How to Grill Burgers and Snack Peppers on a BBQ26S With the Optional Flat Grate
Steaks... burgers... hotdogs... nothing beats a direct heat setup on a backyard grill for cooking these classic American foods.
In this story, I will show you how to grill these types of foods with direct heat, in a Meadow Creek BBQ26S—our family-sized "chicken flipper".
What's a BBQ26S? A "revolutionary" charcoal grill in our chicken flipper series that comes with a pivoting "sandwich" grate for grilling chicken and other foods.
It also has brackets for bringing the heat up closer to the top for cooking on an optional griddle or flat grate, a single-panel grate for grilling with direct heat.
“I have owned 6 or more of these over the last 20 years and cooked for weddings and banquets. It consistently cranks out top-notch chicken. Definitely one of the BBQ world's best kept secrets.”
- Andrew Yoder, BBQ42 user -
These grills truly are one of the BBQ world's best-kept secrets. It's the perfect grill for burgers, steaks, and sausage links, and anything you want to cook over direct or semi-direct heat.
- A pivoting double-sided grate makes it easy to grill perfectly done chicken—tender, juicy, smoky, with crispy skin! Read more about this revolution in grilling here.
- You can upgrade to a single-panel flat grate for cooking foods that are too thin or thick for the sandwich grate. Or for grilling with the charcoal pan raised as we're doing in this story.
- The optional griddle is an excellent solution for cranking out delicious fajitas or even a hearty pitmaster's breakfast.
My BBQ26S has the optional raised pedestal base and stainless steel body. The pedestal is a huge improvement over the standard pipe legs, unless you will be traveling with it and need to break it down to a compact size. Stainless steel makes it easier to maintain by eliminating the possibility of rust.
Firing the BBQ26S
Add the Charcoal
Set the charcoal pan on the brackets in the raised position. Add enough charcoal to fill the charcoal pan once it's spread out. Mound the charcoal in the center for lighting it.
I used Rockwood lump charcoal for this cook. Either lump or briquettes will work, but I chose lump for a hot and short burn. Rockwood is a premium brand of lump charcoal made of premium Missouri oak, hickory, and maple.
I use a propane torch to light the charcoal, turn the torch off, and then let the fire burn until it's well-lit.
A charcoal chimney would work great too. One chimney full of lit charcoal dumped on top of the unlit charcoal will get it going.
Spread the Charcoal Evenly
Mix the burning pieces with the rest and spread the charcoal evenly in the pan using a shovel or garden hoe. This is how it should look:
Set the Grate on the Grill
For this cook, we are using the optional flat grate, a single-panel grate that rests on top of the grill instead of the standard pivoting sandwich grate so that we can raise the charcoal pan. Set the grate on the grill and brush it clean if necessary.
While the fire is getting hot, we can prepare the snack peppers. If you're grilling steaks, pork chops, or pre-made burgers, not much preparation is required.
Mix equal amounts of the cheeses on a plate and season it with your favorite barbecue seasoning to taste. Two of my favorites are Butcher BBQ Grilling Addiction or Killer Hogs AP Rub. Fill each pepper half with the cheese mixture and wrap it with a slice of bacon.
Peppers ready to grill:
Grill these over low to medium heat until the bacon is cooked. When arranging the coals, set up a cooler area where you plan to grill the peppers so they don't burn from the direct heat.
Close the lid for part of the cook so the bacon on top of the pepper cooks too since you can't flip these. If the bacon isn't crisping up, move them over a hotter part of the grill to crisp the bacon before removing them from the grill.
These will take about 20–30 minutes to cook.
"One of the best bbq’s that I have owned, great for my family meals. I like to load it with chicken, pork rib eye steak, veggies, and bratwurst. It's also great for Cabrito and boneless leg of lamb."
- F Maldonado, South Texas, BBQ42 owner -
I started these peppers in the center of the grill where it was hotter to get the bacon sizzling, and then moved them over to the edge of the grill for most of the cook time.
Flavor Tip: I like to throw a handful of smoking pellets onto the fire for an extra boost of smoke flavor and close the lid to give the food some time to absorb the flavor.
Avoiding a Grease Fire: It works best to let the charcoal burn down for 30 minutes to reduce the chance of flare-ups when cooking burgers. Or leave some extra room on the grill to move them around if a grease fire breaks out.
In this story, I'm grilling store-bought beef patties. I simply unwrapped them and seasoned them with a barbecue rub. Here are some of my favorites from Meadow Creek Barbecue Supply:
Keep a pair of tongs and a spatula handy for checking the bacon and flipping the burgers.
Cook the burgers to well-done (160 degrees F) or until there is no pink left in the meat. If you're cooking a thin store-bought burger, the window of perfection is very narrow so keep a close eye on it. If you've done a lot of these, you know whether they are done by looking at them, but if you want to be sure, you can check them with an instant read thermometer, such as the Thermapen MK4.
Just before the burgers are done, top them with freshly-sliced cheddar cheese.
The burgers should take around 10–15 minutes so I like to give the peppers a head start.
Once the burgers are done, gather round and build your sandwiches. Remove the peppers from the grill, cool for a few minutes, and serve!
Lump is great for direct heat grilling because it lights fast and produces more heat for a shorter time than briquettes, but if you'd rather use briquettes, that works fine too.
Here's a photo of a hot bed of briquettes ready for grilling:
This set up is excellent for pork chops and steaks too...
I hope you're inspired about all the wonderful meals you could make for your family and friends on this versatile charcoal grill.
If you've ever cooked a meal, you know how good it feels to get a genuine compliment, a raving review even. This grill makes it easy to get that kind of feedback by helping you master perfectly done bone-in chicken and sausage links, juicy cheeseburgers, sizzling steaks—and breakfast to satisfy a hungry lumberjack!
If you are in the market for a new grill for feeding your family or entertaining guests in your backyard, consider the Meadow Creek 26S with the optional raised pedestal base and griddle.
If your budget allows it, think about getting the body in stainless steel for a versatile grill that will serve you—and likely even the next generation.