Tips for Using Charcoal Grills


There are no any extraordinary cooking skills required whenever you want to use a charcoal grill. It is an easy way of cooking your food with added flavor and smoke of the charcoal that can give you the distinct flavor or freshly grilled food. Even though it is a simple task of doing your cooking on a grill, if you do not know how to use the charcoal grill, your food will take a long time to cook, taste a bit strange or it could become unsafe for you to consume. Most of the time that you will spend when using charcoal grills is not the food but the task of preparing the charcoal grills itself. Once you managed to learn the skill to use the charcoal grill, preparing it will be as easy as counting numbers.

To use charcoal grills, you need:

  • Charcoal briquettes
  • Accelerant
  • Fireplace matches or butane-powered fireplace and grill lighter
  • Long-handle tongs
  • Heat-resistant grilling gloves
  • Long-handle spatula
  • Grilling fork
  • A fire extinguisher (for emergency usage)

Using Charcoal Grills

Tips for Using Charcoal Grills

  • The first thing that you need to do is to prepare your charcoal grill before you can start doing any cooking.
    • Make sure you choose a level surface to place your charcoal grill and not so near your house, trees, bushes or anything that might catch fire easily.
    • Charcoal grill should never be used inside your house because it creates carbon-dioxide fumes which are toxic and hazardous to your health.
    • Your charcoal grill location should also not in the wind direction that could sparks or blown onto people or other flammable objects near the area.


  • Before using the charcoal grill, you have to inspect the grill to make sure that everything fits in nicely and also clean.
    • Check the ash kettle and ensure that it is attached to the grill.

    Charcoal should be prepared in proper way so that you would be able to create more intense heat for the grill and help your briquettes to turn white-hot quickly and make your steak or other meals to sear much faster on its outside. This will make its meat juices produce a caramelized crispy outer layer along with nice flavor.


  • The next step is to place your briquettes into a pyramid shape and in order to do this you need to use approximately 30 briquettes which are good enough to cook a pound of meat.
    • You should be using enough amounts of briquettes so that they will extend at least two to three inches beyond your food when it is placed in a single row.

You will find approximately between 75 to 80 briquettes when you purchase a five-pound bag of charcoal.

  • Then, you can apply approximately half a cup of lighter fluid.
    • You need to allow for the fluid to soak for a few minutes into the charcoal.
    • You can even use crumpled newspaper and place it beneath the briquettes.
  • The bottom vent on your grill should be open all the time before you start to light the charcoal.
    • In order to ignite the briquettes, you can use either a long-handle match or lighter.
    • You must keep your grill at a high temperature for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Before you can start to cook on charcoal, remember to wait for at least 10 minutes right after you have light up the briquettes until the charcoal’s flame dies.
  • Then, rearrange the coals in order to create a single layer within the grill.
    • You must ensure that coals that are not hot should be touching the coals that are already hot.
    • You can choose either to place the on the grill or not.
  • After 20 minutes, you can check the grill whether it is ready to be use or not.
    • You will know it when the majority of the coals are covered with white ash.
    • You will also notice that the briquettes will look like ash gray in daylight while during the night it will be glowing red.

Make sure to spread the charcoal inside the grill by using a long-handle tongs. Always wear heat-resistant grilling gloves for protection against the heat.

  • You can check the temperature of the grill by using your hand palm. Hold your hand palm down above the grill at cooking height and then count how many seconds you would be bale to hold over it.
    • If it is 2 seconds, the temperature is considered high while 5 seconds means the temperature is low.
  • While grilling, you should place your meat, fish or vegetables right on the grill and allow the correct timing for them to cook according to the recipe that you are following.
    • Always use a long-handle spatula, grilling fork or grill tongs for turning over your food.

In order to create wonderful flavor to your food, you can simply soak alder, mesquite, hickory or pecan wood chips for approximately one hour before scattering them over your hot coals.

  • You must position the lid of your vent opposite the charcoal. This should be done if you are using one basket. If you are using two baskets, it should be set at the center.
    • As for those who like to mix wood along with unburned charcoal, you need to place burning briquettes on top of them.
    • Your charcoal should be replenished on an hourly basis.

Every time you have finished grilling, make sure that you close the vents so that you can kill the oxygen and cool off the coals.

Always remember that whenever you want to use Weber charcoal grill

  • In order to see whether your meat or vegetables are well cooked or not, you simply can pierce them with a fork. If you notice that it is easy for the fork to enter the meals then you have completed your cooking. If it is difficult to pierce it, leave them on the grill for just a few more minutes.
  • DO NOT ever try to use kerosene, gasoline or other chemicals which is not approved or suitable for charcoal grills.
  • DO NOT leave the grill unsupervised especially if you have children running around the area.
  • DO NOT add liquid accelerants while your grill is hot or when there are flames on the charcoals.
  • For coals that are still hot, burning or warm, DO NOT attempt to empty it into your garbage bag.
  • For those of you who are living in an apartment building, you need to check with the building manager regarding their barbecue procedure before you can start to do any grilling within the compound.
  • Charcoal can be purchased from your local supermarket, hardware stores as well as the supermarket.

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