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Acting food editor Tamsin Burnett-Hall has collected together a range of expert tips to suit any kind of barbecuer. From the novice to the experienced these handy tricks will ensure you're grilling like a pro.
Lump charcoal is pure and natural, lights easily, burns hotter and leaves less ash. Briquettes take longer to light but burn for longer. They can smell more artificial, as well as producing more ash.
'Easy-lighting' charcoal is easy to use but contains additives to help it ignite; these can result in an artificial flavour, and also mean that the charcoal doesn't burn for nearly as long as pure lump charcoal.
Speed up the lighting process by using a charcoal chimney – a metal cylinder with a grate inside (widely available); pile in the charcoal with a bit of newspaper to ignite it, and your coals will be ready in half the time.
Wait for the flames to die down before you start barbecuing – you want the coals to be white-hot (ie grey and glowing).
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