How To Make the Most Out of Your Charcoal BBQ


During the summer, having friends and family round calls for some grilling. It’s an easy method of cooking for multiple people, and you can do some really exciting things when you know your BBQ inside out.

But charcoal BBQing is very different to gas grilling. Ensuring you know how to make the most out of it will be the make or break to how your dishes turn out.

So whether you’ve recently purchased a new charcoal BBQ, or you’ve had one for years but want to elevate your dishes, these tips will help you get the most out of your barbecue.

From adding charcoal briquettes to your cooking process, to what must-have tools you need, follow these steps for the perfect charcoal barbecue experience.

Keep It Clean

The first step to getting great barbecue results is making sure your grill is always clean.

When you start to use your BBQ more frequently, you need to keep up with the cleaning to avoid spoiling the taste of your food.

You can also cause unwanted fires and flames with leftover grease and food if it isn’t cleaned properly after every use.

To keep it clean, clear out any ash that is left at the bottom of your grill and use a grill-safe brush to remove any charred fats, food or grease on the grills. 

This will ensure a clean slate the next time you want to fire it up.

Use Charcoal Briquettes

For extra flavour, charcoal briquettes are an easy choice. They can boost the natural flavours of the meat whilst keeping it moist.

How do they work? Simply add charcoal briquettes to your charcoal basket, ignite for 15 minutes, turn off the gas and wait for them to turn grey. This will add the authentic charcoal flavour you want from your BBQ.

It’s important to wait until the briquettes turn grey to avoid unwanted flavours from the additives.

For Smokiness, Add Hardwood Charcoal

For an even smokier taste, wood chips are needed. These hardwood chips usually heat up quicker than briquettes due to the size of them. 

However, they need more looking after as you will need to keep the flame under control.

Add these to your list if smokiness is what you’re after.

Upgrade Your Tool Kit

To make the most out of your barbecue, you need the right tools. From grill brushes to enhance your marinades, to popular tongs, using more advanced tools will give you better results.

If you don’t have the following, add these to your basket immediately:

Grilling apron

Stainless steel spatula

Meat thermometer

Good quality tongs

Basting brush

Grilling gloves

For the more advanced chefs, these tools are a nice addition to your kit:

Digital thermometer

Grill baskets

Stainless steel skewers

Wood grill scraper

Chimney starter

Lighter cubes

Charcoal briquettes

Meat injector

Grill cover

Tools are there to make your life easier, and you can’t get certain results without certain tools in your kit. So if you’re looking for a way to push yourself, adding to your collection of tools is a great place to start.

Put The Lighter Fluid Down

Adding lots of lighter fluid can create a cool-looking flame that might impress your guests for a couple of seconds, but it also adds an unenjoyable taste of chemicals. Not worth it.

Instead, use a chimney starter. This allows you to leave the fluid out altogether, avoiding the risk of a chemical taste. 

If you don’t have a chimney starter, just use a little bit of lighter fluid on your briquettes (if they don’t already have fuel on them). Allow the chemicals to burn off before placing the food on top.

Wow Your Guests

Understanding how charcoal BBQs work differently to gas will only improve the outcome of your dishes. This knowledge will help you elevate your meals and understand how to treat the food on your barbecue.

And if you’re wanting to push yourself, you can do so by adding to your tool kit or trying some new recipes.

Once you’ve nailed these tips, you’ll be the go-to host for future BBQs!



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