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How To Grill With Charcoal


The grill is the throne of the griller.  It is where one exhibits their true power at the timeless art of cooking meat.  And the classic method of cooking is charcoal.  Charcoal not only gives your meat a nice smoky flavor, but also is the authentic and timeless experience of grill life.  In this guide we’ll teach you how to grill using charcoal.

Using charcoal

To start a charcoal fire, first open the vents at the bottom of your grill.  This allows air to filter in from the bottom of your grill, which allows the fire to burn.  Once you have this done, arrange your charcoal in a pyramid at the bottom of your grill.  One you have this done you’re ready to light your charcoal.  The best way to do this is to wrap a piece of paper, such as a newspaper, around a bottle to make a cylinder.  Light this on fire and surround it by the coals.  Once they’re lit, spread the charcoals evenly at the bottom of the grill to make sure there is an even distribution of heat.

Next it’s time to play the waiting game.  Wait for the coals to turn a grey-ash color means they’re in perfect condition for cooking.  Flames are bad as they are unpredictable and can give the meat a nasty flavor.  Once the charcoal is ready, it’s time to put the grate on the grill and they cook the meat.  Make sure your grate is properly cleaned.  Caked ash on the grate cannot only mess with the flavor of the meat, but it can also make the meat stick and cause difficulty flipping it.

Basics of grilling

When cooking the meat, it’s important to remember the basics of grilling meat.  There’s no such thing as spinning or flipping meat too frequently.  Sping and flip the meat as you see fit for the best cooking.  While it’s important to spread the coals to try to get an even cooking area, moving the meat around the grill can’t hurt.  Knowing the safe temperatures to cook your different meats can make all the difference.  Always oil the food you are cooking instead of the grill’s grate, as oiling the grate will simply burn the oil off and not help you.  Never add marinades or sauces to the meat while on the grille, as this will simply burn the sauces.  And also, make sure you season your meat before you grill it, preferably a good hour beforehand.

DCF 1.0There are a few common mistakes that many make when grilling with charcoal.  Learning these will save you from embarrassing mishaps.  The biggest mistake many make is using charcoal briquettes instead of genuine charcoal.  Genuine charcoal is made of straight wood, while briquettes are made from chemicals and other materials.  Genuine charcoal gives a rich smoky flavor, while briquettes do not.  Never settle for briquettes over genuine charcoal.  On the topic of chemicals, never use lighter fluid to start your fire.  This has a similar effect of using briquettes for your fire.  Always start your fire with matches, paper, or other natural means.  Keep careful stock of how much charcoal your have, and watch to make sure your fire is staying lit.  The worst thing is to come back to the grill and realize your fire died a while ago.


Safety is a must!  Never grill near anything flammable like wood piles, fences, or houses.  Never add lighter fluid to an already-burning fire.  This can spread up the stream and seriously burn you.  On the same topic, never EVER use gasoline or kerosene to start a fire.  These materials are volatile and can seriously burn you.

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