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Rookie Question About Charcoal - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
- Another thread will be posted for the live AMA. Registered users who are logged in during the live session can interact with the host by asking questions and receiving responses.
- The live thread will remain in the AMA forum to view after the session.

We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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Rookie Question About Charcoal

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  • Rookie Question About Charcoal

    I did some searching here but didn't find a yes or no type answer, so I thought I'd ask. Is it a bad idea to use a brand type charcoal like Kingsford to cook with in the oven? I happen to enjoy cooking with charcoal in a grill and can get it lit nicely with my chimney starter, so I was just curious if you should or shouldn't use it in a brick oven.

    Thanks.
    Journal of My Oven's Progress

  • #2
    Re: Rookie Question About Charcoal

    Why not? It's customary to cook steaks on coals made from oak in your oven, just as it is customary to use coal to fire your oven. If you were grilling (anything) using a pre-heated oven, you would gain the radiant heat from the dome that you can't get from a conventional grill.

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    • #3
      Re: Rookie Question About Charcoal

      The biggest limitation of charcoal is that it doesn't by itself provide enough flame to create a really hot oven - at least not very quickly. The best grilled steaks I have ever had were all done on a Tuscan grill (yes the FB model) over coals with a normal pizza fire going on the side. This can give you about 1000 degrees below the steak and about 1200 radiating down from above, maybe more. And can produce steaks like Ruth's Chris with their 1200 degree broiler.

      I think you will find it easier to simply heat up the oven as though you were doing pizza. But??? I could be wrong for there is definitely some personal preference involved.

      Good Luck!
      Jay

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      • #4
        Re: Rookie Question About Charcoal

        Lighting a pile of charcoal to grill over is not a problem for the oven. I keep using the Weber for that sort of thing, but that is just my habit. You can get better results if you just fire the oven and cook on the tuscan grill, or directly over the coals (dirty steak) which I haven't had the nerve to try yet.
        My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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        • #5
          Re: Rookie Question About Charcoal

          I like to grill a big bowl of teriyaki flank steak, cut against the grain and diagonally into 1/4" slices. After reading about dirty steak here, I just had to try this out, so I placed a few steak slices directly on the coals and watched them cook up wonderfully. There was a surprisingly small amount of ash stuck to the meat which just brushed off easily.

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