Grill and BBQ

5 Tips for Successful Charcoal Grilling

Charcoal Grill chimey

OK, living in a share house with a bunch of dudes, hanging brain.  Can get pretty interesting at times. But when you share a love of BBQ’ing, you are always challenging each other to look for new ways to do it.  It took a bit to learn what successful charcoal grilling was all about.

Well, we decided to buy a house Charcoal Grill from the local Hardware store, and we got busy trying to charcoal grill the crap out of everything we could.

Along the way we learnt a few ways to smash it out of the park when firing up the grill.  Here are the best tips we’ve found for lighting the Charcoal Grill and getting it right every time:

The Coals

First big tip is buy decent quality charcoal coals, try to keep away from cheap no-name brands.  There is also a clear difference between Briquettes that may light easier and burn longer than hardwood

You need to be careful, the cheap nasty briquettes may be filled with fillers, binders and chemicals.  But a clean hardwood charcoal will be pretty much a pure carbon- which will burn hotter.

Lighting It

Keep away from lighter fluid.  Firelighters or paper are your new best friends.  Some lighter fluid can leave a really bad taste on it, and never ever try to add more lighter fluid after you’ve already got coals lit.

The Chimney

Get your arse back to the hardware shop, and get a Chimney starter.  It is without a doubt one of the best tools you will buy, and you should be able to pick one up for about $25.

All you need to do is in 2 pieces of bunched-up newspaper, fill the chimney with charcoal, and light the newspaper.  You can also use the firelighters under the chimney

The trick here is to let the coals burn for a decent 40 minutes before tipping them on to your grill.  The best way to tell if they are ready to go is to make sure that the coals are white all around.

successful charcoal grilling
Closeup of barbecues steaks on the charcoals grill

Housekeeping + Planning

First things are planning what you want to grill, How hot does your grill need to be., how long do you need to let it burn,   Do you have enough coals,

Make sure you clean out the leftover ask and what was left of last weeks attempt at grilling.  You need to make sure that you give the coals plenty of airflows.


Before you start picking up your Chimney, make sure you have an oven mitt of a dry kitchen towel, that you can use.  Because here’s a tip we learnt, the coals are friggin hot.

Make sure if you are trying to do indirect cooking, (Best for Roasts). Make sure you pour the coals into two different piles it’s the best idea.

Because it’s so hard to re-position them when they’re glowing hot.

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