Suppose you have a charcoal grill outside of your house. You are too eager to have dinner with your loved ones this summer. But you are afraid that you could not control the temperature of the charcoal. And there are so many people out there who are having trouble too. Don’t worry! We have come up with easy steps of how to light a charcoal grill.
Which type of fuel should you use?
- You can use briquettes for a more extended time of burning. It is easy to light, and they are cheap.
- You should use hardwood charcoal to have depth in flavor. It also produces less ash.
- Again, we can use the mix of both briquettes and charcoal to have both features. This combination maintains consistent heat for longer cooking times.
Lighting the charcoals
There are various ways to light the charcoal. Don’t worry if you are a new charcoal griller. If you follow the following rules, you easily can gain proficiency in grilling in no time. Again, we recommend you to go through the tips to have an easy grilling.
How to light a charcoal grill with lighter fluid?
First of all, gather the coals at the bottom of the grill. Form an even layer on the bottom of the grill by enough charcoal or briquettes. The coals will help light each other, and the heat can come up. Then, squirt a generous amount of lighter fluid onto the coal. You have to soak the coals into the lighter fluid for about 3 to 5 minutes. It will prevent from burning off the coal immediately.
If you don’t have the lighter fluid( mineral spirits, ethanol, or methanol), douse a newspaper with vegetable oil. And put it under the charcoal. Then, you need to light it with a match or lighter carefully.
Just splash some lighter fluid to moisten the fuel. Then, light the moistened coals, and then, the fire can spread to the drier coal. 10 to 15 minutes later, we can see the fuel will be heated up. In the meantime, the lighter fluid also evaporates. The perfect time of cooking is when the coal is white-grey and orange-red in the center. Remember one thing that there is a chance of having a smell of petroleum from your food. So, wait until the fuels are ready for grilling.
Now scatter the charcoal evenly with tongs at the bottom. If we are grilling thick meat like steak, you need to group the coals higher on one side. Now, carefully place the grates and start cooking the barbeque.
How to light a charcoal grill without lighter fluid?
Are you thinking of using your piles of newspaper in lighting the charcoal? Then you can easily recycle the newspaper as a fire starter. Rolled up some newspapers and put them under the closed packed charcoal. You need to put the papers in several places and then light the newspapers with a match or lighter. We can utilize the newspapers in another way too. Go through the article to find out!
How to light charcoal with a chimney?
Take the chimney and put chunks of charcoals to reach about to the top of the chimney. There are holes at the bottom of the chimney. Now loosely screw up some pieces of newspapers. Now light the newspaper after placing the chimney on the cooking grates. You need to let the charcoals burn for around half an hour until they turned into white-grey with ash. Now, comes the risky part. You have to lift the grates and place a bed of the charcoals. Use heat-safe rubber gloves to do all these steps. Take the tongs and arrange the coals. Then, carefully replace the grates on top. There you go – have your grill ready for cooking.
How to light charcoal with an electric starter?
Yes, by using an electric charcoal starter, you can light the charcoal. First of all, place your electric starter on the grates. Then, put the fuels on top and around. Heat up as much as you need. Then, unplug the starter and keep it in a safe place to let it cool.
How much heat do you need for grilling?
We all are really obsessed with the smoky flavor of charcoal in our grilled foods. But it is quite challenging to use a charcoal grill. You do not have any button to start or stop, no knob to lower down or up the heat. So, we have to arrange the coal according to our food items and the shape of the grills.
For the direct heat
When you are cooking something that cooks quickly, then you need to grill them on direct heat. You have to spread the spread charcoals evenly. And then you have to close the lid and preheat the oven. And then you can cook on direct heat.
For the indirect heat
If you want to have a slow cooker, the indirect heat is necessary. In this process, you need to have two zones. In one zone, there is no charcoal. And in the other zone, we have to gather the charcoals. Then, we need to light the charcoals and keep the grill for 20 to 30 minutes for preheating. Then, place the food on the grates on the zone where there is no coal.
Cleaning and maintenance of the charcoal grill
- You must clean the debris at the bottom of the grill. The leftover ash takes up space for air.
- Here is to note down – if you want to make your grill last long, brush your grates with oil at the time of cooking. It will prevent sticking and grease fires.
- Try to clean the grates when they are still moderately warm.
- Use a long-handled, brass, or iron bristle brush to clean the racks properly.
- If you don’t possess a brush, you can use soap to wash it. Remember, dry the grates completely to prevent rust.
The mistakes you should not make
- Using briquettes all-time instead of hardwood
Hardwood can infuse so many tasty flavors in your steaks. Again, the briquettes contain chemicals.
- Using lighter fluid all-time instead of chimneys
Lighter fluid contains so many chemicals. It is quite recommended. Lighting the charcoal using chimneys is quite the proper way.
Do I open the vents or close them when lighting charcoal?
Fire needs oxygen to fuel the flames. When the vents are open, they help to burn the coals hotter. Again, you can close them to regulate the temperature of your coals while cooking.
When we are done with cooking, what to do with the charcoals?
You need to drench all of the charcoal in water carefully. And make sure they are cool enough before disposing of.
How do you light charcoal fast?
The ratio of gaps between the charcoal is the main fact here. The charcoals need to be close enough to spread the fire. Again, there also needs to have some space between coals for airflow. It is recommended to use fresh charcoal.
Thus, if we follow our given steps, I guess you are not going to face any trouble. We all know it is quite tough to control the heat of the grill. So, the first thing we have to know is how to light a charcoal grill. And after that, we have to follow the rules and avoid the mistakes. I am sure you are going to have the best-grilled foods at your dinner. Bon appetite!