For roasting two lambs and two spits of meat at the same time, we need a charcoal grill that is equivalent in size as the lambs we want to grill. So, for lambs up to 20 kg (44 lbs) (including the head), it best that our grill has internal dimensions of 145 cm (57 in) in length and 74 cm (29.1 in) in depth. For larger lambs, we will need a charcoal grill 5 cm longer.
For grilling two lambs in the same height (one in the front and one in the back) the spits centers should be 30 cm/11.8 in apart (for lambs of 12 kg/26.5 lbs) or 36 cm/14.17 in (for lambs between 12-20 kg/26.5-44 lbs). For lambs above 20 kg/44 lbs, the distance is increased by 5 cm.
A plain metallic firecabin is not necessary for a constructed charcoal grill, though it does have several advantages: piling of the charcoals between two spit-roasting lambs and not right beneath them (indirect grilling), easier use of the grilling grate; a grilling grate also requires the charcoals in a pile plus it is easier to be moved left and right for better control over grilling.
By choosing a Ø18 stainless steel spit, we can grill a lamb of up to 22 kg (48.5 lbs). For lambs larger than 25 kg (55 lbs), we should choose a Ø20 stainless steel spit or, for even better performance, a square cross-section spit 16x16 mm (0.63x0.63 in).
It is important that all spits are of stainless steel and suitable for food. Galvanized spits are forbidden by law due to their zinc coating toxicity.
A suitable spit for kokoretsi is the Ø12 stainless steel spit. There will be no issue of the kokoretsi to not stay still on the spit since it will also be tied securely with the intestines.
It is important for all the spits to be of stainless steel and suitable for food. Galvanized spits are forbidden by law due to their zinc coating toxicity.
Kontosouvli are best to be grilled on stainless steel spits with a square cross-section and with 145 cm (57 in) usable length. For a kontosouvli 4-4.5 kg (8.8-9.9 lbs), a suitable spit would be the 10x10 mm (0.39x0.39 in), and for a heavier kontosouvli the 12x12 mm (0.47x0.47 in). In both cases, the spits should be of stainless steel and suitable for food. Galvanized spits are forbidden by law due to their zinc coating toxicity.
The most important aspect is the grill system of the charcoal grill, which should not be restricted by its design. The worm driver is what gives a smooth rotation -a key factor- and that has the power to rotate heavy weights, even if the weight is off-center on the spit like it is with a whole lamb or pig. Then, the motor, which is the heart of the grill system. And, lastly, we should be able to do multiple grillings at the same time in the same motion.
Since the lambs, at the beginning of grilling, require a low temperature, they need to be placed in the highest spit holders that the charcoal grill system provides (far from the charcoal pile). Make sure, when the lamb is in the upper holders, that the distance between the center of the spit and the grill construction above is at least 25 cm (9.8 in) and the distance between the center of the back spit and the back of the construction is also at least 25 cm (9.8 in). These are the two key dimensions on a charcoal grill for grilling two lambs simultaneously.
The countertop that complements the charcoal grill is a very handy thing to have. All the side preparations are often done there, from preparing the meat to cutting the roast. So, consequently, most likely there will be blood or fat stains on our countertop. So, what we need is to have a surface that is very easy to clean, and that is also nonabsorbent. Given that, the first material to cross off our list is firebrick, especially if there are deep joints, from where even dust is hard to remove. One very good solution is using tile (easy to clean and has color/style variety) and then granite. Marble is absorbent so it is best to aslo avoid it.
Usually, we choose charcoals mostly according to the grilling duration. So, if, for example, we want to grill chops on a grilling grate and the grilling will last for only about 30-40 minutes, then we can use olive tree charcoals, beech or oak ones. They light easily and they don't last long. If we want to grill small spits (rotating skewers), where the grilling duration is also short, we can use the same kind of charcoals. The difficulty lies in long hour grilling (e.g. whole lamb, whole pig or kontosouvli), where we need charcoals that last long, like kermes oak charcoal and briquettes. Another good choice in this case is marabou charcoal, which is imported from Cuba. All the above charcoals will also give a very discreet wood scent to our roasts, except for the briquettes, which will not give any scent.
