July 16, 2024
How to grill with charcoal grill?

Are you excited to know how to grill with charcoal grill? let’s go…

Charcoal grilling might be scary to some people. Gas grills are easy to use because they maintain a constant flame and you don’t have to add fuel while you cook.

However, food cooked on a gas barbecue lacks the same flavor as a charcoal grill.

But you might be unsure of how to begin if you’ve never attempted to use a charcoal grill before. We’ll walk you through using a charcoal barbecue for the first time in this article.

We’ll discuss the best charcoal grill tips for cooking (lump or briquette), the best way to ignite and organize the coals, how to tell when your food has been prepared, and how to put out the fire once you’re done. and everything in between as well.

You will find the solutions to any of your inquiries about the best charcoal grills for beginners right here.

A Beginner Guide to Using a Charcoal Grill

Beginners Guide to Using a Charcoal Grill

Equipment Required for Grilling

Let’s discuss the things you need before we go through the procedure for working with your charcoal barbecue step by step.

You do not want to burn your coals just to realize that you need to quickly run to the store. Therefore, before beginning the process, make sure that you have all the things you need!

We’ll presume that you might already have the most essential component—the charcoal grill—for this. If not, I highly recommend looking into the Weber Original Kettle.

It is definitely one of the most well-liked charcoal grills available, and with good reason. It offers a ton of cool features that you simply don’t get on a lot of different grills at this price point, is quite adaptable, and is simple to clean.

However, it’s an excellent choice to study your owner’s handbook and become very comfortable with your grill, regardless of the type of grill you now possess or the type of grill you intend to purchase.

Charcoal: Choose the Appropriate Type

There are various kinds of charcoal available, but there are only really two types: lump charcoal and briquettes.

There is only one significant distinction between the two: whereas briquettes typically contain additives to glue them together and promote even burning, lump charcoal is entirely natural and created from burned wood.

Although natural briquettes can be found if you look hard enough, the majority of briquettes also contain by-products of burned wood.

However, if you poll a small group of frequent grillers, you’ll find that split evenly between lump and briquette charcoal. Everything comes down to preference.

Lump charcoal is more expensive and burns more quickly. On the other side, briquettes are more expensive, burn for a longer time, and take longer to fire.

We advise experimenting with each type to find out which you like. However, under no circumstances should you buy ‘easy light’ briquettes that include chemical additives. Your food will probably taste a little off because of these.

Charcoal Chimney Starter- Used for Igniting Charcoal

Few grillers regret their purchase of a charcoal chimney starter. It is quite simple to fire charcoal thanks to this clever idea. You’ll have a good bed of coals ready in 15 minutes, however, without a starter, you’ll have to wait at least 30 minutes.

However, we’ll also go over how to fire your coals without a chimney starter.

Additional Materials

You should also have the following essentials available:

  • Grilling Tongs and Spatula
  • 2 in 1 Meat and Grill Thermometer
  • Heat-Resistant Grilling Gloves
  • Grill Brush

Let’s begin to learn the steps of how to use a Charcoal Grill for Beginners!!

How Do You Use A Charcoal Grill for Beginners?

Step 1: Get Your Charcoal Grill ready

Before lighting your charcoal, you should perform the following. You can maximize the use of both your grill and the coals by following these instructions before you start grilling.

Remove The Ash

Make sure there isn’t ash accumulation at the base of your grill. Ash can prevent air from reaching your coals and prevent you from starting a good fire.

Activate Your Vents

It’s an excellent decision to open any grill vents because oxygen is necessary for the fire to develop. Typically, your grill has two vents: one in the bottom and one in the lid. These vents can be changed as needed in the future, but they should be left open to ignite the first coals.

Determine the Quantity of Charcoal Required

The kind of charcoal you use, the quantity of food you’re cooking, the charcoal formation you’ll be using, and the estimated cooking time will all affect how much charcoal you require.

