Whether you’re camping out under the stars, serving hotdogs while tailgating, or simply entertaining in your back yard, charcoal grills are an easy, ideal way to serve up chargrilled flavor. This guide will teach you how to fire up the barbecue grill and get cooking in no time.
Tip: When cooking with any type of grill, periodically check the food temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure its internal temperature is high enough.
Safety: When using lighter fluid, read the directions for using proper amounts and don’t ever spray onto a lit fire or hot coals. Take caution any time you are around fire and make sure the area is properly ventilated.
Start a charcoal grill using a chimney starter:
- Place the empty chimney starter on the lower (charcoal) grate, and pour in charcoal.
- For low-heat foods or to use the grill as a smoker, fill the chimney ¼ of the way full. For burgers or hot dogs, fill ½ to ¾ of the way up. For high temperatures, completely fill the chimney with charcoal.
- Place an accelerant like lighter cubes or crumpled newspaper at the base of the starter.
- Light the accelerant.
- Once the top coals begin to turn grey with ash, pour them onto the charcoal grate.
Start a charcoal grill using lighter fluid:
- Arrange the charcoal in a pile on the charcoal grate. This will retain the heat and speed up heating process.
- Squirt lighter fluid on top of the coals and light immediately. Use 1.6 ounces of lighter fluid per pound of charcoal in your grill.
Start a charcoal grill by lighting the charcoal directly:
- Arrange the charcoal in a pile or pyramid on the charcoal grate and light. If using a bag of charcoal designed to be directly lit in the grill instead of emptying, light all four corners of the bag.