Essential Tips For Using A Charcoal Grill

Home & Garden Blog

Using an outdoor charcoal grill may take more time, but it is well worth it. There is simply nothing that can compare to hamburgers, hot dogs, and steaks cooked on a good, old-fashioned charcoal grill. If you are new to this grill, the following tips will be very useful. Keep in mind you should always check the manual that came with your grill, since newer models may have different cooking temperatures and times.

What Every Grill Master Needs

If you are planning to use a charcoal grill, there are some things you need to make sure you have. First of all, check your grill and make sure no ashes or debris is blocking the vents. This can make controlling your fire more difficult. The vents should also be working properly, and not show any corrosion or rust. After that, make sure you have a charcoal starter, grilling tools, and fireproof gloves. Be sure your charcoal grill is placed in a safe place that will not get knocked over. You also want access to a stick that helps you move the coals around.

The Rules of Charcoal Grilling

Before you start grilling, you also need to keep some more things in mind. First of all, make sure you have a safe place to keep the hot coals when you are done grilling. You should never place the coals in the garbage as that is a major fire hazard. You also don't want to leave hot coals in the grill with the vents closed, because they remain hot for a long time. Instead, find a safe place for them that is away from anything flammable and kept away from children and pets.

You must also keep your charcoal grill clean at all times. This can seem like a daunting task, but it is worth it. You want to keep the inside and outside of the grill cleaned, including all vents, controls, and racks. Debris can cause your food to taste weird, not to mention the fire hazard it presents. Some coals also have additives, which is another reason to clean your grill between each use.

Lastly, do not leave a charcoal grill unattended. Your food will take longer to grill, which can be frustrating, but at least remain near it. You don't want little hands messing around near the grill and knocking it over, or opening the lid to peer inside. This can be very dangerous and is easily avoided with the right supervision.

Grilling Tips

Now for the fun part! Here are some tips for grilling with a charcoal grill:

Use the right amount of charcoal - When you are ready to grill, make sure to get a large bag of charcoal briquettes. You want to have enough to cover the grill pan in at least a single layer, and going beyond the area where food is placed. If you are attempting to grill on a windy or cold day, you will need more of them to get to the right cooking temperature.

Learn the right lighting method – If you are using the pyramid method for stacking your charcoal, you should soak them with a good amount of lighter fluid. Allow the fluid to soak through the charcoal briquettes before you attempt to light it. After a few minutes, get your fire starter and light the top briquettes. They will begin to burn and create ash. Once this happens, you can rearrange them carefully with a long stick.

Oil the racks – Before placing food on the racks in the grill, oil them up with a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil. This will prevent sticking and even give your food a nice flavor.

Be patient – Finally, be patient when using a charcoal grill. It can take longer to cook food on this type of grill, especially when cooking thick slices of meat like hamburgers or steak. Flip every few minutes to allow even distribution of heat, and rotate around the racks if you're able to. (For more information on charcoal grilling, contact Hearth and Patio or another company)


26 March 2015