There are many types of charcoal grills but the basics are the same. So keep reading for the A-Z basics of how to use a charcoal grill.
How do you start a charcoal grill?
You start by deciding what you are going to use. Briquettes or charcoal pieces? If you are going to use briquettes, you will need to be sure you know what you want. Charcoal can come in many shapes, sizes and flavors. Most people who are not overly health conscience will go for the normal briquettes which are all over the place and the “norm” . But some people in today’s society are looking at everything that is being consumed. That includes consumption via cooking elements. And those folks prefer the use of lump charcoal as it is made more naturally and burns down to nothing.
Lighting a charcoal grill consists of layering and the use of additives to help ignite it. Some folks like to use lighter fluid. Some use pre-soaked self lighting coals and again some like the lump charcoal as it generally lights quickly and easily with less of a hassle.
When deciding how to start a charcoal grill gather your tools. You will need:
- Lighter fluid
- Long stem matches or a long stem lighter
You begin by layering first a bit of paper, and then layer like a pyramid your briquettes. Some people will stick shards of paper in between and then pour the lighter fluid on top to help it light. I don’t recommend over doing it, you may get a fire going that you didn’t anticipate! In lighting a charcoal grill you should always exercise caution and be sure you know what you are doing.
Once lit… let the charcoals burn down a bit. You will know when they are ready because they will be slightly gray on the outside and bright red in the middle. That means they are the hottest they can get and are ready to be moved around a bit to begin grilling. So with a fire poker gently push the coals around and evenly distribute them or push them to one side depending on what you are cooking.
I like to cook everything on a charcoal grill. It has the best flavor and the natural taste of the great outdoors.
But how to cook on a charcoal grill exactly? Good question!
The best way is to season your meats and marinate them to perfection. Then lightly coat the grate of the grill with canola or olive oil to help prevent your meat from sticking.
Start with your potatoes first if you also grilling potatoes. Take a potato, poke some holes in it with a fork, roll it in butter and coat it in salt. Then wrap them in aluminum and put them on the grill until they feel like they are getting tender. Yum!
THEN add your meat. Depending on what it is, most meats take around 20 to 30 minutes to cook. This gives your potatoes time to finish cooking as well. You may also want to throw on a couple of red and orange bell peppers and corn on the cob to make your charcoal grilled meal complete!
Video: How To Light A Charcoal Grill