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Charcoal Grills

Martha Stewart Living, June 2006

Ideal for
Those who love the woodsy scent that charcoal adds to food -- and don't mind the extra time and attention that achieving it requires -- should buy a good charcoal grill.

What to Know
Though sometimes sold as built-ins, most charcoal grills are freestanding, with the classic kettle style being the most popular. During cooking, drippings from food fall onto the heat source -- usually charcoal briquettes or hardwood lump charcoal -- causing aromatic smoke to envelop the food. Ignite charcoal with a chimney starter, rather than with a liquid fire starter, as the latter can impart a chemical taste to food. You might also choose a grill with a chimney starter or gas ignition built in. Charcoal should be heated for at least 20 minutes before cooking (until it turns white), and the ash must be cleaned out of the grill after each use. To cook foods at different temperatures, pile more coals on one side of the grill than the other. Look for a grill made of high-grade steel.

Cost
$50 to $2,000

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