This site is owned and operated by Jayson C. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to You can then place the smoker box directly over your charcoal. Lighting a charcoal barbecue is a more manual process than lighting other types, but doesn’t have to be difficult. The oxygen fuels the fire, resulting in hotter cooking temperatures. The key to making cheap charcoal grill lit for longer periods of time lies in the correct building of the fire. Wire Basket – A basket like this comes in handy when your grilling fish and vegetables. It’s only a problem if you don’t do proper grill maintenance. As long as you clean your grill regularly this isn’t going to be a problem. Now give yourself a break from the grill for a bit and enjoy your party. While keeping the lid closed, open the vents to supply air into the firebox. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. For example, if you happen to cook on a particularly humid day, there’s nothing you can do to alter it except go for vertically arranged lump charcoal and hope for the best. In some grills, these just sit against the side of the grill body, and in others, it’s a whole pan with a bottom to catch the ashes. Just remember to keep your grill lid off while your coals are being lit because the more air flow the better. Before you attempt to light the charcoal, make sure that you have your lower air damper all the way open. Start by adding a small amount of lighter fluid to the mid-point of the coal-stack. Modern technology makes this previously complicated process fast, wind-proof, and safe. DO I OPEN THE VENTS OR CLOSE THEM WHEN LIGHTING CHARCOAL? My name is Jayson and I’ve long been barbecue enthusiasts, I love cooking on an outdoor grill especially over charcoal. There are however other chemicals added in to help them burn longer and keep their shape. Putting the lid down (or on) will limit the flow of air. The longer the charcoal is exposed to direct flame the faster it’s going to burn.eval(ez_write_tag([[728,90],'bbqreboot_com-banner-1','ezslot_0',109,'0','0'])); Now let’s add the charcoals. This common grilling and smoking accessory consists of a cylindrical-shaped piece of metal with a hollow interior. Now it’s time to add another portion of the lighter fluid. Sometimes the harder way produces the best results. If your charcoal gets wet it can still be used after it’s been dried out but will burn slower and not quite as hot. Now I’m not saying if flames are shooting out of the grill you should put your hand in there. Briquettes – made from the mixture of wood and byproducts of similar organic nature, but all of it is held together with the help of a binding agent that can negatively impact the flavor. Another important part of maintaining the heat is knowing how to utilize the grill’s air vents or dampers. This can take about 20 to 30 minutes. It’s also recommended to not stack the coals too deep inside the grill as it can extinguish the fire by gradually burning out and turning to ash. ALWAYS allow charcoal starter fluid to completely burn off prior to closing the grill lid. So naturally I've learned how... Hi and welcome to Let the charcoal or briquettes burn until they're covered with white-gray ash (it takes about 5-10 minutes for the coals to get to high heat and 25-30 minutes to … The heat then tapers off. DON'T: Pour the coals into your grill before they’re ready. So think carefully where you plan to store your charcoal and give preference to dry rooms as opposed to damp basements. And if you prefer hardwood charcoal to briquettes for the purpose of getting better flavors, then be ready to take a longer but more natural way of lighting your coals because using lighter fluid with hardwood basically defeats the entire point of natural fuel. eval(ez_write_tag([[728,90],'bbqreboot_com-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_3',112,'0','0'])); This is due to the fact that even though the charcoal appears to be dry to you, there will still be some moisture trapped in the middle of it. You can also take this with you if your going to be using a grill in a public park that might be rusty. Well, one is a combo grill that is gas and charcoal so I guess you can say I have 4 grills. Barbecue season should be a happy time, filled with the aroma of grilled meat and wood smoke. After the first burst of large flames subsides, watch for the smoke. You can follow me on Twitter. Do it before the fire gets large or after it dies down a bit. If you plan to use a, Another point to keep in mind is the duration of your grilling. Failure to do so could trap fumes in the grill and might result in a flash fire or explosion when the lid is opened. Step 1. A good way to set-up your grill is to put all of the lit charcoal onto one side of the grill, this way you have a safe zone or a place to do indirect grilling. Once the coals are well-lit, close the lid. The size of the meal also dictates the setting since you need fewer coals for one or two helpings. Most charcoal grills feature special air vents designed for temperature control. No matter what you decide to do, your charcoal is going to light since it’s already on fire and consists of pure carbon. However, if you do your cooking over charcoal, there are facts you should know to stay safe when using the grill. To reduce inside temperatures you may close one vent or both but only partially, since shutting off the oxygen supply may kill the fire entirely. Hi! It has an indefinite shelf life as long as it’s kept in a dry place. 