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Like a moth to a flame, so is a neighbourhood drawn to the smell of a charcoal BBQ wafting down the street. If you’ve never cooked over wood before, consider this week’s giveaway price on big bags of charcoal our attempt to inspire you.

Following on from our Ikarian theme of the past two weeks, cooking over charcoal is near and dear to our hearts and a cornerstone of island life. Whether it’s large format legs of lamb and spit-roasted pork or smaller scale skewers of fragrantly marinated and spiced chicken, the flavour of charcoal really is the essential ingredient if you want to achieve that authentic Aegean flavour.

Unlike a gas BBQ, charcoal takes some time to get going. You’ll want to light the charcoal at least 30 minutes prior to cooking to make sure the coals are glowing red by the time you lay your meat or vegetables across the scalding hot grill.

We recommend a chimney starter, but firelighters will get those dusty black logs burning no matter what you’ve got. Once your coal is hot you can then determine whether you’re cooking directly over the flames or indirectly. With the lid of your weber on or off. Whether you’re cooking low-and-slow or up-high and-hot. The beauty of cooking with charcoal is the many ways you can adjust the fire and all the different and delicious outcomes that result.

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