of a chimney full of charcoal go for just over 45 minutes. There was still the odd chunk that didn’t have ash on it, but I figured by this point almost all of it was ready to go, so I dumped it into the bottom of the kettle (with the grate underneath, this time!) and now I’m letting the UFO preheat with the cooking grate for the last 15-ish minutes… hopefully everything inside will be screaming hot and ready for my offerings. Today we’re sacrificing cow and asparagus.

Cross your fingers that the UFO accepts my offerings.

I have to say, I’m feeling really, really badly for the neighbours and wouldn’t be surprised if the Chinese family next door absolutely despises me now — there’s such a ridiculous amount of smoke today :/

[Edit: Yanno… I’m thinkin’ it’s my lump charcoal that’s fucking me over. The damn thing never stays hot as soon as you open up the lid :( I think I’m gonna try briquettes next time, screw this. 436pm]

4 thoughts on “Urgh…

  1. Where are you starting the coals? I feel like maybe we’re doing something wrong…we’ve been just starting them already in the bottom of the little UFO.
    I’ll have to ask what the friend is using with it now (charcoal or briquettes) because he’s used it now more than we have.

    1. TeaseMeGirl

      I actually bought myself a chimney starter for lighting up charcoal for $15 at Canadian Tire when I bought the grill — I put the filled chimney on the bottom of the UFO (on top of the bottom grate) and then light it up. It takes a ~really~ long time to get all the coals covered in ash though. Like a good 45+ minutes, it seems. Then I pour them into the kettle, clamp the lid on and then let it preheat the UFO for 10 minutes.
      I’ve since discovered, from the end of last night’s grilling session, that I need to keep ONE bottom vent open and ONE vent closed. I’m waffling as to whether or not to give the charcoal one final-final chance after discovering this little tidbit of information.
      I must say, I’m seriously starting to doubt my abilities at being able to cook on charcoal, but I’m not ~quite~ yet ready to give up.

  2. Yeah lump will burn faster and cool faster. Briquettes last longer since it’s compressed. The big problem is having enough coals so they’re close enough to your grill to cook on. It’s the same problem we’ve had in Mammoth. The fire pit is too deep for the coals so things take forever to cook. Last year my uncle made a tray that suspends in the pit to hold the coals closer to the grill and it cooks 2x faster than it did before.

    1. TeaseMeGirl

      I don’t ~think~ I’m having an issue with depth. I noticed that when I finally figured out the damn vent issue, things did in fact heat up nicely…. It was just a matter of actually figuring that part out :/
      I do have a bag of briquettes that I bought.. I dunno, I’ll say two years ago(?) that I never opened, but I’m just being stubborn right now really, really, REALLY wanting to get this charcoal thing to work in my favour. Grrr!!!

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