A countertop is the first necessary addition to a charcoal grill, and with a recommended surface of 85 cm in length, at least, and of a width equal to the grill. The sink, if there is enough space, it will also help a lot, from the simple rinsing of the hands to washing the utensils used during grilling. The sink doesn't need to be very big, so it won't take much space, which is more important. In case we do have enough space, though, we can as well use bigger sinks, for convenience.
To an existing grill, it is possible to attach only the firecabin with the horizontal worm driver, which will take motion from a separate motor. The fire cabin can also be used for grilling in large spits (whole lamb or meat pieces) and grilling on a grilling grate.
After having decided on the space, the first thing you need to do is to decide on the grill system. The most important factor is the worm driver, which will give the best and smoothest rotation of the spits and even the option of a multi worm driver system with multiple grilling capacities. Next step is the choice of the firebricks and their color that matches your space. Then, the cement and pumice. Lastly, a good and detailed drawing (it can also be provided by us) and, of course, excitement for constructions.
For the built charcoal grill construction, it is strongly advised to use charcoals only. When we light a fire using wood, the temperature during the lighting is very high and there is the danger of damaging the construction due to the common cement's calcination at 300°C (572°F) and above, resulting in grinding. Moreover, to grill a whole lamb, the ember won't be enough, while the heat will also be very strong at the beginning, which is something we don't want in this kind of grilling.
Where you enjoy spending time with your company. It would be a wrong choice to place your charcoal grill and outdoor kitchen elsewhere while you and your company prefer a different area. In this scenario, the griller will always grill alone and this doesn't help the connection. What we're going for is communication so your charcoal grill and outdoor kitchen should definitely be in accordance with that.
Back in the days when there weren't firebricks to be used, the floor of the wood-fired oven was constructed of clay with added salt. Salt, at around 800°C (1472°F) liquifies and blends with the clay, which at around 800°C (1472°F) becomes ceramic. When the materials cool down to their normal temperature, they have become one, giving a very strong and durable floor for the oven. That's why they also used to burn the wood-fired ovens for many hours till they come to the right temperature so that the salt can melt and the clay can become hard. Today, the materials of the traditional wood-fired oven (firebricks and fire cement) are already burned and have resistance in very high temperatures so we follow a different process of construction and first firing of the oven.
The indirect wood-fired oven is an oven that is easy to use. A well-cooked dish needs slow cooking, with a temperature that reduces gradually and slowly. So, when the food goes in the cooking chamber at 240°C (464°F), in order to be cooked well, there shouldn't be any fire in the fire chamber but only the ember, while the temperature reduces slowly and steadily until our food is cooked. If the temperature drops quickly before the food is cooked, then we will need to add more wood in the fire chamber in order to raise the temperature again. These ups and downs of the temperature it's a very bad tactic and will not lead to a well-cooked dish. So, the secret of the construction lies in the heat accumulation and the gradual transmission of it to the cooking chamber. For this reason, we use special fire plates and firesand, a result of excessive testing.
The traditional wood-fired oven had two attributes that lead to a very special taste result. The first one is the very slow temperature drop, where we have steady and slow cooking. The second one is the earthen materials, which give of heat in a different wavelength compared to any metallic surface.
The indirect wood-fired oven was designed to be placed under the charcoal grill as well as on the side. The only advantage of placing it under the charcoal grill is the saving of space. If the area where the charcoal grill and the indirect wood-fired oven are about to be placed allows it to have extra countertops, then it's better to place the indirect woodfired oven on the side, either next to the charcoal grill or next to a countertop or wherever is more functional according to your overall design.
Yes, it's required. The main reason is the protection of the construction from the weather conditions.
There are charcoal grills that can fit even in a 120 cm (4 ft) long space while they still have a vast grilling capacity, besides grilling a whole animal. From this point on, the larger the area the better so the company of friends and family can get together there. An ideal space size would be a 6x5 m (19.7x16.4 ft).