Ever since we discovered the local farmers’ market and noticed the lady who sells the water buffalo meat, we’ve been meaning to give it a try. After all, when was the last time you ate meat from an ungulate besides a cow, sheep, or pig? So this weekend, in addition to picking up a few this-and-thats at the market, we investigated the water buffalo option further. After all, what could go wrong? Besides foodborne illness, allergic reactions, or assault by the meat’s vengeful, one-ton relatives, that is?
This weekend was a good one for spending time outside–plenty of sun, not too hot, not too busy. This combination of factors triggered the “grilling” instinct within me, and I was itching to bust out the chimney starter. The Picky Epicurean also had a serious jonesing for pizza (one of her four food groups). There was only one solution: grilled pizza. I suppose another option would have been to conquer a sunny Italian archipalego, but our trireme is in the shop.
This weekend the Picky Epicurean and I had fun with grilled pizza, which we documented thoroughly and about which I will produce a writeup shortly. In the meantime, here are the basics to getting your charcoal grill up and running, should you need to get paleolithic on some meat or… uh… pizza crust.
I won’t go into any philosophical exposition on the whole charcoal vs. gas debate. Each certainly has its advantages, but for general purpose outdoor cooking, I’m a big fan of the carbonaceous action, though I won’t begrudge anyone their petrochemicals.
Without further ado: How to light your charcoal grill.
Step one: Pictured here is a chimney starter. It is your friend. You want one of these. If you do not have one, and you are cooking on a charcoal grill, go to your favorite grill supply shoppe and get one. (This one cost me under $8 at the hardware store.) In addition to the chimney starter, you will need some newspaper, some vegetable oil, and a source of fire. (Yes, and a grill and some charcoal. Sheesh!)