How to Start a Fire
Step 1: Use charcoal to build a wall around the fire starter and light it up.
Surround the fire starter(s) with a wall of charcoal by stacking them up on each other. Ideally, you should arrange the charcoal in such a way that some of it will be above the fire starter(s). Make sure that there is some room between the charcoal and the top of the fire starter(s) (but not that high above that the fire cannot reach it). In other words, try to place the charcoal as close to the fire starter(s) as possible without smothering it. Then light the fire starter(s) up.
Step 2: Continue placing more charcoal over the fire starter(s) to maximise use of the flames from the fire starter(s).
While you are adding more charcoal, it is important to remember that you do not totally cover the fire starter(s). If you smother it, the fire will go out. So make sure there are enough gaps among the charcoal pieces so that air can still flow through.
My advice is that you should create at least 2 of these for a small BBQ pit and up to 5 for a big BBQ pit. You should continue to monitor the fire to ensure that the fire does not extinguish. If it does go out, relight the fire starter if possible or replace it with another one.
After about ten to fifteen minutes, the charcoals themselves would have caught fire. You will notice that parts of the charcoals are glowing embers or they have turned white already. When at least 3 to 4 pieces of charcoal have parts of it turned this way, you can spread them out across the pit and fan them until flames erupt from the embers. Keep on fanning until the flames do not die down completely when you stop fanning. When you hit that condition, put more charcoal into the pit and continue fanning the flames.
Once the second batch of charcoal has caught fire, you can stop fanning and start cooking. Please remember that the food should be cooked by the heat of the charcoal and not by the flame.
Spread butter over the sausages, chicken wings, meat, prawns, satay and our Signature Skewers before laying them on the grill. Doing so will help to keep the food moist and also prevent it from sticking to the grill. And obviously the butter will also enhance the flavour of the food. So continually spread butter other the food as they are cooking on the grill as well.
For our food items that are served in foil such as sambal fish/sambal sotong, make sure the foil is tightly wrapped around the food and that no holes are visible. This ensures that the food can be cooked properly inside. Otherwise, it will take longer to cook and the chilli will dry up when moisture from the food escapes through the hole as you cook it. Generally, you can tell that the food is cooked when the foil becomes bloated.
To check whether chicken wings are cooked is quite easy. Just poke the meat using one of the satay sticks or skewers (or use a steel fork if you have one available) and if it pierces through easily, then the wings are cooked.
This will probably be the item that cooks the fastest on the BBQ pit. Once the meat is opaque and firm, the satay is considered cooked. Just make sure that you get the whole satay cooked as there is a tendency to undercook the bottom part of the satay because it is too near the edge of the BBQ pit.
Food in Foil
Sambal Fish, Sotong and Prawns are cooked when the aluminium foil it is in bloats up. There is no need to flip them as they are ‘microwaved’ within the foil. They can also be cooked without defrosting. As for the mixed vegetables in foil, cook it over the fire for 3-5 minutes and then open up the foil and stir fry the vegetables with your tongs for another 8-10 minutes. Adding a small piece of butter as you are stir frying would further bring out the taste.
Chicken Fillet, Lamb and Beef
Chicken fillets have to be cooked well. For chicken, make a little cut in the meat to see if the insides are still red. If the meat has turned white, the chicken is considered cooked. For lamb, the meat will shrink a little as it is cooked and it is best cooked over high heat with flame to get the outside charred while maintaining moisture in the meat. On the other hand, beef should never be allowed to be fully cooked. Cooking it to be medium or half done is best. Otherwise, it will be too tough to eat. So regularly check on it to make sure that it does not overcook. It is perfectly all right to eat steak that is still slightly bloody.
When the sausages are cooked, it will expand slightly. Do keep an eye on them as you are grilling them as they can be cooked in less than 5 minutes. Apply generous amounts of butter to them to get a better taste.
Our Signature Skewers will shrink a little in size as they are cooked. Similiarly to satays and sausages, they will cook in a very short time. We recommend that you let the edges get slightly burnt as it gives a better taste. Do apply butter to them as you are cooking them too.
Sweet Potatoes in Foil
These sweet potatoes are probably the easiest to cook (in terms of effort required). Just throw them into the pit with the charcoal and leave them there for at least one hour. The time required to cook the potatoes depends on the strength of the fire in the pit. So take them out after an hour to check on them. If they not cooked yet, throw them back in and wait for another 30 minutes.