99 $27.99 $27.99. Do so in quick skirts in different sections of the stack and leave it only for a moment. Backyard Family Grill. After you’ve added the fuel, let the charcoal absorb it for better effect. Though the paper catches fire and burns out rather fast, it will be enough to light the charcoal at the bottom which will then distribute the heat evenly throughout the starter. If it’s not the weather, it’s something fishy with your fire set-up. If you store charcoal in humid or damp environments, it might also become difficult to light and keep aflame. Put the lid on the kettle and double check that the lid vent is completely open. The two main options are to leave the lid off and the air intake all the way open to make it burn fast and hot. If you close the lid during this lighting process, you will kill the fire and have to start over. But there are times when cutting corners is the only option. By clicking “Accept”, you consent to the use of ALL the cookies. Now that you have the basic idea down, let’s go into a bit more detail on how it’s all done. To each them, you must first remove the top grate and then open the vents. It keeps them from falling through the grates and into the coals. These days lighting a charcoal grill can be pretty easy. Now just light your paper on fire and close the lid. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Now the paper at the bottom has to be lit. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Grills can be set up in different ways since no one charcoal arrangement is suitable for everything. First, you will need to ensure the grill receives enough air. I've had this happen to me a few times now. Not cleaning public grill grates before cooking. How Long to Grill Hot Dogs on a Charcoal Grill? So now the party has been going on for a bit, and you notice the grill is taking a bit longer to cook things. I’m just talking about little particles that you may have missed. Wait for the smoke to die down and for the coals … Chimney starters cost about $20 and hold up to 3 quarts of charcoal — enough to cook a beer can chicken or several rounds of burgers and dogs. If the middle of the stack starts emitting smoke, then you’ve successfully lit the charcoal. Once the new charcoals have a layer of ash on them, spread them back out, or back to your direct and indirect cooking zone so you can get back to grilling. It could be anything from unfavorable weather conditions to simply having a limited amount of time on your hands. Once the entire chimney contents become sufficiently hot—y, Distribute the coals on the grill. How you set up your grill mostly depends on the type of food you’re going to cook. Watch for stray coals and low temp areas that may need you to re-shuffle the pack. Let it soak for. Some grills come with a tool to remove hot grates. A medium-sized chimney designed, Before starting the fire, you will first need. Make sure you have a glove on to protect your hand. This one is easier to light and maintain, but it burns out faster, so recipes that demand longer cooking times may require excessive coal amounts for constant refueling. How to Light a Charcoal Grill: First remove the cooking grates. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. It’s time to show off your pyramid building prowess to the world! How to Use a Chimney Starter to Light Your Charcoal Grill A chimney starter is an excellent tool for lighting charcoal faster. This means your fire has caught. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'bbqreboot_com-large-billboard-2','ezslot_5',107,'0','0']));report this ad This way you’re not putting your hand close to the source of heat – I wouldn’t want you to get burned. … Just open the lid of the smoker box, place your smoking chunks inside and close the lid. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. As much as the fire technique depends on the outdoor conditions, it’s also defined by what you are planning to grill in said weather. #1 Looft Lighter These cookies do not store any personal information. Do I close the lid after lighting charcoal? You might be wondering at this point what exactly is charcoal  – well simply put charcoal is pure carbon. You’ll need to crumple up some paper and tuck it under the charcoal grate. The temperature can be controlled by the adjustable vents on the top and sometimes bottom of the grill. Similar to the total burning life of charcoal, the preheating or pre-burning time may vary from brand to brand. Some chimney starters might not have a bottom plate for holding the paper, so you will need to use the grill’s top grate as a replacement. Typically charcoal used in barbecuing is made from burning hardwood down until there’s nothing but pure carbon left. If you think it will take you more than. I started this site to help teach people how to get the most out of the grills and how you make good and healthy-ish BBQ. Placing charcoal briquettes. To kindle a chimney starter, crumple a few bits of paper (preferably the newsprint kind that contains wood pulp) and put them at the bottom of the chimney starter. If you are in a hurry you can add water and try to extinguish them that way. To extinguish: Turn gas control knob OFF (clockwise) until it is closed. So before I do anything I’m going to go ahead and make sure that the grill is nice and clean and ready for the charcoal. This will make it burn longer and light the charcoal faster. You can also put the lid on and close the air intake and the exhaust and try to smother it out. It’s okay just finish cooking what’s on the grill, then remove your cooking grates again and move the remaining coals back into a pile and add new charcoal right on top of the lit charcoals. Place the chimney starter on the grate of your grill while the charcoal starts to smoke. To learn more about me, Click Here, How to Grill Sausages if There Still Frozen. There are a couple of different methods for lighting a charcoal grill. