Ember is a small glowing piece of coal or wood in a process of a dying fire. The glowing coal is best seen when embers are poked. Cooking meat on the hot embers has been going on for ages and is considered to taste best. Meat can be cooked over embers either on a grill or a spit. Usually the whole animal is roasted on a spit – a piglet or a lamb, but also an ox, or …, whereas smaller pieces of meat are grilled. An animal on a spit is turned evenly over a bed of embers, some 50 cm wide, so that every portion of the animal is evenly exposed to heat. A young hog on a spit is cooked in two hours. As for the grilled meat, the embers have to be searing hot, but you have to be careful not to burn the meat, and if you are cooking fish, the embers should not be that hot. The best embers are obtained from burning vine wood, as they last longer.
The Serbian word žаr [ʒar] (ember) is similar to јаrа [ja-ra], also meaning very hot atmosphere in the air, hot air, heat. It is possible that both words have something to do with a mythical Slavic solar deity of anger, Јаrеvid.