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Charcoal BBQ Barbecue Indoors? Yes it is possible!

Charcoal BBQ Indoors, Free Cooking and BBQ Magazine

It is possible to charcoal BBQ indoors? Most people in the world love to Barbecue particularly enjoying the charcoal-grilled flavor that is imparted to meat, chicken or vegetables.

If you live in a city and don’t have access to outdoor grills (or even in the suburbs during a cold winter) it is feasible to utilize a charcoal grill indoors.

Indoor Charcoal Barbecuing

What you need is commonly known as Japanese White Charcoal (Binchōtan).

What is Binchōtan Charcoal?

Charcoal BBQ Indoors, Free Cooking and BBQ Magazine

It is a very pure high carbon type of charcoal which is made from oak.

It will have a carbon content between 93-95%. The charcoal is compressed into rectangular sticks. When these sticks are hit together they produce a slight metallic sound.

This type of charcoal is highly prized by Chefs.

Advantages of using this Charcoal?

The charcoal burns at much higher temperatures than normal wood charcoal – depending on the purity – it will burn from between 3- 5 hours once lit.

  • Because of the high carbon content, the charcoal is completely odorless when burning.
  • The lack of odor allows for the natural flavors of the food to dominate.
  • Besides, as it is smokeless and odorless it is very suitable for indoor Grilling and BBQ.
  • There are no chemical additives.
  • The charcoal can be reused again and again.

Charcoal BBQ Indoors, Free Cooking and BBQ Magazine

This “Japanese Charcoal can be further graded as:

 White Binchōtan

This charcoal burns for up to 5 hours. It is difficult to light but once burning it will burn at high temperatures for a long time. It normally needs to be placed in a netted pot similar to a charcoal starter and then lit over a direct flame taking at least thirty minutes ( sometimes up to an hour ) to light.

Aramaru Charcoal

This charcoal is easier to light than the white Binchotan but will only burn for between three and four hours. The charcoal should be placed over a direct flame until it turns red which can take up to thirty minutes.

Sumi Charcoal

This is more economical than the two other types mentioned above. It is also chemical and smoke-free and will burn three times hotter than normal charcoal. It is the easiest of the three to light but will only burn for around three hours.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Always make sure that if you are grilling indoors it must be in a well-ventilated area. All types of charcoal produce odorless carbon monoxide gas.

Grills to use with your Binchōtan Charcoal BBQ Indoors

Konro ( Hibachi) Grills

Charcoal BBQ Indoors, Free Cooking and BBQ Magazine Charcoal BBQ Indoors, Free Cooking and BBQ Magazine

These are the most popular Japanese Grills. Konro Grills ( Known often as Hibachi grills in the USA) and are used by the Top Chefs in the world.

These grills are suitable for the very high temperatures that the white charcoal produces.

They are made from Diatomite ( fossilized remains of Plankton). This is mined by hand traditionally in Japan. The blocks are joined together and baked at one thousand degrees for six hours which makes them very durable.

There are various types of grills suitable for tabletop or even portable for camping.

Charcoal BBQ Indoors, Free Cooking and BBQ Magazine

Try these two recipes below on a Konro grill with white charcoal. Whilst both these dishes can be cooked on an ordinary charcoal grill the flavor after grilling with White /Sumi Charcoal is outstanding!

 

Konro Grilled Sirloin served with Chilli Butter

Charcoal BBQ Indoors, Free Cooking and BBQ Magazine Charcoal BBQ Indoors, Free Cooking and BBQ Magazine

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1 teaspoon Schimi Chili Powder ( A blend of at least 7 peppers sesame seeds and chili)
  • 1 teaspoon Kimchi chili sauce
  • ( Both the above sauces are available from Amazon or a Korean/Japanese food shop)
  • 1 lb sirloin steak ( Cubed)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

Chili Butter:- Mix the soft butter with chili powder and sauce. Place in plastic wrap and mold to ½ inch square. Place in the freezer for at least an hour.

Place the steak on the grill and grill for two minutes on each side until medium-rare. Steak should be soft to touch and bounce back. If you are using a thermometer the internal temperature should be 140 degrees F.

