Life Style

How to Light Charcoal Grill

Grilling using charcoal is not only fun but also produces food that tastes great. Whether you are just grilling at your backyard, tailgating or out camping, it is important to learn how to light a charcoal grill so that the event remains safe. Here are some steps that will help you generate some hot charcoal for evenly cooked food.

How to Light Charcoal with Lighter Fluid

Steps to Light Charcoal with Lighter Fluid

First off, make sure that the coal you are using is not the self-lighting type or that it has an additive that allows it to start burning without the need for lighter fluid. Additives can give the food bad taste. The charcoal you use should produce no smoke and should be clean. Read the instructions that come with the grill and make sure that you have understood them. 

  • Clean the grill thoroughly to remove any grease and ash.

  • Determine the amount of coal you will use. 

  • Open the grill’s vents at the bottom.

  • Pour the charcoal on the grill and arrange them in a pyramid shape.

  • Pour lighter fluid into your charcoal until the coal has become slightly shiny.

  • Let the fluid sit for about half an hour then take a long match then light the charcoal from the bottom.

  • Leave the coal to burn until their surface turns white. When using lighter fluid, you should ensure that you give it time to burn off completely before starting the grilling. 

  • Evenly spread the coal throughout the grate using an instrument that has long handles.

  • Close lid then begin cooking in five minutes. 

The following video provides clear instructions:

The Amount of Charcoal Depends on What You Are Grilling

  • If it is steaks and burgers, a layer of charcoal will do. If it is for chickens and roasts, then two layers will do.

  • If you are grilling thinner meat, the charcoal should be evenly spread at the grill’s bottom.

  • If you are grilling thicker meat, the charcoal should be higher on one side. Start cooking the meat at the higher side – this is the one that has more charcoal. Once the outside of the meat is cooked as you like it, start cooking the inside using the part that has less charcoal.

Tips and Precautions

  • You should clean the grill before using it so that bad smoke is removed and will thus not leave any bad taste to the food.

  • Before you light the grill, make sure that you have taken inventory. Know how much meat will be grilled, how hot the grill should be and how long the grill should burn. Also, remember to clean the grill before using it because it still has remnants of the last food you grilled it with. These remnants will affect the meat’s taste and also block airflow, which is needed by charcoal to burn well.

  •  The proper way to use lighter fluid is by ensuring that all charcoal is not scattered all over the grill, but instead it should be in a neat pile. Generously pour the fluid on the coal and make sure that each coal has some lighter fluid.

  • Never add lighter fluid to coal that is already burning even if the coal has not produced any flame. Heat vaporizes lighter fluid, and this can cause a flame up once the vapor encounters the flame.

  • When pouring the coal into the grill, use a kitchen towel (a dry one) or oven mitt because the handle can at times get really hot. If you want to make 2-zone fire, pile coal on one side when pouring because repositioning them when they are red hot is not easy.

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