Grill Life at El Che Pt. 2

I have to talk about the grill.

The entire working line is a fire pit. It has two Geared Grills (grills that allow you to adjust the height with a giant gear at the top), three chapa’s (fucking awesome wood fired flat tops) and a fire-box, used for smoking and roasting.  on the back wall behind the grills is a large metal rack.

This is super cool, I wasn’t sure what was happening when I first got there. instead of burning wood directly under the grills, which is something I”m accustomed to, they burn the wood along the back wall about mid way up. At first I thought they were cooking steaks and other foodstuff with the fire on the back wall.

I was so wrong, They burn off the wood for the coals. Then they take the super hot coals and rake them under the grills! This is probably standard practice with this type of grill, but I thought it was so cool! What a smart way to cook with wood!

Let me explain. I have worked with wood fired grills and ovens in the past. At a couple of different restaurants. Usually you set up a hot spot, usually a back corner, but sometimes you make kind of a U shape around both the sides and top of the grill. Anyways, you have this range of heat that gets distributed from the hot spot down to where it’s just warm. so you cook close to the fire and hold away from the fire.

I know what you’re thinking, “I understand that fire is hot, Nate”, But I want you to understand that it is way less simple when you are cooking for a couple of hundred people and you need to keep your fire cranking and you are constantly adjusting to how the wood is burning spreading the fire out, because in your haste you got it entirely too hot. You have a ton of tickets swimming around your head and at the same time, you are constantly fighting with the fire, trying to make it behave!

It is much nicer just keeping the super hot coals underneath the grill. and it makes a lot more sense.  There is no fighting, you need more heat? rake the coals under the grill. You need less heat? Move the coals away from the grill.


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