How to Use a Charcoal Grill – Yes ladies, You CAN!!

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I recently moved into a house with a new roommate and we got lucky…there was a grill already there! Now, my roommate wasn’t as excited as I was because it was a small, charcoal grill. However, I was pumped! I grew up using charcoal grills because that’s all my Daddy believed in. My roommate, on the other hand, was use to gas grills and had never used a charcoal grill. So, I thought for today’s blog post, I’d show you how to use a charcoal grill. Yes ladies, you can!

To get started you’ll need a grill, charcoal, lighter fluid, a match (maybe a whole box in case the one dies out before you can light the charcoal) and a large stick.

Here we go:

First things first, make sure you clean out your grill from the last time it was used. Most grills will have a detachable pan the charcoal sits on so you can just lift it out and dump it. Mine, however, does not. So I’m utilizing an old spatula that I was going to through away anyway. (Yes it is slotted so I just have to be more creative.)

Cleaning out the grill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what mine looked like after I cleaned it out the best I could.

The grill cleaned out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now for the charcoal. There’s not an exact number of briquettes (each individual piece of charcoal) to use. It all depends on your grill. You’ll need enough to have a layer over the bottom.

Dump the charcoal into the grill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After you dump your charcoal in, you’ll need to build a pile.

A pile of charcoal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, unless you’re using instant light charcoal, you’ll need to add some lighter fluid. I eyeball it so each briquette gets some.

Adding lighter fluid to the pile of charcoal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Daddy always lets the lighter fluid soak in for a bit, but last night I was reading the back of the bottle and it says to light immediately. I don’t think it matters either way; it just matters how much time you have.

Charcoal with lighter fluid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, you light the pile with your match or lighter. It’ll catch quick since there’s lighter fluid so be careful and watch out for the big flames!

Lit charcoal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, how do you know when it’s ready? The charcoal briquettes will start to turn ashy white.

Charcoal turning white.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once they’ve all turned, you’ll need to use your stick and spread them out into a single layer on the bottom.

Charcoal spread out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last, but not least, put the grill rack in the grill and put all your yummy eatin’s on!

Grill with food on it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Y’all Enjoy!

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About Chelsey Ahrens

I currently work for the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service in the Animal Science Department. I'm the Specialty Livestock/Youth Education Specialist. I have a Ph.D. in agricultural communications from Texas Tech, a master's in agricultural leadership from the University of Georgia, and a bachelor's in animals science from the University of Arkansas. I love all things agriculture, particularly livestock. I also like to bake, cook, can, sew, and play with my dog child, Shooter.

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