You should start with between 50-100 briquettes for the majority of grills and foods. You should certainly aim for the higher end if you’re grilling foods that require a lot of heat, like hamburgers.

If you’re slow-cooking a chicken or a roast, you’ll probably need to start with 50 or more briquettes. These should not yet be placed on your grill. All you want to know is roughly how many you’ll need. Easy right? Let’s go to step 2 about charcoal grilling for beginners guide.

Step 2: Light Your Charcoal for Grill

You should adhere to the instructions for your specific model of chimney starter if you plan to use one.

Typically, all that is required is to lay some paper underneath the coal bin, fire the paper with matches or a lighter, and allow it to sit.

If you fail to have a chimney starter, you may ignite your charcoal with lighter fluid, but only if you’re prepared to risk having the chemical flavor of the lighter fluid contaminate your food.

Simply follow these instructions if you want to fire your charcoal without lighter fluid or a chimney starter:

  • Make a little donut shape out of some paper by twisting it, and making a hole in the center.
  • Place the paper on your charcoal rack after lightly coating it with cooking oil.
  • Put just a single item of charcoal on top of the burning piece of paper.
  • Turn the charcoal over and light the opposite side once the bottom starts to get ashy.
  • Add a few additional pieces all around the charcoal once it has started to burn on both sides. The first charcoal piece should ignite the others.
  • Add charcoal until you have the necessary quantity.
  • Once most of the charcoal has grown into a coating of white or gray ash on the outside, close the grill cover and wait for 20 to 30 minutes.

Note: To continue keeping the fire burning longer if you’re having trouble starting the charcoal using just a single sheet of paper, use some short sticks. Apply cooking oil to some twisted paper, add some sticks to make a tiny flame, then add two or three pieces of charcoal. After that, your coals should have started.

Step 3. Set Your Coals Down and Let the Flames Settle

When all of the coals are blazing well or have a thin layer of ash, if you’re using a starter chimney, you may transfer the coals onto your coal plate or firebox.

The unlit coals can be carefully added on top of the lit coals, or the lit coals can be placed on top of the unlit coals if you require extra charcoal that would fit in the chimney starter.

After pouring the coals out of the chimney starter, gently lay the unlit charcoal on the surfaces of the coals for the quickest results.

If you lit your coals using a different technique, you can just keep adding coals as long as you have the right number. Just be cautious not to set both too close together since they require ventilation around them to light.

Close the grill lid and make sure the vents are open while you wait for the outside of the coals to create an outer layer of white or gray ash. Give it around ten to twenty minutes to sit.

This accomplishes the following two things:

  1. It enables the coals to burn evenly and heat up.
  2. It helps to preheat your grill and burn off any contaminants or other things you don’t want to come in contact with your food. However, this shouldn’t be used in place of following the owner’s manual’s instructions for regular grill cleaning and maintenance.

The next stage is grilling your food whenever almost all of your coals have distinctive white or gray ash and the charcoal has been properly warmed to your preference. Now go to the charcoal grilling tips for beginners step four….

Step 4: Time to Grill Your Dishes

You can begin adding food after the coals are glowing and the grill is hot. To determine when the food is done, leave your meat thermometer close to reach. You might need to add a few handfuls of charcoal every half-hour or so, depending on what you’re cooking.

It can be helpful in this situation if the charcoal grill has an internal thermometer. If you don’t already have one, it’s a good idea to spend money on a grill thermometer similar to the one described above.

You can periodically check the temperature once the item is on the grill. If at all possible, avoid opening the grill because doing so loses a significant amount of heat. When using indirect heat to cook slowly, this is highly important.

Step 5: Make Necessary Modifications

Make any necessary adjustments to the grills and the charcoal while grilling. Temperatures are greater when vents are open and lower when they are closed.

You shouldn’t wait till your coals are nearly gone if it’s necessary to add charcoal. Always remember to constantly keep watching out and make plans ahead of time when adding charcoal since the last thing that you want to do is start the coals all over again.

Step 6: It’s Time to Have Fun!

