Do you know the best way to start a charcoal grill? Probably not, but we do. No matter what the event may be, grilling seems like the best option to enjoy an evening with friends or the fam. From grilling the juiciest beef patties to barbecuing with chicken wings and a glass of appletini— the options are endless.
The charcoal grill is one of the best things to happen to the world, and there is a reason why. The flavors, taste, and tang of the meat are inevitably improved when you use a charcoal grill. The secret behind the flavorsome cooked up BBQ is none other than the steam of charcoal, and you know it.
But what to do if you don’t know how to start a charcoal grill? You go to the experts then, and who’s a better expert than me? I’m going to cut you short right there— and say no one. Let me share the best methods of charcoal grilling for beginners
Best way to start a charcoal grill fast and keep it burning
The important thing to remember is that once you light up the coal the fire spreads pretty easily. So, make sure that you have your compressed pieces of charcoal to be used as fuel for burning the charcoal grill. The 3 methods on how to use a charcoal grill are given below:
Method 1: How to start a charcoal grill with a chimney
For this method to work you’ll require thin paper. This includes butter paper, newspaper, or any old sheet of paper that is thin enough to light the coals of the charcoal grill. In addition to that, the chimney works as a protector between the food and the coal so that the edges of coal are lit up rather quickly.
Step 1: Place the charcoal on the chimney of your grill
The first step is pretty easy and it really just requires you to place the right ratio of charcoal briquets. In order to get the measurement right, you just need to use your common sense. Start filling the chimney up and when it gets full, that’s your cue to stop.
Step 2: Add lit up thin sheets of paper.
You need to be very careful while doing this step as this requires working with fire. Burn the corners of the thin sheet of paper i.e. a newspaper and place in the chimney. In the same vein, keep checking to see if the coals have been lit up properly and if not, you can keep increasing fire.
If you want to fasten the process, you can add petroleum or cooking oil to hasten the burning process— although for safety precautions we would not advise that.
Step 3: When the flames turn high, dispense them low
After 15 minutes of burning coal, this step involves using the magic of your sight to analyze when the coals have picked high flame. At this instance, you’ll need to dispense them or pour them out and wait for the fire to die down a little and the coals to get gray and ashy. Additionally, you’ll need to cool up the coals by fanning them with a hand fan.
And tada, you now know how to start a charcoal grill with a chimney.
Method 2: How to start a charcoal grill without a chimney – Lighter Fluid Addition
If you don’t have a chimney, you can still learn how to light a charcoal grill with lighter fluid. For this method to work you need 4-5 cardboard pieces, unburned pieces of charcoal, and an unclogged vent on the underside of the grill.
Dip the cardboard or thickened up newspaper strips in lighter fluid and place them at the bottom of the grill. This step will help the charcoal gain more fire and speed up the process of starting a charcoal grill without using a chimney.
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Method 3: How to light charcoal without lighter fluid
Don’t have a chimney, nor do you want to use the lighter fluid? I get it, lighter fluids give a weird sense of chemical smell and you want to avoid it. Not a problem.
Let me tell you my way of how to light charcoal without lighter fluid or chimney.
No need to spend your hard-earned dollars on buying unnecessary devices. Simply use newspaper and your matchstick, and a bunch of coals to get the deed done.
Get a charcoal grater or a grill and fill it with newspaper layers around the bottom of the gravel
Meanwhile, add some briquets on top and light up the corners of the newspaper layer. This will help the coals catch fire easily.
Finally, pile on more coals and let them light up. If you think the method is slow enough, you can use cooking oil to like the lighter fluid as it has no chemicals and is absolutely safe for consumption
Which is better, gas or charcoal grill ?
As the cooking and grilling expert, I get this question a lot. I use both at various events depending upon the taste or the feasibility of the event. However, for you— I am going to mention the best things about gas vs charcoal grills so you can make an informed decision.
Don’t forget to read about the winner grill at the bottom
Pros of Charcoal Grills
1. The authentic taste of charbroiled food
When it comes to BBQing, it is all about the aroma of charcoal and the true to the core taste of chicken or beef grilled on charcoal. There’s something about the charcoal grill that just adds zest in the flavor and unique smell in the air. You can’t say no to BBQ over a charcoal grill. When it comes to charcoal vs gas grill taste test, the charcoal grill is certainly the winner.
2. Super affordable and portable
Charcoal grills are not only portable but cheaper alternatives to gas grills as well. Guess it wins another point for it.
3. The temperature can go as high as you want
If you want your grilled steaks seared to perfection, you’ve got the perfect option. Another point to the Charcoal grill.
Oh, but all the mess. Check out these tips and tricks that can help you clean the charcoal grills super easily!
Best charcoal grill— our recommendation:
One of a kind— gorgeous, elegant, and stylish charcoal grill is not only about looks but is also great at doing the job well. With cast-iron gates and a very handy side drawer, this is my favorite charcoal grill. However, the best part is that it has wheels so I can move it around very easily.
Pros of Gas grills:
- Easy to use
Gas grills are easier to use as you just need to light them up with a lighter, and there you go. No need of fussing about how to get the best out of a gas grill. Just throw the steak on and let it sear for as long as you want. Charcoal vs gas grill health issues will remain as they are, but at least you know where to go if you want to get food quick and easy.
- Quick and Safe to Use
If you want to skip on that outdoor experience, and just want quick BBQ— you can rely on the gas grill to do the job for you. Additionally, if you want an efficient solution to your grilling problems then gas grills are a great option. In charcoal vs gas grill safety test, I’d vote for gas grill.
Best gas grill— Our recommendation:
The char-griller gas grill has very durable steel construction and electronic ignition for your ease. It also has utensil hooks which are very handy when it comes to keeping a fork or a tong in reach. Moreover the structure is pretty sturdy.