Barbecuing in the autumn

Barbecuing is a popular way to prepare meals during the summer months. But it's also fun during the autumn months, when the cooler weather allows family and friends to gather around the warmth of the cook stove. Grilled hamburgers, spareribs, and chicken are wonderful cool weather dishes. Roasted potatoes and grilled zucchini, eggplant, and corn are also wonderful fall foods.

Here are some tips for foolproof barbecuing:

* Line the grill with heavy-duty aluminum foil for fast cooking and quick, easy cleanup.

* Stack briquettes in a pyramid; they'll light faster because the air can circulate.

* Use charcoal starter to light the fire. Choose from liquid, wax, or electric starters.

* Let the fluid soak into briquettes briefly before lighting them. Never add more fluid once the fire is going.

* Try the newer, self-lighting briquettes instead of the more traditional ones.

* It is important to let the briquettes burn for 20 to 40 minutes until covered with a light gray ash. This is when the coals are giving off the most even heat.

* To adjust temperature of the fire, raise the cooking grill away from the coals for less heat and lower it for higher heat.

* Avoid flare-ups when cooking fatty meats by placing a drip pand directly underneath the meat. The drip pan will keep the hot fat away from the coals.

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