Grill Master Tips and Tricks on How to Use a Charcoal Grill

Grilling is a favorite for many people during not only the summer months but almost all year long if the weather permits. There’s something about firing up the grill and spending time outdoors cooking the entire family a delicious meal. When food is cooked on the grill, it’s filled with that amazing flavor we all know and love.

Grilling, though, is a skill. Not everyone knows how to grill, and not everyone can grill. It’s also important to take note that there are several different types of grills, and each has its own way of grilling. 

Knowing how to use a charcoal grill is its own craft. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be cooking up some pretty amazing meals! To become the next charcoal grill master, continue reading below.

Here are all the charcoal grilling tips and tricks you need to know to do just that!

Making Preparations 

Before you start grilling, there are several things you need to do to prepare it. You should never begin grilling without preparing the grill first because the preparation process is what’ll ensure your food comes out great! 

You should start by removing any ash that’s left in the grill from the last grilling session. Leaving ash in the grill can cause the food to taste different and cook differently because it’ll prevent the grill temperature from remaining consistent. 

You’ll then need to clean the grates on the grill. Use a wire bristled grill brush to clean them. This will create the perfect grilling environment. 

Starting the Grill

You can now begin to start up the grill. You’ll need to decide between briquettes and lump charcoal. Once you have your charcoal ready, open the vents on the grill. In order for the fire to burn well, it’ll need oxygen.

Light the charcoal and adjust the temperatures using the vents. The more you open the vents, the hotter the grill will get. To light the charcoal, you can try a few different methods. 

Place charcoal in a pyramid shape and use lighter fluid to light the coals. You can also use an electric starter and place it in the middle of the pyramid. You’ll need to plug the electric starter into an outlet, which may require an extension cord. 

Allow it to heat the coals until ash begins to form on them. You can then remove the starter. 

A chimney starter is another method. Place crumbled newspapers into the bottom of it under the wire rack. You’ll then fill the chimney with the charcoal of your choice and light the newspapers. 

Let the newspapers burn until the coals are covered in ash. While wearing your gloves, remove the top grate of the grill and pour the coals into it. You’ll then want to replace the grates and cover them with oil.

No matter which method you choose, allow your oil-covered grates to become hot before placing food on them. This will prevent the food from sticking. 

Cooking on High Heat

When cooking on high heat, you allow steaks and vegetables like corn or onions to cook on the outside while remaining juicy on the inside. When using high heat, you can create an area of direct heat and an area of indirect heat on the grill. 

Direct heat is when you cook directly over the flames, while indirect heat is when you cook the food off to the side of the flames. Direct heat is best when cooking smaller pieces of meat that you want to cook quickly. Indirect heat works best for cooking large pieces of meat that you want to cook for several hours, like ribs or brisket. 

Cooking on Medium Heat

The best foods to cook on medium heat are food that you’ll need to cook all the way through. One example is chicken. Meats that need to be cooked on medium heat can also be marinated overnight for extra flavor.

Trying to cook marinated food on high heat will only lead to the flavoring being cooked off. It’ll take longer to cook this way, but medium heat will ensure that food is cooked thoroughly without burning the outside. 

When your food is done cooking, no matter what heat you use, be sure to allow it to cool off the grill and soak up all the flavor for a few moments before serving. Be sure to have a smoker thermometer nearby as well to help you determine when the grill and when the meat is at the right temperature. 

Beginning the Cleaning Process

When you’re done using your charcoal grill, you need to clean it. Cleaning the grill after each use makes it easier for yourself when you’re ready to use the grill again. You’ll need to clean the grill immediately after you’re done cooking. 

Use a wire grill brush to clean the grates while it’s still hot. This will make it easier for you to clean, because the heat will help remove the leftover food pieces. 

You should also give your grill a good deep cleaning once every grilling season or twice every grilling season if you use your grill often. 

Now You Know How to Use a Charcoal Grill!

If you love grilling or love eating food off the grill, then you need to know how to use a charcoal grill. Charcoal grills are the best way to get that scrumptious smokey flavor. Once you master the charcoal grill, you’ll find yourself outdoors using the grill more often than you use your oven or stove!

To discover some of the best charcoal grill options for your needs, be sure to browse these options today.