This is the first in the following series of blogs on the ideal cooking temperature for grilling a steak over live coals:
1. Cooking Temperature: Ideal Temperature
2. Cooking Temperature: 1600 Degrees?
3. Cooking Temperature: Need to Modify Grill Height
4. Cooking Temperature: Measure Temperature
5. Cooking Temperature: Measure Grill Height
6. Cooking Temperature: Calculate Ideal Grill Height
7. Cooking Temperature: Modify Grill Height
8. Cooking Temperature: Inverse Square Law
After you have measured the temperature at grill level, you have to measure the distance between the grill and the top of the coals. This is an extremely precise measurement, so do it correctly!
If the charcoal is still lit, find the exact spot on your grill where the temperature is hottest. (See How to Calculate the Temperature.) Being careful not to burn yourself or anything else, take a long screwdriver or butter knife, and use it to mark the distance between the top of the grill and the top of the burning coals. Don’t burn yourself!! When you’ve found the exact distance on the butter knife, use a ruler to find out this distance to an accuracy of 1/8”.
REASON: The reason you have to be so precise is because of the law of thermodynamics (discussed in more detail in another blog). A difference of 1/8” in the distance results in a change of 20° in the temperature. So make a very precise measurement of the distance between the top of the grill and the top of the live coals.
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