It’s time to eat when the food reaches the proper temperature! When using your food thermometer to decide when you should remove the food from the grill, keep in mind that food typically continues to cook for five minutes after being removed from heat.

Step 7: Cleaning the Grates and Cooling Your Coals

When the grill still remains heated, it is advisable to use a brush to scrub the cooking grates. By doing so, the grill is kept in good condition and any food residue is made easier to remove.

The safest way to handle a hot grill, in terms of cooling the coals, is to just wait. To deprive the coals of oxygen, you may close the lid and all the vents.

Water can be used to quickly extinguish your coals if you must, but be careful—the abrupt temperature shift that results from dousing hot coals in water can harm some sections of your grill.

While using lukewarm water can help you avoid this, there is no assurance that it won’t harm the grill. If you decide to use water to put out the flames, be cautious of flaming embers that can fly into the air during the time you spray or drop water onto the grill.

It’s important to adhere to any instructions for putting out the coals provided in your grill’s instruction booklet. If not, just wait until the charcoal is cool. Did you enjoy the content about how to use a charcoal grill? now let’s learn about the best charcoal grills for you.

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Best Charcoal Grill for Beginners

Best Charcoal Grill for Beginners Guides

1. SNS Grills Slow ‘N Sear Original 22-Inch Kettle Grill- Best Overall

This particular model is the greatest charcoal grill overall for a variety of factors. Simply said, it’s a reasonably priced grill that works well, is simple to operate, and delivers excellent results when grilling and smoking with charcoal. This grill offers whether you’re a novice trying to improve your cooking or an expert searching for a simple model.

Rotating vents are used to open and close the top vent on the lid and the bottom damper, which is operated by a similar rotating vent that is moved from left to right rather than in a circle. A very helpful detail: The grill features an O in the middle, which indicates the vent is fully open, and two Xs on the far right and left sides, which indicate the vent is closed.

It has a removable component that keeps the coals for indirect cooking while yet providing enough room for a 9 x 13-inch water pan to be placed opposite the embers. The ribs had a lustrous, deep red appearance that was well caramelized; the meat was moist and tender, and the BBQ sauce was sticky.

Product Details:

Dimensions 41.75 x 41.66 inches
Material   Stainless steel
Cooking Surface Capacity  380 square inches


  • It contains features like a side shelf and a removable coal insert that make cooking simpler and more efficient.
  • It also grills and smokes food very effectively.


  • It is challenging for sometimes to remove the charcoal grate and ash container for cleaning.

2. Expert Grill 22-Inch Superior Kettle Charcoal Grill- Budget Friendly

This kettle grill has a suggested retail price of less than $100 and provides great performance. With a 335-square-inch capacity, it is perfect for medium-sized families.

Because the stainless-steel grate is hinged, you may, if necessary, add extra coals. When the grate is off, it’s easy to move the briquets around the bottom of the grill; when the grate is on, it requires a bit more effort. We observed that even when heaping the coals up in the center of the grill, there is a lot of space between the grates and the coals because of the extra-deep kettle’s depth.

Despite its low cost, this model is one of the finest ones for smoking, making it the greatest charcoal grill for the money. Large volumes of smoke and air are quickly moved over the ribs thanks to the driven air coming from the intake. Great ribs with a dark, glossy finish and tacky sauce were the end result of this. The sauce had less taste than the meat, which was more overtly flavored with smoke. Additionally, the rib meat easily separated from the bone without coming apart.

Product Details:

Dimensions22.24 x 26.26 x 42.20 inches
MaterialStainless steel
Cooking Surface Capacity335 square inches
Grill Grate Capacity16 burgers


  • This grill can produce excellent sear and grill marks and has exceptional smoking capabilities.


  • The temperature might rise suddenly and decline gradually.

3. Weber Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill 22-Inch- Best Splurge

This porcelain-enameled grill is highly user-friendly for beginners with features like the automatic starter, a charcoal canister, a lid holder, and briquette trays. They enhance the experience for expert grillers and ardent grillers alike, making this the greatest charcoal grill that’s worth the investment. Its 363 square inch capacity, or 13 burgers, makes it the ideal size for a medium-sized family.

