Managing Heat in the Burch Barrel
Cooking directly over fire using wood or charcoal fuel is one of the most unique features of a Burch Barrel. This primal method of creating food has been around for centuries. Burch Barrel has harnessed the fire by developing three distinct features. Burch Barrel is similar to a fire pit but with exclusive, cutting edge features that allow the user to multi-task cook, adjust, and cook many different ways. Here’s a quick outline of how to manage heat for precision grilling, baking, smoking, and searing in the Barrel.
Burch Barrel Features
When using fire to cook food, temperature regulation is key. When you think about a fire pit, you start by building the fire and getting the flames going so it’s hot. When you think about cooking over a fire, you know it will take a bit of time to keep the fire going and tame the fire so that coals can develop for a controlled, consistent heat. Here’s how to control heat for cooking in a Burch Barrel.
1. Oxygen = Vent System
The more oxygen a fire has, the hotter it burns. The Barrel has top and side Stoker Vents that are adjustable oxygenators. To control the heat of the fire, decrease heat by closing off the oxygen to the Barrel, this will quicken coal production. Or, open the vents up to allow plenty of air to enter the chamber, circulate, and give ‘fuel to the fire’. Air intake can be adjusted throughout the cook session for precision control of temperature. Simply slide the vents for directional oxygen drafts during a cook session. Within the barrel, the double wall insulates the entire Barrel which will keep your fire roaring inside and the outside walls cool to the touch. Fire contained = family friendly. High heat is used for searing, burgers, boiling, or finishing a roast.
2. Heat Height = Coal Pan
Burch Barrel has unique Trackster Heat Control Rails within the Barrel to easily raise or lower the heat source/fire. You can move the coal bed any time, even in the middle of cooking. The trackster rail system spirals around the inside of the barrel and has nine height settings. So, by raising the coal bed to the grill grate, you can cook hot and fast. Lowering the coal pan will reduce the direct heat to your food, taking the temperature down to a slower cook. Lower coals make it easy to bake side dishes or desserts in the Barrel while allowing the flavorful smoke from your choice of fuel to circulate and season food. Coals are perfect for family s’more night and staycation tin foil dinners.
3. Food Height = Lock Collar
Adjusting your food height in relation to the fire has never been easier than with Burch Barrel’s Pistol Grip Slider. Simply lower the Barrel lid with the Pistol Grip Sliders along the side rails, then lock the grill grate into the Barrel lid by lining up the notches and pegs. Then, raise the grill grate within the lid without disturbing the food. Controlling the height of your food from the heat allows precision temperature control for cooking your favorite dishes to perfection.
Burch Barrel allows you to use any type of fuel that suits your fancy. From wood logs, or pellets to wood chips or charcoal. Hardwood burns slower so you’ll get more use, or cooks out of each barrel of fuel. The best type of hard wood is derived from any type of Oak tree. Soft woods aren’t great for cooking fuel as they have more sap and create more ash which can make your food taste like fire.
TIP: An easy way to tell what type of wood your logs are is, if the tree it comes from keeps their leaves or needles all year; it is a softwood, such as pine or cedar. If the tree loses it’s leaves in winter, it is a hardwood.
Seasoned logs cook hot and fast. Wood that has been out in the elements for a while has the majority of its moisture dried out from the log. The lower the moisture, the easier it is to get the fire going.
Fresh cut wood has up to 60% moisture in it which gives poor fire efficiency and heat output. But, moisture = smoke. So, if you’ve got a slab of pork shoulder or pork butt or brisket, smoke it low and slow for pulled sandwiches or tacos. Using fresh cut wood allows the smoke to penetrate and flavor your protein with a robust woody flavor.
TIP: A moisture meter can detect the moisture content of your logs. To burn excess moisture off of the wood, it takes longer and will produce less heat.
Wood Pellets are all the same size, so they create a consistent heat. However, pellets do not get as hot as wood or charcoal. This is good for baking or slow cooking.
Charcoal takes longer to get hot, while the heat is consistent, patience is key. Adding lighter fluid to speed the heat process will leave a residue on the coals and add a slight unnatural, chemical flavor to food. Charcoal will hold its heat for long cooks so it’s good for cooking chicken or ribs low and slow.
Different types of heat are needed for cooking every dish. Using a Burch Barrel as an outdoor kitchen takes the heat out of your kitchen for summer meals. Cooking anything and everything outdoors has never been easier now that you can adjust temperature within the Barrel.