What temperature should my charcoal grill be?

If you’ve a charcoal grill or you’re planning to get one, you’ll have all these questions like ‘what featutes should my grill have’,’ how’d I heat it’, or ‘what temperature should my charcoal grill be for the best ever experience?’.

It turns out, charcoal grilling is much easier when you know the best way to heat a charcoal grill. Many times, people make the mistake of buying the most expensive grills including all those appealing features while having no idea on how to heat it properly or what temperature should it be. This turns out to be an unfortunate event and the quality of the grill is sometimes wrongly blamed. However, having no idea about how to get the best out of your charcoal grills is what actually is culpable.

No worries, we’ve got your back. Here are a few techniques to help you learn how to heat a charcoal grill. Moreover, these techniques will enable you to learn the best way to heat up a charcoal grill that works the best for you. Although if you’re still looking for that perfect charcoal grill you can light up, check out some amazing charcoal grills here. For a charcoal and gas grill combo, check out the best hybrid grills here.


Using charcoal grill vents to heat charcoal grill faster:


My father taught me many things. However, the technique that has stuck with me throughout the years is his way of using vents to heat charcoal grill. Contrary to what you might believe in, you can actually speed up the process and flare up the charcoal more through an inflow of air i.e. oxygen. Although, this is of course if you use charcoal grill vents better.

A newbie would generally consider to avoid charcoals from oxygen or air, but do the opposite. Most importantly, when the fire on charcoal is just starting out, leave the vent open. To sum up, this will be the best way to heat charcoal grill, and the easiest — guaranteed!



Add more coals to blaze up the fire

The law of grilling indicates:

Less coal = less heat.

If you have ever been to an outdoorsy barbeque scene, you might have noticed that the professional BBQ chefs always have a bag of raw charcoal briquets placed next to them. No, that’s not placed there for décor.  In fact, it is placed there for emergencies when they need to heat up the charcoal grill.

In the same vein, add more charcoals to increase fire and flames. If you’re wondering how to heat charcoal grill, after the fire has been lit up you have to allow the fire to die down. Only then your grill will be heated enough to grill the yummy BBQ that your friends will boast about.


Adding lighter fluids to the coals

if the temperature where you live is incredibly cold, you might have a hard time heating up the charcoal grill. Still, we have got a trick to help you light up the charcoal grill in no time.

For this, you simply have to add the charcoals in the charcoal grill. Next, sprinkle some lighter fluid on the unlit charcoals and then light up the coals immediately.

Most importantly, never sprinkle lighter fluid into blazing fire or lit-up coals as you might have a chance of starting a very dangerous fire.




Once the fire has died out, you can use a hand fan to gently bring the breeze back to the charcoal grill. Trust me, it works wonders to re-ignite the dead fire.

What temperature should my charcoal grill be?

Now that you are familiar with the 3 best ways to heat charcoal grill, you must know about the temperature of your charcoal grill. If you’re a newbie, or just wondering ‘what temperature should my charcoal grill be?’ here’s your helping hand

How to check the temperature for the charcoal grill:

The best way to check the temperature for your grill is by using temperature gauges or temperature forks. The temperature fork allows you to set the heat level for your BBQ so when the heat is reached a certain level or exceeds that level— you get an alert to stop the heat.

This is beneficial for people who realize while grilling that they have no idea how hot should my charcoal grill be. With a temperature fork, you get an alert when your charcoals have reached a certain temperature.

You don’t need to play guessing games anymore, or end up ruining your BBQ because you placed it over a cold charcoal grill or too hot charcoal grill.

Charcoal Grill Temperature Chart | How hot should charcoal grill be?

Here’s a charcoal briquette temperature guide. If you have started charcoal grilling as a beginner, it will give the answer to the question ‘What temperature should my charcoal grill be?

Charcoal heat

Temperature            BBQ

Very hot over 600°F                Too Hot, BBQ will burn
Hot 450° to 500°F           Perfect
Medium 350° to 400°F            Bad
Medium-low 325° to 350°F            Worst


Products I recommend to test the temperature for charcoal briquettes:

If you don’t want to burn your BBQ and ruin a perfectly good evening, you need a temperature gauge or a temperature fork. Trust me, I have been grilling for a long time and this is one investment that you will treasure for a long time.

1) Rubbermaid Commercial Products Stainless Steel Instant Read Oven/Grill/Smoker Monitoring Thermometer

This thermometer is perfect for when you want to ensure a safe BBQ night out. It doesn’t require any battery to judge the temperature, and the lens is heat and shatterproof. Perfect for a BBQ tailgate!

2) DOZYANT BBQ Barbecue Charcoal Grill Pit Wood Smoker Temperature Gauge Grill Pit Thermometer Fahrenheit for Barbecue Meat Cooking Beef Pork Lamb

This was the first temperature gauge I purchased and have been in love with it ever since. The design is very user-friendly so reading the temperature is effortless and simple.

3) Cuisinart CTF-615 Digital Temperature Fork

The Cuisinart 615 is the digital temperature fork that I am currently using. I purchased it as I now find temperature forks more convenient. Once, I was grilling outside in dark and the LED light came out to be very handy.

I particularly purchased it because of its height. So, I don’t have to go near hot flames of charcoal and just use my temperature fork to do the task from afar.


4) Meat Thermometer, Mayetori Digital Instant Read Cooking Thermometer Fork, BBQ Large Thermometer for Grilling Outdoors

One of my chef friends recommended the Mayetori cooking thermometer fork to me. The best part about this is that it can test the temperature within 3-7 seconds, the temperature range of 0℃~ 100℃(32℉~212℉) Accurate to ± 0.9℉. In short, chefs love this for its accuracy!


Final word:

No matter which trick you apply for heating up the charcoal grill, or products you get for checking the temperature of your charcoal grill. Nonetheless, the most important thing is to ensure that air vents are open when you light up the charcoal. you will have more control over the fire.

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