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Paella is a traditional Spanish dish that is typically made in a special pan called a “paellera.” Paella is usually cooked over an open flame, either on a charcoal grill or over a wood fire, which gives the dish a distinctive smoky flavor.
A paella charcoal grill is a specially designed grill that is ideal for cooking paella. It typically features a large, flat cooking surface that is perfect for the wide, shallow pan used to make paella. The grill is typically fueled by charcoal, which provides the heat and the smoky flavor that is essential to making a great paella.
To use a paella charcoal grill, the charcoal is first lit and allowed to burn down until it is covered in a layer of white ash. The paellera is then placed on the grill and the ingredients for the paella are added. The cook then carefully monitors the heat and adjusts the placement of the paellera as needed to ensure that the paella cooks evenly.
Paella charcoal grills are popular in Spain and are becoming increasingly popular in other parts of the world as well. They offer a unique way to prepare and enjoy this classic Spanish dish, and the smoky flavor that they impart to the paella is sure to please anyone who loves grilled food.
Which kinds of paella can you smoke on a charcoal grill?
When it comes to smoking paella on a charcoal grill, there are several types of paella that work particularly well. Here are some of the most popular types of paella that can be smoked on a charcoal grill:
- Valencian paella: This is the most traditional and well-known type of paella. It typically contains chicken, rabbit, green beans, and white beans. The smoky flavor from the charcoal grill enhances the flavors of the meats and beans, giving it an extra layer of richness.
- Seafood paella: This type of paella is made with a variety of seafood, including shrimp, clams, mussels, and squid. The smoky flavor from the charcoal grill pairs well with the seafood, adding a depth of flavor that complements the brininess of the seafood.
- Mixed paella: Mixed paella is a combination of meat and seafood, often including chicken, chorizo, shrimp, and clams. The smoky flavor from the charcoal grill helps to balance out the flavors of the meat and seafood, creating a harmonious and flavorful dish.
- Vegetarian paella: Vegetarian paella is made with a variety of vegetables, such as bell peppers, tomatoes, artichokes, and peas. The smoky flavor from the charcoal grill adds a depth of flavor to the vegetables, making them more savory and satisfying.
Overall, many different types of paella can be smoked on a charcoal grill, as the smoky flavor complements a variety of ingredients and creates a delicious and unique flavor profile.
Why should you use a charcoal grill for grilling paella?
Using a charcoal grill for grilling paella offers a number of advantages over other types of grilling methods. Here are some reasons why you might want to use a charcoal grill for grilling paella:
- Flavor: Charcoal grilling provides a unique smoky flavor that cannot be replicated with other grilling methods. The smokiness of the charcoal enhances the flavors of the ingredients in the paella and gives it an authentic Spanish taste.
- Heat control: Charcoal grills allow for greater control over the heat source, which is important for cooking paella. Paella requires a steady, even heat to cook properly, and charcoal grills offer the ability to adjust the heat as needed to achieve this.
- Size: Paella pans are typically large and require a lot of space to cook properly. Charcoal grills are often large enough to accommodate the size of a paella pan, allowing for even cooking and plenty of space to move the ingredients around as needed.
- Tradition: Cooking paella over an open flame is a traditional method that has been used for generations in Spain. Using a charcoal grill to cook paella is a way to honor and preserve this tradition.
Overall, using a charcoal grill for grilling paella is a great way to achieve the authentic flavor and texture of this classic Spanish dish.
How to make Paella on a charcoal grill
Making paella on a charcoal grill is a traditional and flavorful way to prepare this classic Spanish dish. Here are the general steps to follow:
- 4 cups of chicken broth
- 1 pound of chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 pound of Spanish chorizo, sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 red bell peppers, sliced
- 2 cups of paella rice
- 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon of saffron threads
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/2 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 pound of mussels
- 1/2 cup of frozen peas
- Lemon wedges for serving
- Start by lighting your charcoal grill and let the coals burn until they turn white and hot.
- In a large paella pan, heat some olive oil over medium-high heat on the grill. Add the chicken and chorizo and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the chorizo is crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, add the onions and bell peppers, and cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Add the rice to the pan and stir well until the rice is coated in the onion mixture. Add the smoked paprika, saffron, salt, and black pepper, and stir well to combine.
- Pour the chicken broth into the pan, and stir well to distribute the ingredients evenly. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer.
- Once the mixture is simmering, arrange the chicken and chorizo on top of the rice, then add the shrimp and mussels to the pan. Sprinkle the frozen peas over the top.
- Close the lid of the charcoal grill and let the paella cook for about 20-30 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the mussels have opened. Check the paella periodically and add more broth if necessary.
- Once the paella is cooked, remove it from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.
Note: The exact cooking time may vary depending on the heat of your grill and the size of your paella pan, so it’s important to keep a close eye on the paella while it’s cooking.
Types of wood for grilling paella on charcoal grill
Choosing the right type of wood for grilling paella on a charcoal grill can help to enhance the flavor of the dish. Here are some of the most popular types of wood that are commonly used for grilling paella:
- Oak: Oak is a popular choice for grilling paella, as it imparts a smoky and robust flavor to the dish. Oak wood is also known for burning slowly and evenly, making it a good choice for longer cooking times.
- Olive: Olive wood is a traditional choice for grilling paella in Spain. It is known for its mild and fruity flavor, which complements the flavors of the paella without overpowering them.
- Cherry: Cherry wood is another popular choice for grilling paella. It has a sweet and fruity flavor that can add a nice depth of flavor to the dish.
- Apple: Apple wood is a popular choice for grilling seafood, which makes it a great choice for seafood paella. It has a sweet and mild flavor that pairs well with the delicate flavors of seafood.
- Mesquite: Mesquite wood is a popular choice for grilling meats, as it has a strong and bold flavor that can stand up to the rich flavors of the meat. It can also add a smoky and earthy flavor to paella, making it a good choice for meat-based paella dishes.
Overall, the type of wood you choose will depend on the flavors you want to achieve in your paella. It’s always a good idea to experiment with different types of wood to find the one that works best for your taste preferences.
How long does it take to grill paella on charcoal grill?
The cooking time for grilling paella on a charcoal grill can vary depending on various factors such as the size of the paella pan, the heat of the grill, and the type of ingredients used. Typically, it takes around 20-30 minutes to grill paella on a charcoal grill.
The initial cooking process, which involves browning the meat and sautéing the vegetables, should take around 10-15 minutes. After the chicken broth and rice are added to the pan, it should come to a simmer within a few minutes. Once the mixture is simmering, it should take another 10-15 minutes for the rice to cook and the flavors to meld together. It’s important to keep a close eye on the paella while it’s cooking, and add more broth if necessary to prevent the rice from drying out.
To ensure that the paella is fully cooked, it’s a good idea to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken and chorizo, which should reach 165°F (75°C) and 160°F (71°C) respectively. The mussels should also be fully open when the paella is done cooking. Once the paella is fully cooked, it should be removed from the grill and allowed to rest for a few minutes before serving.
Tips for grilling paella on charcoal grill
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