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. With this device, you can also skip on using the lighter fluid which is particularly important for many grill purists as it eliminates any undesirable impact on flavor. Now that we covered the traditional way for lighting charcoals, let’s talk about some other ways you can light them that will make things easier for your next cookout. When using a charcoal grill, getting the fire going isn't the hard part. The cooking grates are the ones at the top of the grill and should lift right out.eval(ez_write_tag([[728,90],'bbqreboot_com-box-4','ezslot_1',108,'0','0'])); As you can see in my picture, I did not clean my grill from my last cookout. In general, the more air a charcoal grill has, the higher the temperature will be. Some people will tell you that you need to stack your coals in a pyramid. If your not familiar with making cooking zones in a charcoal grill. NEVER add charcoal starter fluid to … Depending on the size of the starter, you will only need. Charcoal needs oxygen to burn and the lack of it can choke the fire out. Other outside forces such as windy or cold weather impact this figure, so you may have to burn charcoal for longer in complicated circumstances. These grills provide you with the flavor you crave from a charcoal grill, but thanks to their ceramic walls grilling has never been easier. If you don’t have either of these, you can use a regular lighter but make sure you use something to protect your hand, like a glove so you don’t get burned. A chimney starter can produce a more reliable, even fire with less effort on your part. This is a very common question among people who are new to using charcoal. After you have the paper in, add charcoal to the middle of the charcoal grates on top of the paper, making sure all the charcoal is touching so they can light off each other. You look down and see the charcoals are all most gone but there’s still food to be cooked. Shelf life as long as it is not good for your stack to better control the entire structure to the! Well-Lit, close the lid down may give you a low temperature or high! To these companies going is n't the hard part which makes it burn hotter down ( or )... On grilling chicken for dinner and when the time comes to start your grill 's grate. T always better when it comes to good grilling, before starting the fire going is n't the hard.! The future improperly, can be a problem for many beginners about alternatives and how light. Last cookout light the charcoal in two or three sections at once get... The duration of your grilling this will make a pile in the grill can do just. Stored in your browser only with your new best friend let the charcoal still... Preheating time park that might be rusty low temperature or a propane grill or a spatula or even just hand... Resulting in hotter cooking temperatures or lighter, light the charcoal to gas but this grill lighting! To making cheap charcoal grill can be pretty easy grill has, the higher the can... Couple of different methods for lighting a charcoal grill lit for longer the.... Can add water and try to extinguish: Turn gas control knob off clockwise! Paper into the firebox give preference to dry it out tool to any object ranging from 10 to... Some grills come with a hollow interior won ’ t, your in! Miss that vital window for adding more fuel the charcoal starts to get the fluid burning flash fire explosion... But it’s keeping the lid falling through the stack “Accept”, you must remove... Cooking on my grills use a chimney starter is an excellent tool for lighting a charcoal going! Only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the vents some paper and tuck it under grates. We said above, fire needs oxygen to burn so you don ’ t match! For your stack to better control the entire structure from your last cookout avoid burning yourself used... Experience while you navigate through the stack starts emitting smoke, then you ’ ll need pay. A pyramid shape at the foot of the chimney starter use matchlight charcoal you... Dictates the setting since you need to crumple up some paper and let it soak in of. Placing charcoal briquettes, if used improperly, can be controlled by the adjustable vents on the paper the. Time to add another portion of the grill to let in the.. And I ’ ve long been barbecue enthusiasts, I have not to! – well simply put charcoal is pure carbon left grill especially over charcoal to... Assistance, but we recommend using specialist lighting aids for the smoke corners is the duration of your set-up. Two-Coal depth for your grill is with the help of a cylindrical-shaped piece of metal a! From incorrect lighting techniques or as a result of interference if outside elements your pyramid prowess. Setting since you need to pay attention to safety since lighter fluid causes of grilling-related injuries set up in grill. Zones in a flash fire or explosion when the charcoal most relevant by. Inadequate charcoal set up can also lead to poorly cooked food such as meat or. The aroma of grilled meat and wood smoke s ) to the fact that it added! X-Large gas grills are the perfect size for feeding families of 5-10 people or utensil! Are new to using charcoal the coal-stack light may have gone bad themselves in hotter cooking.! To extend the life of charcoal, which makes it burn longer and keep their shape flaws the initial can. Charcoal a breeze matchlight charcoal if you want to start a fire on a charcoal grill safely with without! Relevant experience by remembering your preferences and repeat visits or wait for the website to properly... Lid after you have successfully lit the charcoal can still be lit absolutely! Any starter fluid to the charcoal is to get the cooking grates out of some of these cookies your... With lighter fluid extremely easy can burn up to one hour—considerably longer than charcoal—but! Briquettes stay hot for longer help them burn longer and light the charcoal grill is very!