Best Meat to Grill on Charcoal in 2024

If you want to enjoy perfectly grilled meat, veggies, or seafood, using a charcoal grill can give you the best results. Most people wonder what type of meat is best to grill using charcoal. The truth is that the best meat to grill on charcoal can be any meat. The trick is to get your fire and smoke right. The smoke and heat combinations give your foods a rich and bold flavor when done right. Here is everything you need to know about grilling your meat on a charcoal grill.

The best meat to grill on charcoal

Low and slow smoked briskets

Once you have your charcoal going, you can allow your brisket to cook slowly in the smokebox. You can use your grill as a smoker box by lowering the lid and allowing the smoke to circulate in the grill.

Herbed prime rib

You can coat the meat in herbs, season with salt and pepper, and allow it to stand in room temperature for about 45 minutes before roosting it using indirect heat from your charcoal grill.

BBQ pulled pork

Even with no smoker, you can use the low and slow method to grill your BBQ pulled pork. Ensure you rub herbs into your pork before grilling. You can marinate the pork in the rub overnight or a few hours before grilling.

Smoked baby back ribs

Baby back ribs are some of the most commonly grilled meats types using charcoal and smokers. When well done, this results in a mouthwatering result that will keep your guests coming back for more.

Pork chops

Nothing beats the taste of pork chops grilled over charcoal and served with cherry port sauce. Ensure you make an extra batch of the sauce, as you will want to use it on other meats thanks to its amazing taste.

Smoked turkey

Turkey is popular meat at thanksgiving dinners all over America. Spice up your kitchen by smoking your turkey as opposed to baking it. With a charcoal grill, you can make smoked turkey at any time of the year.

Stuffed flank steak

The list of the best meal to grill on charcoal cannot be complete without including steak. Stuffed steak is best prepared with goat cheese and prosciutto.

Top tips on how to grill successfully using charcoal

Preparing your grill

The same way you will spend your time preparing the best meant to grill on charcoal with rubs and marinade, you also need to take your time to get the grill ready. Ensure you clean your grates from the previous cookout to prevent passing the flavor to your current food. Clean the grates after every use to ensure the grill is ready the next time.

Lighting charcoal

Using lighter fluid is the best way to get the charcoal started with ease. You can also use a simple chimney starter if you do not have lighting fluid. Whichever method you use, the coal should be ready in about 10 to 15 minutes. You know the coal is ready when it is hot with grey ash. Empty the coal in your grill and spread them out. Place down the lid of the grill to allow the cooking area to heat up.

Grilling over the temperature

Generally, charcoal grills will take anywhere between 20 to 30 minutes to reach the required grilling temperature. If your grill comes with temperature control knobs, you can wait until it reads the required temperature. If you do not have an inbuilt thermometer in your grill, you will need to use the hand test method by holding your hand six inches above the grates. If you can leave it for 6 to 7 seconds, the grill is on medium heat, while four to five seconds is medium-high. The heat is high when you cannot leave the hand there for more than two seconds.

Using direct or indirect heat

It is possible to create different cooking zones in your charcoal grill. This gives you room for searing, cooking, and warming ready food. When transferring the charcoal to your grill, avoid covering the entire grill with the hot briquettes. Pour most of the coal in one area, which will be your hot zone for direct cooking. This will be the perfect zone for your meat and getting the grill marks on your foods. On the other side of your grill, you can place very few hot briquettes to create a cool zone. This is the perfect place for slow cooking. The cool zone is perfect for ensuring even cooking and minimum flare-ups. You can transfer food from the hot zone to the cool zone to finish cooking. This prevents burning on the exterior and undercooked interior.

Using vents

Charcoal grills are made with a small vent located at the top of the grill’s lid and bottom part. These vents are meant to control the circulations of fresh air getting into the coal, which controls how hot or cool the grill is. Closing the vents can cause your coals to go off, and too much air can cause a flare-up. It is important to adjust the vents to find the perfect balance and air movement in and out of your grill.

Preventing flare-ups

Too much flaming on your charcoal grill will cause flare-ups, which ruins your food. This causes the outside of the food to burn before the insides are well-done, causing unpleasant soot to form on the surface of your foods. Flare-ups are usually caused when fat drips into the coal. You can reduce the chances of flare-ups by trimming off the fat from your meat before grilling. However, this can ruin the taste of your grilled meat. The best way to prevent flare-ups is to move the met in the cool zone. You can also close the lid on your grill.

Applying BBQ sauce

Applying BBQ sauce when grilling is the best way to lock in your meat moisture while giving it a delectable taste. When using sweet sauces, it is best to want until the middle or the end of your cooking to prevent it from burning.

Adding more charcoal to the fire

If your briquettes are almost going off in the middle of grilling, do not add unlit coal into the read fire. This will increase the temperature and produce strong smoke that will ruin the taste of your food. Instead, light briquettes away from your grill and add them directly to the grill once they are ready.


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