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How to Light a Charcoal Grill

Posted on Sep 30, 2013 in Charcoal Grill, Featured

The charcoal grill is one of the most preferred types of grilling around the world; this is because the charcoal itself confers great flavor and aroma on the foods that it cooks, and it is considered by some more healthy than propane-fueled grills or other types of grill. Nevertheless, a lighting a charcoal grill can be a tad more difficult than other grills which function similarly to a cooking machine. And if you want to have great results and cook delicious food, you need to know how to light a charcoal grill properly.  Anyone who’s ever made grill has realized that temperature is essential when cooking various foods, and a properly heated charcoal grill can make de difference between failure and success.

In what follows we are going to give you a few tips on how to light a charcoal grill, and then there will be nothing stopping you from having the best outdoor parties, the best family afternoons and dare we say the best meals? Read on and learn a few tricks:

  • Prep the grill – If your grill was used before, the first thing you need to do is to clean any residue. Get rid of all the ashes and dirt, otherwise they might prevent the fire from starting, or give an off taste to the meat or veggies when you put them over the embers.
  • Remove the grate – After each use, make sure you clean the grate, either with a brush, or even with dish detergent if it’s too dirty. This will not only help prolong the life of your grate, but it will help you avoid weird tastes in the food.
  • Add the charcoal – The next step on how to light a charcoal grill is to open the vents on your grill if it has them, so the fire or embers are oxygenated enough. Now the grill is ready for adding the charcoals, but make sure you use an appropriate quantity. If you’re cooking for an entire family, the grill needs to use more charcoal, otherwise the food won’t cook through.
  • Light it up – When you’ve brought enough charcoal, you are ready to light it using some lighter fluid. Some people choose to mix charcoal and wood, and you can do that too if you like; certain types of wood, such as pine, can also offer more aroma to the foods, but it’s best to stick to what you know in the beginning. You should add lighter fluid until all your charcoals are shiny; use safety matches or some other safe method to light them, because the flames will rise quite high in the beginning.
  • Have a little patience – Normally, it should take between 15 and 20 minutes for the charcoal to be ready for grilling; you can tell they’re done when ashes starts to form and all the charcoal is red. Spread all the briquettes on the bottom of the grill, and put the grate back on. You can now place the food on and wait for it to cook.

As you can see, lighting a charcoal grill just takes a bit of knowledge and patience; you have to be careful when dealing with fire, but if you take all the precautions, there shouldn’t be any mishaps. Finally, you should know that when you grill thinner meat or food, the charcoal should be spread evenly and thinly on the bottom of the grill. For thicker meats and foods, a side of the grill should have more charcoal and another less; that way, you begin grilling your meat at a very high temperature, and you finish it off at lower temperatures, so it gets well imbued and thawed. Good luck and good grilling!