Charcoal grill photo
Profile view of mature man blowing into barbecue grill while preparing food in the backyard.

Grilling is another ridiculously easy method for cooking a delicious steak, especially during warmer periods when everybody tends to spend time out of the house and take the sun’s energy while preparing his/her favorite steak. Everything sounds good till now but what about knowing how to light a grill in the right way? One easy-to-do thing here, that perhaps some of us might neglect, is related to the right and less dangerous or less crazy way for preparing the charcoal grill.  

Sometimes our impatience makes us think that dousing a lighter fluid for having a flaming, is the only method to get faster the fire for grilling. You’ll soon understand that a more simple way of lighting the grill is also the proper one.

What else… besides how to light a grill?

Before jumping into the way one should prepare a charcoal grill, we thought you might want to know more details regarding other types of grills as well.

Propane and Natural Gas Barbecue Grills

A gas-fueled grill usually needs propane or butane (liquified petroleum gas) or natural gas as fuel source. For some of the gas grills, one can either cook food directly on them or use other heating grilling elements which in turn radiate the necessary heat to cook food.

This type of grill could be ideal for those who avoid manipulating the temperature but rather enjoy (those minutes needed for heating, for example, a charcoal grill) with their guests. At the same time, a gas grill becomes really practical in situations where one cooks a small number of beef cuts without the need to heat up the coal for about half an hour.

Gas grill photo (source: pinterest)
Gas grill photo (source: pinterest)

The majority of gas grills follow the cart grill design concept: the grill unit itself is attached to a wheeled frame that holds the fuel tank. The wheeled frame may also support side tables, storage compartments, and other features.

wikipedia source

There are a few trade-offs between gas and propane grills though… and an important one refers to fuel efficiency. On the one hand, one can use a natural gas grill through extensive cookouts without the need for a refill like in the case of a propane grill. But on the other way, the natural gas grills lack portability, one can’t move this type of grill wherever he/she wants later on without the help of a professional grill installer. And to not mention that gas grills have small smoker boxes which makes them less comparable with a genuine charcoal grill or smoker.

Electric Grills

This type of grill doesn’t ask for any fire and it is nice for high-temperature grilling. All it needs is electricity, everything else resulting in heated grill plates that are used for cooking different meat cuts. Therefore, there are more options for electric grills, outdoor as well as indoor versions, that could be easily compliant with local laws and building regulations.

We would rather advise you to not expect results that look similar to its fire-powered brother (charcoal grill) because the electric grill can’t produce the traditional grill’s results (at least not that lovely smoky flavor). However, another positive thing about electric grills is the fact that one doesn’t need to bother oneself with charcoal’s handling and the cleaning is much easier.

Electric grill photo (source: pinterest)

Infrared grills allow us to more easily adjust cooking temperature than charcoal grills, and are usually able to reach higher temperatures than standard gas grills, making them popular for searing items quickly.

wikipedia source

Dual Fuel or Hybrid Barbecue Grills

In case you were thinking of a combination of gas and charcoal grills, here you have the hybrid grills. This type of grill looks like gas grills but one can enjoy as well the charcoal smokiness. In essence, it combines the easiness of maintaining charcoal briquettes firing (because the gas starter heats up the charcoal continuously) and without compromising the lovely smoky flavor.

The classic grill or the charcoal grill

Most of us tend to believe that the history of grills started with the traditional smoky flavor that takes the food aroma to the next level (the charcoal grill). But this type of grill raises some challenges too, such as the extensive charcoal consumption and the time-consuming handling of the fire.

However, within this article, we mainly want to give you a simpler perspective on how to light a charcoal grill without using lighter fluid or any other substances that could be dangerous.

We picked this grill because we’ve considered it really portable on different outdoor activities (especially during spring-summerish times) with the advantage of the lovely smoky aroma cooking results over the electric/gas grills. Also, we thought that a few pieces of advice in this direction, won’t bother because one can’t realize when all these pieces of information could become truly helpful.

How to light a grill… the simple and right way

  • Get down to the grill’s bottom by taking out the charcoal and grilling grates
  • Take a couple of sheets of paper and wad them up, not too tight or loose, in the form of a small ball and create a pile of paper balls.
  • Put the charcoal grate back to the grill and make another three to four inches’ height pile of twigs and paper balls.
First three steps on preparing the grill
First three steps on preparing the grill
  • Have some standard charcoal briquettes and surround the pile of paper and twigs with them, forming a kind of a pyramid without smoldering it.
  • Firstly light around the paper pile which is underneath the charcoal grate
    You’ll slowly notice how the flames come up above the charcoal grate, covering the pieces of charcoal one by one.
  • You can rearrange the pieces of charcoal to the center of the pyramid, by moving them from the outside where they got colder, closer to the middle, where the real heat focuses.
Firing the charcoals
Firing the charcoals
  • If you feel that you need more briquettes, now would be time to have it. However, one should use some tongs or something similar to a gloved hand for grabbing them.
  • These series of steps will take you generally twenty minutes before having a good cook fire going, and even with lighter fluid, the lighting process would take about fifteen to twenty minutes to get all these charcoals going.
  • When all these briquettes are gray and ashy, move them down the middle and put the top grid back on. And that’s it!
Waiting for about 20 minutes till the briquettes are gray and ashy
Waiting for about 20 minutes till the briquettes are gray and ashy

It is time to grill your steak, isn’t it?

How to light a grill- the right way video

Now we are only hoping that we woke up in you more awareness regarding the grill lighting. Let us know if this grilling way was worth it more than using lighter fluid.

Happy grilling!