How To Start A Charcoal Grill And Keep It Lit

​Charcoal grills are a wonderful way to serve up delicious meals and ​barbecue for a large group of people or even your family and friends, especially during the extremely hot summer months wherein there’s nothing that sounds better than sitting back and relaxing with a freshly grilled ​BBQ in your hand, rich with the essence and distinct taste of charcoal. One thing that deters many individuals from grilling up a delicious steak is the hassle it takes to start and light a charcoal grill. It might seem difficult, but with time, practice, as well as the right amount of effort and instructions anyone, even a beginner, will be able to grill up their favorite meals with relative ease.

How To Start A Charcoal Grill

Before you light ​a charcoal grill, you need to make sure that it is prepared and cleaned in order to maximize the quality of your cooking.

  • ​First and most importantly, clean your charcoal grill. Make sure that it is free from any grime, grease, ash and leftover charcoal from past cooking sessions because these remnants will greatly affect your cooking.
  • Next, spread cooking oil all over the grill’s cooking space in order to lubricate the surface and open the vents of the grill. This ensures easier cooking due to air flow.
  • Pick out the charcoal you wish to use because the kind of charcoal you pick out will affect the taste and essence of your food. Make sure to measure the proper amount to be sure that it fits in your charcoal grill area.
  • Place the charcoal inside the grill and light it all up- then, cook and grill.

Simply choose from one of the many ways to light a charcoal grill, listed and elaborated on down below.

  • Lighting a Charcoal Grill with an Electric Starter: First and foremost, pick out what kind of charcoal you would like to use as well as the amount you think you will need. Then plug in your electric charcoal starter, set your charcoal and chimney starter up on top the electric starter and after a while of waiting, your coals will be ready to heat up your food. Without a doubt, an electric starter is one of the easiest ways to get started with grilling given that it is a great option especially for beginners.
  • Lighting a Charcoal Grill with Cooking Oil: Lighting a grill with cooking oil is relatively easy to do as well. Simply pick out your desired charcoal size and amount then use about a half cup of cooking oil, pour the fluid around the coal stack and once you are finished simply light the charcoal stack with any source of fire available at your current disposal.
  • Lighting a Charcoal Grill with Lighter Fluid: To light your grill with lighter fluid, stack your charcoal atop the grates of the grill and use the lighter fluid, pouring it around the sides of your charcoal pile. Afterwards, use any source of heat or light to set the charcoal and lighter fluid mixture ablaze.
  • Lighting a Charcoal Grill with Match Light: To light your charcoal grill with a match light, simply pour your fluid of choice onto the stack of charcoal, Be it cooking oil or more traditional lighter fluid. Afterwards, light up your match light and use the emanating fire to set the charcoal ablaze and ready for grilling.
  • Lighting a Charcoal Grill with Newspaper: Don’t have any lighter fluid or electric starters available? No need to worry, because you will have the choice to light your charcoal grill with newspaper, something you can find practically anywhere. All you have to do is stack the newspaper along with the charcoal neatly before lighting the mixture with a lighter or any other source of fire. Afterwards, you can finally start grilling.

​After following the steps listed above for your preferred choice of lighting a charcoal grill, you will be set and ready to make any sort of food or meal you desire. The steps to lighting a charcoal grill with all the methods stated above is relatively the same give or take a few steps, so you won’t have a hard time switching between them as you please.

​Now that you have your charcoal grill lit, you might be curious as to how to keep said flames alight. It helps for the heat to stay constant especially if you are cooking up a large amount of food.

How To Keep a Charcoal Grill Lit and Hot

How To Keep a Charcoal Grill Lit and Hot

In order to keep your charcoal grill lit and ​hot for more grilling, simply read and follow these available steps:

  • First and foremost, it would be good to keep your charcoal and grill away from damp, moist areas as these factors have the ability to put out the light in your charcoal grill. Make sure that you are cooking in a dry, arid location in order to fully maximize the length the charcoal and fire stays lit.
  • Second, make sure the charcoals are clumped together. This heightens the chance of the heat staying intact because if the charcoals are too far apart, they will quickly lose their heat. Make sure they aren’t too tightly packed together either because this will result in the, losing air and eventually as time passes, their flame as well.
  • Third, make sure to add charcoal regularly and every now and again to make sure the grill stays hot. Once you have around only half of your charcoals remaining, that’s a sign that it’s time to add more. If you don’t, your fire will die down and your food won’t be able to cook as thoroughly as before. Don’t be stingy with the charcoals because the more you pile on, the higher the likelihood the heat and fire will rise and burn brighter making for tastier, more evenly cooked meals for you and your family and friends.
  • Fourth, it is a good idea to fan the flames of your charcoal every now and then because doing so stimulates the heat and fire, making it hotter and far better for grilling your food. Make sure you don’t fan too hard, however, because if you do this heightens the risk of the flames dying out and the charcoals losing their heat. Fan lightly enough that the flames grow but not too hard.
  • Fifth, make sure to keep the charcoal and grilling area clean of ashes by removing said residue every now and then. Doing this will increase the heat capacity of your charcoal since the ashes cause the light and flames to die down as time progresses

​​If you follow all the listed steps above on how to properly light your charcoal grill using the materials available at hand as well as how to keep the heat and fire running as long as possible, you’ll be sure to have a successful grilling experience.

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