how to light a charcoal grill

how to light a charcoal grill

It's very clear and easy to do. Arrange your lump charcoal or briquettes in a pyramid shape. You can partially close the vent you start to grill your food to regulate the temperature of your coals while cooking, but allow enough oxygen to reach the coal so that the fire doesn’t go out. Light the charcoal in two or three sections at once to get the fluid burning. Let the fluid sit on the coals for about 30 seconds. Step 1. The Chimney Starter Method It's best not to buy self-lighting charcoal as it has additives that act as a lighter fluid. Once it looks good, open the bottom grill vent to help the fire get going. Step 5: Start Grilling Once the charcoal has turned white and ashy, spread them evenly and start the grilling! This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. To light a charcoal grill, put an adequate amount of charcoal in there. Add lighter fluid to the pile of unlit coals and light immediately. My charcoal seems to be taking a long time to heat up. Get it free when you sign up for our newsletter. ", "I prefer the 2nd method. 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. This usually takes about 15 minutes or so. If you start cooking your food before the lighter fluid burns off, your steak or chicken will taste like petroleum! Some grills have a smaller grate under the grilling grate for the charcoal to rest on. You may have spread your coals out too early, which means that the coals aren't sharing heat and will take much longer to heat up. Open the bottom air vent on the grill all the way, which helps generate airflow to the charcoal briquettes. How to Light a Charcoal Grill: First remove the cooking grates. You can singe your eyebrows and sustain burns. Be careful, but don’t be shy with it either! Lighter fluid method. Using this method, the charcoal will last even longer, and your food won't have that strange chemical aftertaste often accompanying a … When the charcoal is all white-hot, pour it into the well you've created in the pit. Be mindful of your food because you just added a lot of extra heat so add coal sparingly. Is there a way to speed up the process? 2) if you're using lighter fluid, its fumes will get into the food if they are not prepared in advance, which is gross and dangerous to your health. Fill the bottom of the grill with charcoal. The easiest way to light a fire is to make use of a chimney starter. Instead, you should let the new charcoal burn separately, then add it to your grill once it's ready. Pour charcoal into the top, filling it close to the brim. In the past, I have experienced a variety of ways to light the lump charcoal. Learn more... It’s summertime and you’re at the charcoal grill, feeling the pressure of cooking meat and vegetables to perfection for your family and friends. You can use a piece of paper dipped in vegetable oil and place below the charcoal and light the paper. Pour the lighter fluid on the charcoal cone, pouring a sufficient amount in the middle and around the edges. 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. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. When using a charcoal grill, getting the fire going isn't the hard part. (You will spread the charcoal out later.) But this type of grill raises some challenges too, such as the extensive charcoal consumption and the time-consuming handling of the fire. This is the basic method for lighting charcoal with lighter fluid: Never add lighter fluid to burning coals. You place a couple of sheets of crumpled newspaper in the bottom of the chimney and charcoal on top of it. Coleman Table Top Charcoal Grill. How to Use a Chimney Starter to Light Your Charcoal Grill A chimney starter is an excellent tool for lighting charcoal faster. A charcoal chimney uses newspaper instead of lighter fluid, eliminating the use of a petroleum product that can add unwanted flavor and residue to your food. To learn how to use a charcoal chimney, keep scrolling. Light the newspaper in several spots. You need to pay attention to safety since lighter fluid is one of the top causes of grilling-related injuries. You can use lump charcoal in place of briquettes in any smoker or kettle type BBQ. Now you can remove the electric loop and let the coals come up to temperature. Let get coals get white all over before you add food. Finally, use a long match or long lighter to light the coal in 2 or 3 places and let it burn for 10 minutes before you start grilling. Rolled up some newspapers and put them under the closed packed charcoal. How to Light Charcoal Without Lighter Fluid? Should the lid be on while the coal is heating up? Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. Using a long match or lighter, light the lighter cubes. Though it would be much easier, you can’t just dump your charcoal onto your grill and hope for the best. First, you'll notice the charcoal will glow red and white. In today’s video, award-winning BBQ chef, Karl Engel, shows us how to light a charcoal grill without making your meat taste like lighter fluid. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. Also, make sure to leave the lid off while heating the grill; the lack of oxygen will cause the fire to be much weaker, if not extinguished completely. Open the lid, replace the cooking grate, add the food and start cooking. If this is the problem, use a grilling spatula or long tongs to move the coals into a pile on one side of the grill. Lump burns faster and hotter, plus it lights easier. Use about a quarter cup of the liquid for every pound of charcoal. If the flames get too high and hot, you can put the lid on to soften up the flames. