How to Keep a Charcoal Grill Lit

How to Keep a Charcoal Grill Lit

A charcoal grill can be the ideal way to prepare your food. It will add plenty of additional flavors and keep your meat juicy. But it can sometimes be difficult to use. One of the most commonly reported issues is difficulty keeping it lit properly. To find some ways to solve this problem, we did plenty of research. Here are some of the most useful resources we discovered:

Coals are Smothered

Sometimes, you might find that you are putting too many coals into the grill at once. When you do this, it blocks the oxygen flow. Without air, the coal won’t be able to burn. There are a few ways that you can overcome this. First, you will need to be careful about how you are adding the smoking chunks. Make sure that you leave a bit of space between them.

Coals are Smothered

It’s also important to give the grill some time to warm up. Ideally, the coals will be white-hot before you add any new materials.

Third, it might be a good idea to check the dampeners. Most grills will have two of these, one on each side. These allow you to control the flow of air through the grill. You need to make sure that they are open, otherwise, there won’t be any air getting to the coals.

Type of Charcoal

Sometimes, the issue might stem from the type of charcoal that you are using. There are two types of charcoal on the market. First, you can use lump charcoal. These will be the most popular and tend to be easier to light.

You can also use briquettes. These will burn for longer. But they will be harder to light. Because of this, it’s recommended that you start with lump charcoal.

Use Dry Charcoal

When you are lighting the grill, you need to make sure that you are working with dry charcoal. If it is damp, it will be a lot harder to light, as the moisture will need to be forced out. This is why damp charcoal will produce a lot of smoke. Because of this, you need to be careful about how you are storing it. Avoid putting it into a garage, where it can absorb moisture from the air.

Weather Conditions

Another element that you might want to consider is the weather. If it is wet or humid, it will be harder to get the charcoal lit and keep it burning. There might not be anything you can do about this, apart from trying to keep the charcoal dry.

Another common issue is too much wind, which can extinguish the coals. This is especially problematic when you are trying to light the grill. The good news is that there is an easy way to overcome this problem, using a windbreak.

Stack the Charcoal Vertically

Finally, it’s important to consider the way that you are stacking the charcoal. As we mentioned, you need to give it enough oxygen to breathe. Vertical stacking can be a good way to do this, allowing the heat to rise through the stack of charcoal. This is especially important when you are lighting the grill.

Stack the Charcoal Vertically

A good way of stacking the charcoal properly is by using a chimney stacker. This will let you get the charcoal hot. After half an hour, you should be able to release it into the grill.


Keeping the charcoal grill lit can sometimes be a challenge. Thankfully, it will often be easy to overcome any problems that you are facing. So, use these tips to cook a delightful meal on your charcoal grill. 

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