How To Keep A Charcoal Grill Lit

How To Keep A Charcoal Grill Lit

Maintaining a Lit Charcoal Grill: A Step-by-Step Guide. Charcoal grills hold a classic status in the world of grilling, offering a distinctive smoky taste that modern grills struggle to replicate. Despite advancements in grilling technology, the charm of charcoal grilling persists. This piece aims to enlighten you on the nuances of charcoal grills, detailing the methods to ignite and sustain the flame during the entire barbecuing journey.

Charcoal grills have a bit of criticism about their wasteful nature and being bad for the environment but still, people, even the environmental concern foodies, can’t stop using them. The reason behind this is the traditional flavour that the food gets on the grill. 

In addition, the char marks on the stakes are attractive so it’s predictable that the charcoal grill is not going anywhere anytime soon. 

So let’s start with the main topic and explore how to light up the charcoal grill and keep the flames burning. 

What Are Charcoal Grills 

Before we start burning some coals, it’s vital to know what charcoal grills are. A basic explanation for newbies to BBQ is that this is a grill that consists of all the components you would expect from a standard grill, but the fuel used to burn flames is coals. The charcoal black coloured coals are best for burning flames and generating heat for longer.

However, the burning element is not only the speciality of coals as fuel for charcoal grills, it also provides a smoky touch with the charcoal odour to the food that you won’t get from any other grill. This was a basic intro to charcoal grills, now let’s have a look at how to lit them. 

Lighting Up The Charcoal Grills  

Despite all the features that a charcoal grill brings in for you, the starting minutes are challenging. It’s not easy to light up a charcoal grill as you have a bunch of charcoals to burn. But the task becomes easier if you consider the following elements while lighting up the charcoal grills:

  1. Make sure that you are using only dry charcoals. Coals tend to get moisture when we store them in a wet place and using those coals will cause too much smoke and might. They’ll also give you a tough time while lighting up the grill.
  2. Use fire starters to speed up the process. It’s the easiest way to burn charcoals although it takes 35 -40 minutes to heat all the way. All you have to consider is gather enough briquettes and pile them up before lighting. Use only natural cubes that are chemical-free. 
  3. You can also use liquid flued to act as a speeding agent to burn charcoals. It’s among the list common methods to burn charcoals. For this, you need to pile up all the charcoals and pour the liquid evenly on all of them. Afterwards, wait for 30 seconds during which the coals will absorb the liquid. Then lit up the charcoals using a matchstick or a grill lighter. 

So, these were the three best ways you can opt to light up your charcoal grill. Now let’s have a look at how you would keep a charcoal grill lit for longer. 

How To Keep The Flames Running To Keep A Charcoal Grill Lit

After you lit up the charcoal grills, it’s important to keep the temperature. For this you would require to ensure that there are enough flames, simply follow the instructions to go through his process:

  1. Use only dry and burnable charcoals that will burn throughout the process.
  2. The dampers’ role is very important in a charcoal grill where there are usually two dampers. They ensure optimum airflow to the grill to keep the coals burning. 
  3.  Always practice stacking up the charcoals rather than scattered. It will keep the flames burning high and won’t end soon. 
  4. Keeping the charcoal grill clean also assists in keeping the coals burning as the grimes and grease from leftover food won’t be a hurdle for the burning coals if the grill is clean.
  5. Lastly, the weather conditions are also influential on the burning charcoals. For example, if you have sunny weather, the coals will be dry and burn properly whereas, in humid weather, the moisture on the coals won’t allow them to be lit properly. 

Prepare Your Grill For BBQ time

The first step to starting your grill without lighter fluid is to make sure it’s ready for cooking. This means you need to clean the grates and remove any excess food from the grill before you start cooking.

If there is still some lighter fluid in the tank, then take a rag and dip it into the tank and use that to wipe down your grill. You can also pour a little bit of water on the grates while you’re cleaning them. That should help get rid of any leftover residue before you start cooking.

If there has been no lighter fluid in the tank for a long time, then don’t worry! Simply take a can of vegetable oil or vegetable shortening, pour it onto a paper plate, and rub that onto the grates with a paper towel for easy clean up.

Make Your Own Charcoal Starter Grill Lit

If you’re running low on lighter fluid, you can make your own charcoal starter. Start by lining a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and filling it with crumpled newspaper. Light the paper in several places and place the sheet on the grill grate. Include some wood chips if you like (you can add these to the charcoal when it starts to burn). As soon as the coals turn white, they’re ready to use!

Grill With An Electric Heat Source To Keep A Charcoal Grill Lit

It’s simple to start a grill with an electric heat source. Simply plug the cord into the outlet, then plug one end of the cord into the side of your grill. Turn on the power, and get cooking!


Keeping the right temperature on a charcoal grill is no less than a challenge. It takes a long time to master this skill and no doubt, it’s an integral part of grilling food. The flames play a key role in determining the cooking time for your food on the grill. So keeping the grill lit is super important. Hopefully, this article will help you know the hacks to keep the charcoal grill lit. 


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