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/c\/ca\/Light-a-Charcoal-Grill-Step-4-Version-4.jpg\/v4-460px-Light-a-Charcoal-Grill-Step-4-Version-4.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/c\/ca\/Light-a-Charcoal-Grill-Step-4-Version-4.jpg\/aid1341445-v4-728px-Light-a-Charcoal-Grill-Step-4-Version-4.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":259,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":410,"licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. This lets the charcoal get more oxygen and burn faster. It will allow for more air to help heat the coals. I normally leave the bottom vent completely open and use the lid and lid vents to control the fire. Precook the coals to get them in the state they need to be in. Remove the top grate from your grill and place the chimney starter on the lower grate. Welcome back to Summer Grilling Week on Art of Manliness!. You should leave enough fuel to properly light the charcoal. ", "Basic, very clear steps to follow - thank you!". Let the liquid soak into the coals by waiting for five minutes. Petroleum-based lighter fluid isn't your only option. No. Look for bio-fuel lighter fluid made from plant-based oils and alcohols instead. Step 2. It won’t make the fire heat up faster and you may burn your hands. When adding more charcoal should it be precooked or raw? You want them to cook the food and not have the food getting charred from the flames of your coal that are still in preparation. If need be, use a thick cookie or something similar to prepare the additional charcoal, then add them when they are ready. Recap the fluid and place away from grill. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. If you've run out of gas, this isn't an option. First of all, I recommend the chimney, which is a great way to start your charcoal. Follow the package instructions carefully for whatever fuel you choose. Douse the charcoal … You place a couple of sheets of crumpled newspaper in the bottom of the chimney and charcoal on top of it. Steps on How to Light a Charcoal Grill. Step 3 – Once you see glowing coals or sparks, hold it back about an inch, still pointing at the same spot. With the lid on, you will suffocate the fire. Crumple up some old sheets of newspaper or other paper and use them for the base layer of your pile. Carefully squirt lighter fluid on the top and sides of … wikiHow's. As the newspaper burns in the chamber below, the flames light the edges of the charcoal above. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Then you can easily recycle the newspaper as a fire starter. A Charcoal Chimney White spirit, or turpentine, will give off a nasty smell and taste when burned (which is toxic). You need to arrange your pieces of charcoal for the best results. The first step is to figure out how to get the fire going, preferably without scorching yourself in the process! 1) You might need to wait a little longer for the charcoal to heat up before you start cooking. Do not add more lighter fluid to the grill once the charcoal has been lit. You can also use the lid and lid vents to control the fire’s temperature. Piling the coals into a mound or pyramid will help increase coal-to-coal contact and help the fire spread. Another option is an electric charcoal fire starter. It should be open completely when lighting the charcoal, but can be partially closed to regulate the temperature of your coals during cooking. This allows the heat to rise up from the bottom and the coals are close enough together to disperse the heat from one coal to the next. After five minutes, use a barbecue lighter to light the bottom of the pyramid. If you add new charcoal to your already lit fire it can give your food a funny taste. Lighting a charcoal grill is easy. In case of cold or wet weather, use more coals than you normally would. Make sure you have read your charcoal grill's instructions and that you understand them. There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Sweep out any leftover debris at the bottom of the grill and collect them in a trash bin. ", "Made me more aware of what I need to do when lighting a grill. Arrange the coals into a neat mound. For years I used the standard method of lighting my grill with lighter fluid but after getting frustrated with mixed results every time, I decided to go out and buy a chimney grill starter (link below) for my grill and I couldn't be happier. Every day at wikiHow, we work hard to give you access to instructions and information that will help you live a better life, whether it's keeping you safer, healthier, or improving your well-being. Leave the lid off while the coal is heating up. Add charcoals to the lower grill grate and arrange in a pyramid, add lighter fluid to the top and sides of the pyramid and light. What happens when the flame goes out on a charcoal grill? Charcoal should never be added to a gas grill. Wait until the coals are ready to begin grilling. A charcoal chimney uses newspaper instead of lighter fluid, eliminating the use of a petroleum product that can add unwanted flavor and residue to your food. I'm making kabobs! Use about 1/4 cup of fluid for each pound of charcoal. If the middle of the stack starts emitting smoke, then you’ve successfully lit the charcoal. This is an easy way to evenly and quickly light charcoal and takes minimum skill to use. Pour lighter fluid over briquettes. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. If you don’t have lighter fluid, place a piece of newspaper doused in vegetable oil under the charcoal and carefully light it with a match or lighter. This method requires the most effort, but it is the most traditional way to light a charcoal grill without lighter fluid. It will slowly spread out, ensuring that the charcoal burns evenly. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get the videos as soon as they’re published. Let coals burn until all coals are white on the surface. Clean out ash and dirt from the grill. Leave for 10-15 minutes to allow … Light the newspaper in several spots. Make sure all your vents are open as well. This signifies that you can re-light it by giving it an air current (by blowing it or fanning it). wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. Peek through the vents of the chimney to check if the coals have started and the edges of the coals have turned gray. With a long match, light the charcoal from the bottom on at least two sides. Be sure to check back tomorrow for the ins and outs of the three-zone fire. Charcoal grills have vents on the bottom of the grill. You will need one layer of burgers and steaks or two layers for roasts and whole chickens. Last Updated: December 27, 2020 These can add off-tastes and chemicals to your food if they aren't burnt off completely. Second, if it goes it, it will not have enough heat to cook the food and it will eventually cool and have to be reset in a pyramid to light it up again. The best way to start your charcoal is with a charcoal chimney or similar device. To light a charcoal grill, start by removing the cooking grate and cleaning out any ashes left over from your last barbecue. Use tongs and thick rubber gloves to push them closer together. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Some have even burned themselves by using too much fluid. http://www.grillingcompanion.com/how-to-light-a-charcoal-grill/, http://www.today.com/food/how-use-charcoal-grill-get-best-results-your-cookout-t94631, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuD1ey7LDgw&feature=youtu.be&t=38s, http://www.smokegrillbbq.com/how-to-light-charcoal-grills.html, http://www.addictedtogrilling.com/grilling-tips/charcoal-grilling-tips/how-light-charcoal-grill-using-starter-fluid, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFE1DSYjVTc&feature=youtu.be&t=59s, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFE1DSYjVTc&feature=youtu.be&t=1m28s, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFE1DSYjVTc&feature=youtu.be&t=2m, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. This article has been viewed 978,334 times. Only thing to add would be to allow the lighter fluid to soak into the coal for 15-30 minutes, "Today is my first time using a charcoal grill. If you spill any while pouring, change clothes or thoroughly clean up the spill before lighting the grill. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 978,334 times. Thank you for the advice. Below the best way to start a charcoal grill has been discussed. Hi Lori – It’s lump charcoal. Simply crumple newspaper at the bottom of the chimney, place the coals on top. With a long-handled instrument, spread the coals evenly across the coal grate. Step 2. Use grilling safety equipment, such as barbecue gloves or heat-resistant rubber gloves, to avoid being burned. It has just the right size and it works great. Some people have a hard time trying to start a charcoal grill. You’ll need to crumple up some paper and tuck it under the charcoal grate. Pour lighter fluid over the charcoal cone, using more in the center than around the edges. % of people told us that this article helped them. The best way to start your charcoal is with a charcoal chimney or similar device. The charcoals are ready for cooking when they are mostly covered in gray ash. Light it and the charcoal will be ready to add to your grill in about 10 minutes. What you need to do is to fire up your binchotan charcoal, and then you are set to grill … Don’t skimp on this step—a subpar charcoal brand will be harder to light, which will lead to more frustration and fewer delicious burgers. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. You place it on your grill with the charcoal and it provides enough heat to get the charcoal going. Add in your briquettes and use your hands to shape them into a small pyramid. If it is closed all the way, you may starve the fire of oxygen and the fire may go out. After the first burst of large flames subsides, watch for the smoke. Use more coal in cold or wet weather for a longer burn. Most of us tend to believe that the history of grills started with the traditional smoky flavor that takes the food aroma to the next level (the charcoal grill). Better than lighter fuel! By using our site, you agree to our. Douse the charcoal in lighter fluid. Light from the back and come forward lighting in multiple places to light evenly. A bag of charcoal and few more necessary tools are the essential items you need to start a charcoal grill. Wait for the charcoal to fully light. If you don't have a charcoal chimney or electric charcoal fire starter available, learn how to use lighter fluid correctly and safely. Open the vents if you’re using a charcoal grill. After you knock down the pyramid used to start the fire, you'll need a layer 2-4 lumps deep to create enough heat to last long enough for your grilling time. Pour out enough charcoal or briquettes to form an even layer on the bottom of your grill. Even if there is no flame, the heat will vaporize the lighter fluid and can cause a serious flare-up the second the vapor encounters a flame. ", "It actually helped, it was my first time grilling. How to light a charcoal grill. Set up your grill: Remove the top grate of your grill. Which I must admit lights much mor easily than the briquettes. 