4 No’s When Lighting a Charcoal Grill

Mavis Loh Blog

On the road to grilling perfection, you’re bound to hit a few potholes. There are some common mistakes and issues that seem to crop up over and over when lighting their charcoal grills. Some of them might seem like quick fixes, but they are not. Let’s explore these issues and some easy remedies.

Squirting Lighter Fluids

I know it can get really tempting to use this quick-fix to get the fire started or get it going again once if it has fizzled out. But think about this: more often than not, lighter fluid will impart a gross, chemical flavor on anything you throw on the grate, robbing yourself of grilling flavor. Ask yourself, is it worth the convenience?

Being Scared To Get Too Close To The Grill

Have you seen someone try to hurl charcoal on from a distance, or light newspaper and try to toss it into the chimney starter like a basketball, hoping to make the hoop but too scared to get close? Although it is understandable to be nervous but certain things can only be done up close and personal on a grill to get it started right. The fire isn’t going to start right away, so don’t be scared to be next to the grill to light it up. Alternatively, you may explore keeping yourself feeling safe by having oven mitts or kitchen towels on hand if things get too hot!

You Don’t Place The Charcoal Evenly On The Grill

When you’re ready to grill, you just scatter the charcoal wherever in the grill pit. It’s all the same, right? Well, not really. Pile the coals evenly over the grill, so that you won’t have “cool” spots in your grilling. Unevenly paced charcoal can mean that even meats that is cooked with the same amount of time on different sections of the grill might turn out differently. A piece of meat on the “hot” part of the grill might be very well done, whereas another piece meat on a different section of the grill might still be raw inside.

You Don’t Clean The Grill

Repeat after me: I WILL CLEAN MY GRILL AFTER EVERY USE! Granted, it may be really tempting to leave your dirty grill as it it. However, your laziness could result in grilling failures during your next use. Ashy and crispy bits from grilling remnants, as well as bits of charcoal, can clog up your grill, blocking oxygen, which is necessary for fueling the fire. Be sure to clean the grill after every use. Consider it a gift to yourself to ensure grilling success in the future, whether your next session is going to be tomorrow or a few weeks ahead. Read more about why you should clean your grill after regularly.

We understand that working at the grill can be intimidating and lots of hard work, but it’s a worthwhile pursuit to learn how to properly light a charcoal grill. Not only will you be rewarded with delicious grilled goods as a result of your know-how, but you might just impress your friends and save the party on occasion. Sometimes it might seem like the grill can smell your fear, but the more practice you get, the easier it will be to overcome these common grilling obstacles.