How to Troubleshoot a Charcoal Grill


Even though it takes a longer amount of time to heat up a charcoal grill than it does an electric barbecue, purists prefer charcoal grills because they believe that charcoal gives a more flavorful and smokier taste. In addition to being more affordable, charcoal grills are susceptible to the same kinds of wear and tear that affect other types of barbecues over time. There are a few different approaches to problem-solving and troubleshooting that you may take if your charcoal grill is not getting hot enough or if you are having issues getting it started.

Troubleshooting Charcoal Grill Starting Issues

There are several excellent suggestions for lighting a charcoal barbecue that can be found on Taste of Home. It’s possible that the issue stems from the fact that you haven’t cleaned yours in a while, so keep an eye out for that. In order to properly clean a charcoal grill, the website Family Handyman recommends that you first scrape the grill grates with a balled-up piece of heavy-duty aluminium foil, a sheet of Magic Eraser, or a grill brush without bristles, and then remove the debris from the bottom of the grill. If there is an ash collector, it should be emptied, and a putty knife should be used to remove any debris that has adhered to it.

Place the coals in a pyramid form on top of the charcoal rack that is located at the bottom of the grill, and then evenly apply lighter fluid in accordance with the instructions that are provided on the packaging. You should let it about 30 seconds to soak in before lighting it, but you shouldn’t add any additional fluid. Doing so may be highly harmful. When you are adding lighter fluid to the grill and turning it on, be sure that there are no small children or animals in the immediate area.

Additional Ways to Light the Grill

If you find that this approach is not successful for starting a charcoal grill, another option is to use what is known as a “chimney” starter. This method is detailed in Food & Wine. Newspaper should be stuffed into the bottom of the grill, and then charcoal should be placed directly on top of it. If you light the bottom, the flames will eventually reach the charcoal and consume it. Wait until the coals have gone white before placing anything on the charcoal grates.

The coals in your grill may also be arranged in a third configuration that creates three distinct heating zones. Put a coating that is twice as thick on the side that is farthest away from you; this will be the side that gets heated. Remove the remaining material in the centre of the area in a single layer to create the warm zone, and then clear away the remaining one third of the space to use as the cold zone. As the meal is cooking, you will have the ability to move it around thanks to this. If anything finishes cooking more quickly, you are free to keep it on one of the other portions of the grill.

Troubleshooting Charcoal Grill Parts

According to Weber, the grates for charcoal grills may be fabricated from stainless steel, porcelain, or steel; alternatively, they can be cast iron grill grates. Cast iron may last up to 20 years, but porcelain could need to be replaced after five to ten years. The longest-lasting material is cast iron. It is a good idea to go with either this cast iron-coated grate made for a Vision kamado grill or this porcelain sear grate by Weber that produces diamond-shaped grill marks. However, you should be sure to verify the brand, model, and size of your grill to ensure that it will fit properly.

It is time to get a new charcoal grill grate if the one you currently have is either too difficult to clean, damaged, or corroded. It’s possible that this is why the meal you’re preparing isn’t coming out right. Another possibility is that the charcoal was not given sufficient time to heat up; in this case, you should wait twenty minutes before inspecting the colour.

When utilised improperly, the vents and lids of a charcoal grill assist manage heat and circulation; as a result, the food prepared on the grill will not have the desired flavour. When you are cooking thin pieces of poultry and beef, as well as when you are trying to sear veggies, keep the lid off of the pan. For items like dense proteins and other foods that need a longer time to cook, you should keep it on.

According to Bon Appetit, the vents are located on the top of the lid as well as at the bottom of the grill just under the charcoal. When they are open, the charcoal will burn more quickly due to the decreased amount of oxygen it is receiving. The temperature control of your charcoal grill is maintained by using the lid and these vents in conjunction with one another. Therefore, if you see that anything is being prepared at an excessively rapid rate, you should cover the vents and keep the lid on, and vice versa.

Heavy-duty aluminium foil

Eraser sheet for the magic eraser!!-!! Newspaper!!-!!!!-!!!!-!!!!-!!!!- broom for cleaning the grill!!-!! Knife for cutting putty!!-!! New grates made of cast iron or porcelain for the barbecue (if needed)


Grill brush

Putty knife

New cast iron or porcelain grill grates (if needed)