Leave the steak to rest for five minutes. Slice into bite-size pieces and place a thin sliver of the chili butter on each slice.

Serve straight away.

Konro grilled Sirloin with Chili Butter

Prep Time8 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • Ingredients
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1 teaspoon Schimi Chili Powder A blend of at least 7 peppers sesame seeds and chili
  • 1 teaspoon Kimchi chili sauce
  • Both the above sauces are available from Amazon or a Korean/Japanese food shop
  • 1 lb sirloin steak Cubed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper.

Instructions

  • Method
  • Chili Butter:- Mix the soft butter with chili powder and sauce. Place in plastic wrap and mold to ½ inch square. Place in the freezer for at least an hour.
  • Place the steak on the grill and grill for two minutes on each side until medium-rare. Steak should be soft to touch and bounce back. If you are using a thermometer the internal temperature should be 140 degrees F.
  • Leave the steak to rest for five minutes. Slice into bite-size pieces and place a thin sliver of the chili butter on each slice.
  • Serve straight away.

 

Chicken Yakitori

Charcoal BBQ Indoors, Free Cooking and BBQ Magazine

 

This is a popular dish cooked on skewers over a Korno ( Hibachi) grill in Japan. There are numerous Yakitori Bars throughout Japan.

Charcoal BBQ Indoors, Free Cooking and BBQ Magazine

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup of soy sauce
  • ½ half a cup of water
  • 2/3 cup of Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon ginger – minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Mirin ( or substitute with gin)
  • 2 Tablespoon rice Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Starch powder ( Corn starch)
  • 2 lbs of boneless chicken thigh meat
  • 8 Bamboo skewers.
  • 2 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds

 

Method

Soak the bamboo skewers in water for 30 mins.

Cut the chicken meat into 1 inch cubed pieces

Whisk together in a pot the garlic, ginger, vinegar, mirin, sugar, water and soy sauce.

Bring mixture to the simmer and add the corn starch. Whisk well.

Set aside 1 cup of the sauce to baste the chicken with.

Thread the chicken pieces onto a skewer and drizzle over a little oil to stop the chicken from sticking.

Once the grill charcoal is hot add the skewers and grill for 4 minutes. Baste the cooked side with some of the sauce and flip over to cook the other side for a further 4 minutes. Continue to flip and baste the chicken skewers for a total of 16 minutes.

Just before serving sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Serve the Yakitori alongside the remaining warm baste.

Chicken Yakitori

Skewered Chicken pieces cooked on a hot Habachi type grill
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese

Ingredients

  • Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup of soy sauce
  • ½ half a cup of water
  • 2/3 cup of Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon ginger – minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Mirin or substitute with gin
  • 2 Tablespoon rice Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Starch powder Corn starch
  • 2 lbs of boneless chicken thigh meat
  • 8 Bamboo skewers.
  • 2 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds

Instructions

  • Method
  • Soak the bamboo skewers in water for 30 mins.
  • Cut the chicken meat into 1 inch cubed pieces
  • Whisk together in a pot the garlic, ginger, vinegar, mirin, sugar, water and soy sauce.
  • Bring mixture to the simmer and add the corn starch. Whisk well.
  • Set aside 1 cup of the sauce to baste the chicken with.
  • Thread the chicken pieces onto a skewer and drizzle over a little oil to stop the chicken from sticking.
  • Once the grill charcoal is hot add the skewers and grill for 4 minutes. Baste the cooked side with some of the sauce and flip over to cook the other side for a further 4 minutes. Continue to flip and baste the chicken skewers for a total of 16 minutes.
  • Just before serving sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Serve the yakitori alongside the remaining warm baste.

Charcoal BBQ Indoors, Free Cooking and BBQ Magazine

Credit Photo:-Rowan Boon

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About the Author:

Hi, I am a writer based outside Cape Town in South Africa. I come from a Barbecue obsessed family. With the great weather we have in Cape Town ( most of the year) we enjoy Cooking Outside in our Backyard as often as possible. South African's love to "Braai" anything! The trick to continuing to enjoy Barbecuing is loving the old favorites but experimenting with new foods and methods often.

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