I have tweeted some Binchotan barbecue photos several days ago. The skirt steak which I cooked – first marinated in my special red miso sauce and lavender (from the garden) – was exceptional. What Binchotan does is to cook the meat at very high temperature (the heat can go up over 1,000 F) with both convective and copious radiated heat. The cooked steak acquired lightly browned color on the outside (does not burn or char), and inside is uniform juicy and tender. In addition to beef, I cooked potato, onion and eggplant.
This is my Binchotan grill (photo). At the end of three summers ago I bought the simple Weber Barbecue Grill. I filled it with play ground sands. I bought refractory bricks to use as supporting stands for skewers. Sands and bricks are for high heat cooking.
I use two kinds of binchotan for cooking. One is a startar binchotan, which you can see in the photo. It is the one which has a hole in the center. The other one is the main, solid binchotan. To set fire on startar binchotan I use American briquette. I put the briquette in the charcoal chimney, add a little alcohol and throw in the lighted match. After all of the briquette are covered with ash I place startar binchotan over the briquette. After 15 to 20 minutes of waiting hot and burning startar binchotan is ready for transfer to my bincho-tan grill. I arrange the startar binchotan evenly on the sand and place the solid binchotan pieces on top of them so that the heat transfers to the solid binchotan. After the solid binchotan begins to acquire some heat from the startar binchotan, it is ready to start grilling food items. The convective and copious radiated heat last over 4-5 hours.
This weekend I cooked pork ribs – half rack marinated in my special miso sauce and lavender, and the other half rack, marinated in shio-koji, magic sauce. Both of them had an exceptional and outstanding flavor. The power of binchotan is great. After finish cooking I bury all of the burning binchotan deep in the sand in the grill. The next morning I dig them up and store them in the bucket. These used binchotan – small, medium and large – catch fire much quicker than the un-used ones, so they are very useful. Next time I am planning to cook a whole fish or fillet.