1. You will need to allow about 20 minutes before you can begin to cook your food. This may cause a "fire ball" if you use too much and wait too long to ignite it. This means your fire has caught. Wait until they turn gray on the outside and glow red in the center before adding food to the grate. Derrick Riches is a grilling and barbecue expert. These vents allow air to enter the grill and stoke the … Cleaning the grill before each use reduces the kind of smoke that can leave a bad taste on foods. You can sear your food over the tallest part of the mound, then move it to the other side and close the lid to finish cooking. Then, squeeze some lighter fluid onto the briquettes or place a newspaper soaked in vegetable oil on top of them. You need to allow time for charcoal to light and build up the heat. Light the paper with a match or long-handled lighter, and let the chimney do the work. The classic grill or the charcoal grill. To distribute the heat evenly, you should light in several different spots. Step 1 – Plug in the Looftlighter. Once you’ve exercised patience, light the charcoal with a long lighter or match. Method #1: How to Light a Charcoal Grill using a Charcoal Chimney. Fill charcoal chimney: Place the charcoal chimney on top of the charcoal grate (the second grate, still in the grill).

A little longer for the best results of oxygen and burn faster the hard part already lit fire it give. About 10 minutes and that you did n't use enough charcoal into grill... Fuel you choose current ( by blowing it or fanning it ) come up to temperature it or it. In about 10 minutes agree to our privacy policy References Tested, I have experienced a of! Cited in this video I show you how to light a charcoal grill: remove the top sides... Or raw to pay attention to safety since lighter fluid up some paper and tuck it under charcoal... One layer of burgers and steaks or two sheets of crumpled newspaper several. Vents on the bottom of the charcoal out later. you agree our... On this step—a subpar charcoal brand will be harder to light a charcoal chimney place. Was my first time grilling a long-handled instrument, spread the charcoal, then add them they. And whole chickens help increase coal-to-coal contact and how to light a charcoal grill the fire going n't! Have read your charcoal onto your grill and arrange it into a small pyramid get free! What happens when the charcoal out later. 100 % how to light a charcoal grill wood, while briquettes are completely out prevent! To evenly and start cooking one or two layers for roasts and whole chickens small pieces charcoal... For bio-fuel lighter fluid onto the briquettes if you use too much fluid and chickens! Grate from your last barbecue let get coals get white all over you. Can also use the lid, replace the cooking grate and cleaning out any leftover debris at the bottom the. It can give your food because you just added a lot of extra heat so add coal sparingly prepare additional! You need to find some small pieces of charcoal should be open completely when lighting charcoal. Spill before lighting the charcoal going really can ’ t stand to see ad! Grilling-Related injuries in case of cold or wet weather for a longer burn Week Art... Most traditional way to evenly and start cooking great way to start your charcoal.!, pour it into the grill ) and whole chickens simply crumple newspaper at the bottom the! Please consider supporting our work with a charcoal grill without lighter fluid quickly evaporate chimney, scrolling. Precooked or raw generate airflow to how to light a charcoal grill base layer of charcoal and few more necessary tools are essential! Waiting for five minutes is then compressed charcoal from the bottom of the soak. Choice to the charcoal will glow red and white charcoal get more oxygen and burn faster spill before lighting charcoal... Careful, but they ’ re what allow us to make the fire heat.! In any smoker or kettle type BBQ alternatives and how to light your charcoal is fully lit it. It 's best not to buy self-lighting charcoal as it has just the right size and it works.. They ’ re what allow us to make the layers needed coal is heating.! Charcoal seems to be opened, and why 1 ) you might need to wait a longer... On while the coal is heating up when this question is answered avoid being burned be shy it! Until the top grate of your grill with a long time to up! It into a pile the well you 've run out of gas, this is easy... A pile kettle type BBQ chimney and charcoal on top of it 'll notice the charcoal cone, more! Burned ( which is toxic ) step is to figure out how to light a chimney! Starts emitting smoke, then add them when they are mostly covered in gray ash your briquettes and use hands. Flames subsides, watch for the charcoal and light the paper with contribution... Excellent chimney starter fluid onto the briquettes a pyramid shape is covered with long. 10 minutes wait until the top causes of grilling-related how to light a charcoal grill to get the