If you know how to grill ribs on charcoal but don’t know how to light a charcoal grill, you are at the right place. Being a hard-core barbeque enthusiast, you love the chargrilled flavor, texture, and aroma of the beef patties, grilled on charcoal or pellet grill.
That’s why the following article discusses three methods to start a charcoal grill.
How to Start a Charcoal Grill With a Chimney?
The chimney is the best charcoal starter in the chargrilling world because it’s easy and mess-free and doesn’t require lighter fluid. Moreover, the chimney offers proper ventilation, courtesy of the holes present on its surface.
First, you must open the lid of your grill and remove the cooking grate. Now, you can place the empty chimney starter on the lower charcoal grate and add the desired amount of charcoal to the chimney.
By the way, you can use Royal Oak lump charcoal, which is the best charcoal for grilling. You need to fill the chimney one-quarter full, for low heat or for cooking tender fish fillet. However, for medium and food like burgers, you need to fill it one-half or three-quarters. Additionally, the total amount of charcoal depends on the size of the grill.
After filling the chimney with charcoal, you require accelerants, such as lighter cubes or crumpled newspaper sheets. The trick here is to place the accelerant at the starter base and ignite it. At first, the charcoal present on the bottom side instantly catches fire and slowly burns the above coal.
The heat travels upward, pulling more air from the bottom and side holes. Once you see the top coals begin to burn and turn grey with ash, you can safely put them onto the charcoal grate. You should be careful while grabbing the handle as it may be hot. It’s better to use a towel to lift the handle and flip it over the grilling grate.
The entire charcoal process takes around 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the amount of charcoal in the chimney.
Caution: You should place the chimney on a heat-proof surface such as the charcoal grate.
The Downside of Using Chimney
On the downside, a charcoal chimney offers slow-burning performance, meaning it takes 20 minutes to burn the charcoal, which is substantial. Moreover, using newspapers to ignite coal can lead to fire hazards, especially if you are a beginner.
How to Start a Charcoal Grill With a Lighter Fluid?
If you are using lighter fluid, you must arrange the charcoal in the form of a pyramid or pile it on the charcoal grate of the weber charcoal grill, which is the best charcoal grill. In addition to that, you can also use the Kamado grill, one of the best portable charcoal grills.
While making a pyramid shape, you should place the large coal lumps at the base while smaller lumps on top of that base. Furthermore, you must put the charcoal lumps or briquettes closer together, allowing the fire to spread from one coal to another quickly. The next step is a bit tricky. You need to spray the lighter fluid evenly on the coals and light them after 30 seconds, allowing the coals to absorb the liquid.
Sometimes, people pour more fluid on some charcoal while leaving the others, leading to inconsistent charcoal burning. You can use the charcoal once it turns grey. Caution: Never add lighter fluid after lighting the coal.
How to Start a Charcoal Grill With an Electric Starter?
The fluids and accelerant cubes contain chemicals; that’s why many people refrain from using them to light the charcoal grill. Electrical charcoal starters are gaining popularity among people because of their convenient use.
Consider an electric starter as a heating rod to burn the charcoal. You can either also use a heat gun or a Looftlighter as they all serve the same purpose – ignite the charcoal. A Looftlighter uses a combination of a heat gun and a hairdryer to blow hot air at the charcoal, while the heat gun usually comes with two heat levels. On the other hand, an electric charcoal starter comes with a metal heating prong attached to an insulated handle.
All you need to do is to pile the charcoal closer to one another to facilitate fast burning. Next, insert the starter in the electric plug and place the starter’s nose right in the middle of the coal. You should be careful while using the electric burner as the stick or rod shouldn’t be above the charcoal pile; instead, place it at a safer angle.
You must wait till the charcoal starts burning; only then you can detract the lighter just a few inches from the charcoal pile. Furthermore, you can move an electric starter around the coal pyramid until the fire begins. It’s an indication to remove the electric starter. If you are using an electric starter, you need to place your grill near an electrical outlet.
You can use a propane torch to ignite the charcoal. First, you need to pile up charcoal in the grill grate. Next, you need to connect the torch to a propane tank. You should be extremely careful while aiming the nozzle at the charcoal. It’s better to keep it at a safe distance of two to three inches. You shouldn’t bury the torch in the charcoal, as it burns the nozzle as well.
In the end, turn on the gas and press the ignition button. The charcoal will begin burning within minutes. It’s one of the fastest methods to start a charcoal grill. Moreover, unlike lighter fluid, it doesn’t produce any unpleasant odor or taste.
You may know how to use a charcoal grill, but starting a grill is a challenge in itself. Adequately lighting a charcoal grill allows you to get into grilling action in no time. Moreover, starting a charcoal grill is the same whether you are using a small charcoal grill or a gas charcoal grill combo. You can use any of the above methods to start a charcoal grill.