We discovered it to be quite adaptable when it came to smoking. The lid can be rotated, allowing you to position the damper exactly where you need it for the best possible airflow when smoking. The two included charcoal bins as well as the water pan can all fit on the charcoal grate.

The grill grate has a detachable center and is hinged on both sides. This makes it simple to add briquets whenever you need to, but you must remove the grate in order to move them around effectively to avoid getting burned.

Product Details:

Dimensions8 x 48 x 43.5 inches
Cooking Surface Capacity363 square inches
Grill Grate Capacity13 burgers


  • The automatic starter, work table, and charcoal canister are just a few of the features that make using this grill easier.


  • You must monitor the charcoal and wood closely to determine when a refill is necessary because they burn out quickly.

4. Char-Griller Classic Charcoal Grill- Best for Beginners

This is considered to be one of the most suitable charcoal grills for large families as well as beginners, with 820 square inches of space across two levels and the ability to cook up to 40 burgers at a time. Other helpful features include a built-in thermometer, a chimney for temperature regulation, perforated side shelves, and a perforated bottom shelf.

With two huge wheels and two lockable casters, the barrel grill is very light and has a stable base, making it simple to move. It includes a sizable handle and a hinged lid that, when closed, forms a tight seal on the grill.

The two dependable grill grates are composed of cast iron with a porcelain coating. The only space between them and the borders of the grill is the amount of space between the grates on one side. One more coal grate has a safety handle that may be turned to raise and lower it between 3.5 and 8 inches from the other grate.

Product Details:

Dimensions27 x 57.35 x 51.7 inches
MaterialSteel and cast iron
Cooking Surface Capacity820 square inches
Grill Grate Capacity40 burgers


  • This grill includes convenient features like a chimney, side and bottom shelves, and a thermometer that makes cooking with it simple.


  • It’s possible that the huge size is too large for your needs or space.

5. PK300 Grill and Smoker- For Best Smoker

The PK300 Grill and Smoker is an excellent entry-level grill and smoker combination. Cooking is made simpler by its many features, especially for those who are new to the game. The grill has a hinged top and a hinged cooking surface, all of which make it simple to grill, refuel, and utilize two-zone cooking more effectively. Additionally, it includes four movable vents for more precise control over cooking temperatures and rates.

Although new designs don’t usually measure up to their marketing, the redesigned PK Grill has taken flavor to a whole new level. By offering you more control, these modifications to the Classic PK Grill have led to new levels of grilling and flavor. This grill is the most innovative in its field, constantly looking for new ways to increase productivity while enhancing flavor and providing greater control.

Product Details:

BrandPK Grills
Model NameCharcoal BBQ Grill and Smoker
Power SourceCharcoal
Item Dimensions LxWxH16.21 x 42.75 x 37.35 inches
Fuel TypeCharcoal


  • Heating up rapidly
  • Movable cover
  • Easy temperature control with movable vents
  • lightweight and strong


  • Instructions for setup can be challenging
  • No ash catcher attached
  • For some meats, a stainless-steel grate could be too light

Read More – Gardening Guide for Beginners

What Should You Know Before Buy a Charcoal Grill?

A Beginners Guide to Using a Charcoal Grill

We should be aware before we buy a charcoal grill that starting the cooking process, managing the heat, and cleaning up afterward all demand far more effort than they do with a gas grill. However, it pays off with food that has an unrivaled smoky flavor that you cannot obtain while cooking with gas. A charcoal grill is for someone who enjoys grilling in its entirety rather than simply for eating. If we’re the kind of person who enjoys a little bit of nerdiness or learning new skills for a great payoff in flavor, we might enjoy using a charcoal grill.

