The Creative Ways Restaurants Can Use Charcoal
If you are a restaurant owner or manager, you’re always on the lookout for new ways to improve your business. With this in mind, one unexpected place where you can explore your creativity is on the grill.
Learning about the creative ways restaurants can use charcoal will not only make your job more interesting but will also inspire more customers to walk through your doors. So, let’s explore how you can use charcoal in a few unique ways to benefit your business overall.
Try Out Different Grilling Techniques
There are plenty of standard practices for cooking in the restaurant industry. However, you can make your business stand out by doing things differently. For instance, instead of searing your steak how you normally would, why not try reverse searing it?
Recently, reverse searing has gained some popularity in the cooking community, but it’s really not too complex. All you need to do is slow cook the steak over some charcoal, let it rest for about 10 minutes so the juices can spread out, then sear it on a piping hot cast-iron skillet or grill for another minute or two per side until grill marks appear.
Another method you could try is hanging your food over the flames instead of leaving it on the grill. This is an exciting way to change up your slow-cooking routine if you have a few hours to spare.
First, you need to create a large fire with plenty of heat, so be sure to stock up on restaurant charcoal briquettes that will last a while! Then, you will prepare your meat to hang for several hours.
Trussing your meat before hanging it is an essential step because you don’t want it to fall over your fire. In addition, you will want to soak the twine in water before you truss the meat; this will help your twine stay intact throughout the several-hour process.
Grill Meat Directly on the Charcoal
Another unorthodox grilling technique is to grill meat directly on the charcoal. Although it might seem dangerous, it’s actually quite safe as long as you handle everything properly. Also, your charcoal must be extremely hot so that the meat will cook fully.
Once your charcoal becomes hot enough, you can place your meat of choice directly on the briquettes and wait for it to cook! This technique harkens back to the days when cavemen walked the Earth, and it’s a visually impactful method of cooking. If your kitchen is visible to the public or your chefs cook in front of the guests Hibachi-style, you can wow your customers by cooking their food directly on hot charcoal.
Braising Over a Charcoal Grill
Braising meat on a grill might not be the most common way to do it, but it’s still possible and offers unique results. On the stove is where you would usually braise your meat, but you can use a charcoal grill to act like an oven.
All you have to do is put the pot on your grill, cover it, and let things simmer until they’re ready. To achieve this result, you will most likely want to use a cast-iron Dutch oven so that it can survive the heat of the grill.
This technique adds extra flavor to your braised meat because you can brown it on the grill before letting it simmer. Then, after you finish braising, you can brush your favorite glaze over the meat and finish cooking it on the grill. The result will be delicious, saucy, and right off the bone.
Broil Meat Over Charcoal
As you can see, there are many things you can do in a normal kitchen that you can also do on a grill, such as broiling. Broiling is when you cook your food from the top down at a significantly higher temperature than normal.
The result is a crispy and tasty crust that borders the outline of your food. Also, broiling helps to speed up the cooking process for large pieces of meat.
If you want to broil meat on a cast-iron skillet, you can do so by covering the top of the skillet with tin foil and putting the charcoal on top. This will cook your food from the top down and avoid getting ashes all over it.
Learn To Smoke Brisket Hot and Fast
When it comes to smoking meat, low and slow is the best way to do it. However, you can save a lot of time by learning how to “slow” cook the fast way!
Essentially, what you need to do is increase the heat so that it cuts the amount of time it takes to thoroughly cook through the meat in half. Brisket is the best food to start out with when you’re first learning this process.
Instead of preheating to 250-degrees Fahrenheit, you will preheat it to 275 degrees and then smoke the meat until it reaches an internal temperature of between 160 and 170 degrees. Once this happens, you will take the meat off the grill, wrap it in foil, and put it back on until the internal temperature reaches between 204- and 208-degrees Fahrenheit.
At this point, the thermometer should slide into the meat like butter. This is a wonderful technique when your line cooks are short on time or swamped with orders. Instead of taking 10 or 15 hours, smoking meat in this fashion should only take about five hours.
Use Leftover Charcoal in Your Marketing Materials
Charcoal is a great tool for cooking, but it can also benefit your restaurant outside of the kitchen. Artists use charcoal as a writing material, so to advertise your business, you can hire an artist to market the food and atmosphere of your establishment by commissioning them to use leftover charcoal from your restaurant to create their work. They can write and draw with the same charcoal that your line cooks use on the grill, giving your restaurant an authentic appeal that will drive up business and drive down marketing costs.
Overall, there are many creative ways to use charcoal. Now that you know about some of the creative ways restaurants can use charcoal, go ahead and order some today so you can start trying them out on your own!