How To Start A Charcoal Grill – Get Your Grill On!


Start A Charcoal Grill

The success with starting a charcoal grill certainly isn’t difficult, but there are a few little tricks-of-the-trade that—if unknown and not used—can make the difference between having fun or experiencing frustration!  No one wants to wait longer than necessary to bite into some plump sausages, juicy burgers or tantalizing steaks, so having the correct insight into this uncomplicated craft is a big deal—at least for the griller!  Here’s how to start a charcoal grill like a champ.


Calculate Your Briquettes:

Did you know that it takes about 30 briquettes to grill one pound of meat?  Since a 5-pound bag of briquettes contains anywhere from 75 to 90 of these little guys, you can guesstimate how much you’ll need, dependent on how many people will be enjoying  your grilled food.  As a side note, you might be interested in knowing that in most communities, one can purchase lump charcoal from the local grocery store.

It’s As Easy As 1-2-3-4:

1:  Remove the top grilling rack and set a chimney starter (aka: charcoal chimney) into the center of the grill.  Crumple about 5 sheets of newspaper and stuff them into the bottom of the chimney starter and fill the remaining space with briquettes—or, with as many briquettes as you will need.

2:  Light the newspaper and tilt the bottom of the chimney starter, just a bit, to allow for more oxygen flow to reach the fire and really get it started.

3:  Leave the chimney starter alone and let the fire burn.  This will, of course, begin to slowly heat up the coals.   It will take 20-30 minutes (perhaps a bit longer) for the coals to turn noticeably grey or silver in color—it’s at this point that you will know the briquettes are done; but all of them should be uniform in color.

Notice, there is no mention of using lighter fluid; and the reason for this is:  you don’t need it!  Aside from lighter-fluid not being, at all, necessary, it has a way of compromising the taste of foods—giving meats, in particular, a hint of ‘lighter-fluid’ flavor.

4:  Grab a heat mitt, for the sake of safety, and slowly pour out the coals into the bottom of the grill.  Depending on what foods you will be grilling and how slowly or quickly you want your food to cook. You’ll use tongs to either pile the briquettes into a mound in the middle of the grill or you’ll evenly spread them out.

That’s it!  What?  We’re done?  Yep!  It’s as easy as A-B-C.  Place the top grilling rack in position and lay those chicken thighs, salmon steaks, T-bones, burgers or brats where they need to be and savor the flavor and the moment!

You don’t need a $500 grill to impress your guests!  Even the simplest of charcoal grills will accommodate a chimney starter and a few handfuls of charcoal.  What WILL impress your guests is how proficiently you ‘get your grill on’ and are able to turn raw meats into rave reviews!