There are three primary varieties of charcoal grills (four, if you include gas grills that may be converted to charcoal barbecues). Here is a list of each type along with a general description:

Kettle: This is typically the least noticeable and most recognizable, and it’s the one we probably envision when we think of a charcoal barbecue. Because of the tapering design of kettle grills, we may create a substantial layer of briquets to trap heat. The use of kettle grills is recommended for searing and longer cooking foods like poultry or roasts that we don’t want to burn before they are fully cooked. The greatest all-purpose option is a kettle grill.

Barrel: These grills resemble a barrel on its side because they are shallow but wide. They use a number of briquets and can simultaneously prepare a large amount of food. However, because they tend to burn out more quickly, they are more suited for basic barbecues where we serve lots of hamburgers, hot dogs, and steaks as opposed to fancier outdoor dinners. Most barrels do, however, make it simple to add more charcoal if we wish to increase the cooking duration.

Ceramic: The thick ceramic material used to construct these grills retains heat efficiently and distributes it uniformly across the cooking surface. They can sustain low temperatures for extended periods of time, making them ideal for smoking meat.

We should look for a charcoal grill with sturdy construction when purchasing: An iron or stainless-steel grill won’t rust because of its thickness. Better heat retention is another benefit of a thicker material. Additionally, look for wheels as well: A grill can be moved about easily because it has at least two wheels. We should make sure the lid fits tightly and is strong.

FAQ’s- Best charcoal grill for Beginners

How to use charcoal grill with smoker?

To use a charcoal grill with a smoker, you can follow these steps:

  • Set up two zones. Arrange the coals for indirect cooking — you’ll want one side of the grill to be cooler than the other. Simply pour the coals on one half of the grill and leave the other half empty.
  • Place your smoker box over the coals.
  • Add water to the water pan.
  • Place your meat on the cool side of the grill.
  • Close the lid and adjust your vents.

To avoid using lighter fluid, you can alternatively light your charcoal grill using a chimney starter.

How to use charcoal grill vents?

The vents on a charcoal grill are used to control the temperature of the grill. The more air that flows into the grill, the hotter it will get. The less air that flows into the grill, the cooler it will get. To use the vents on a charcoal grill, you can follow these 3 steps:

  • Open both the upper and lower vents fully to feed your charcoal with oxygen.
  • Partly close them to keep the heat at a consistent temperature.
  • Close them entirely to let the heat escape.

How to use charcoal grill with chimney?

  • To use a charcoal grill with a chimney starter, you can follow these steps:
  • Fill the chimney starter with charcoal.
  • Place crumpled newspaper or fire starter cubes in the bottom of the chimney starter.
  • Light the newspaper or fire starter cubes.
  • Wait for the charcoal to ash over.
  • Pour the hot coals into the grill.

How to use charcoal grill without chimney?

Newspaper, fire lighter cubes, vegetable oil, an egg carton, or high-proof alcohol can all be used to ignite a charcoal grilling without the need for a chimney starter. One method involves using scrunched-up newspaper balls and dry twigs. The twigs catch fire from the paper and burn a little longer than the paper alone. Scrunch the newspaper into balls. Stack some dry twigs in a pyramid shape around the newspaper balls. Stack the charcoal at the base of the twigs and up onto the twigs, as high up the twigs as they will stay balanced. Each of the paper balls should be lit.

How long do you let charcoal burn before cooking?

You should let the charcoal burn for about 20-30 minutes before cooking. This will give the coals enough time to ash over and reach the proper temperature for cooking.

Is grilling with charcoal easy?

The proper equipment and methods may make grilling over charcoal simple. Once you master it, you’ll be able to cook great meals with a distinctive smoky flavor. It could take some practice.

The Final Words

You are now familiar with the correct procedure for using charcoal grilling.

If you’ve never grilled before, don’t be shocked if it ends up being more than just a method of cooking food. It’s a way of life for many of us! There isn’t much better than taking advantage of the gorgeous weather while indulging in some delicious BBQ.

I appreciate your reading. Please keep yourself safe while grilling!

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