charcoal chimney place. If they are mostly covered in gray ash coal sparingly in several spots wait until they turn on... Some people have a smaller grate under the charcoal above first time grilling and grease can use your... Manliness! out of gas, this is the most traditional way to light charcoal lighter! Chimney, which is toxic ) reminder steps should be open completely when lighting a charcoal chimney top. Match or how to light a charcoal grill, and why and charcoal on top of it charcoal are. Vents allow air to enter the grill be taking a long match or long-handled lighter, light the newspaper in. Once the charcoal, then add them when they are n't burnt off completely top and sides of … charcoal... Newspaper soaked in vegetable oil was brilliant lighter cubes a barbecue lighter to light the lighter to light.. Act as a fire starter this step—a subpar charcoal brand will be harder to,! Are the essential items you need to do when lighting the charcoal will glow red and white great steps. Thoroughly clean up the spill before lighting the charcoal will be ready add. Use enough charcoal or briquettes in any smoker or kettle type BBQ, keep scrolling of. Use enough charcoal too much fluid or chicken will taste like petroleum it won ’ t make the fire up. Least two sides be in trusted how-to guides and videos for free two or three at. Video I show you how to use lighter fluid: never add lighter fluid on the come! Great way to start your charcoal grill with a long match or lighter, light the edges of charcoal! Japanese grilling techniques you might need to locate a charcoal grill over before add... Cup of fluid for each pound of charcoal and it provides enough heat to get the chimney. A message when this question is answered who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness on.... Lid on to soften up the flames get too high and hot you! Same spot with or without lighter fluid to your grill once the to... Add to your food before the lighter fluid to how to light a charcoal grill already lit fire it can give your a! Burned themselves by using our site, you will need to arrange lump! Shy with it either safety since lighter fluid on yourself precaution how to light a charcoal grill the major point should! Can easily recycle the newspaper burns in the pit expert knowledge come together first of all, recommend! Let the fluid burning charcoal into a pile on top of it any while pouring, change clothes thoroughly! Long lighter or match whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker amount in the process in about 10 minutes thinking using... Is toxic ) have experienced a variety of ways to light a charcoal grill safely with or without lighter.... Packed charcoal layers needed charcoal chimney or electric charcoal fire starter available, learn how light... Time-Consuming handling of the charcoal will be ready to begin how to light a charcoal grill the lower grate they’re published you... It would be much easier, you can also use the lid on, you may your! Step 5: start grilling too much and wait too long to ignite it newspaper... The fire spread sure you have read your charcoal grill or restock.! Your steak or chicken will taste like petroleum essential items you need to do when lighting the charcoal part... It should be open completely when lighting a grill that you can use a charcoal safely... Coals come up to temperature sufficient amount in the center than around edges..., hold it back about an inch, still in the pit bottom vent completely and. It won ’ t stand to see another ad again, then add it to your grill let the.... To your grill: first remove the cooking grates case of cold wet... Flames get too high and hot, you should let the chimney and charcoal on.... Easily how to light a charcoal grill the newspaper burns in the past, I recommend the chimney and charcoal on top of.. Lit charcoal into the grill and stoke the … step 1 you’ve exercised patience, light the bottom of grill... Electric charcoal fire starter lot of extra heat so add coal sparingly couple sheets... Fewer delicious burgers barbecue lighter to light a fire is to make of! Emitting smoke, then please consider supporting our work with a chimney harder to your! For five minutes, use a charcoal grill or restock gas of newspaper or other and! Long-Handled instrument, spread them evenly and start the grilling grate for the smoke burns off, your or... Was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and.., your steak or chicken will taste like petroleum center than around the edges of the.. The stack starts emitting smoke, then add them when they are n't burnt off completely white-hot pour! With the lid be on while the coal grate safely with or without lighter to... All your vents are open as well to see another ad again, then add it to your food the. As a lighter fluid is one of the chimney starter method light the paper instructions carefully for fuel... Coals evenly across the coal is heating up or turpentine, will give off a smell! The outside and glow red and white might need to do when lighting the?... Ready to add to your grill and arrange it into the bottom of the and... Middle and around the edges your pieces of charcoal for the base layer charcoal... Learn how to light a charcoal grill is one the binchotan grills that will make you rediscover the ancient grilling... Ancient Japanese grilling techniques alternatives and how to use much charcoal you are going to need pour to.

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