Adulting 101: A Beginners Guide to Lighting a Charcoal Grill

Posted May 3, 2019 by in Lifestyle

There is nothing better than sitting outside with your friends and family in a summer evening, preparing food, having a chat and enjoying the offerings from our charcoal grill. We watch the chefs on television and we may even watch our friends light their grills, but if you have never tried to do it yourself, you have to realize that there is a technique involved, there are actually two main ways to light your grill. 

Make sure that everything is clean before you start and clean out any ash from the pan. Take care as you light a charcoal grill, it is very easy to burn yourself!

Adulting 101: A Beginners Guide to Lighting a Charcoal Grill

Method 1: Use a Charcoal Chimney

A charcoal chimney looks like a metal mug. The idea here is that the chimney is filled to the top with charcoal and placed on the grate. Add some newspaper to the chamber below the charcoal, different chimneys will require you to put the newspaper in different places. You then light then newspaper. The newspaper should catch fire and begin to light the charcoal above it.

You may need to add more newspaper until the coals catch fire. Let the charcoal burn and smolder for anything between 10 and 20 minutes. The coals should be a grey / white color. You are then ready to pour the charcoal on to the grill. The charcoal will be extremely hot so take care here, it is always an idea to use heat resistant gloves and tongs to spread it around the grill.

Method 2: Use Lighter Fuel

Pile your coals into a pyramid shaped structure on the grill. Pour a good amount of lighter fluid over the coals and let it soak in. Make sure that you use enough of the lighter fuel as you cannot add the lighter fuel when the coals start to burn as it can cause a flare, which can be very dangerous. Take care not to pour the lighter fluid on your clothes and if there is any spill at all, make sure that you wipe it up right away. Light the charcoal with a long match at various points and let it burn. You will be ready to cook when the coals have turned a grey / white color. You have to give it enough time to allow the lighter fluid to burn off as you don’t want your food to have a nasty taste.

Choose the method that works best for you, different people have different preferences as to which method, everyone is different. It may take practice to get good at it, be patient and take sensible safety precautions, it is tempting to cut corners, and this is never a good idea. Remember that the coals become very hot and you don’t just have to look after yourself, there are your guests, and take care with children who could be running around. 

Do you know how to light a grill? Let us know in the comments below!