Sunday, March 21, 2010

Charcoal Grill Setup

Here is a simple tip on how to setup a charcoal grill.

The amount of charcoal required depends on how much of the area of the grate will be used for cooking. If the entire area of the grate will be used for cooking, an even layer of coals should be spread across the entire bottom of the grill. If only a portion of the grate will be used for cooking, the coals should extend about 2 inches beyond the area where the food will be cooked.


After determining the correct quantity of charcoal to use, the briquettes can be placed in a mound in the center of the grill.

Self-lighting briquettes, containing a petroleum product for easy lighting, can be used. The coals are easily lit with a long match.

An alternative, for those who do not like using petroleum products, is to use regular briquettes, which can be lit more easily with the aid of a chimney starter. Newspaper is placed in the bottom of the chimney and the charcoal is placed on top. The newspaper is lit from the bottom and the fire is drawn up to the charcoal above.

The charcoals are ready when they are glowing and are evenly coated with a layer of gray ash. This process usually requires at least 30 minutes. The coals can then be spread evenly across the bottom for direct heat grilling or they can be placed in several different configurations for indirect heat grilling.


Many people like to add a small log or two of their favorite hardwood, such as apple or oak, to the coals in order to provide a more pronounced smoked flavor to the food. Softwoods should not be used because they burn too quickly, do not provide good flavor, and emit too much soot.

An easy method for estimating the grilling temperature is to place the palm of your hand 3 or 4 inches above the grate. The length of time you can leave your hand comfortably above the grate determines the heat intensity:

  • 10 seconds = low fire
  • 8 seconds = medium-low fire
  • 6 seconds = medium fire
  • 4 seconds = medium-high fire
  • 2 seconds = high fire

Use a long handled brush to oil the grate before grilling any food. This will help prevent food from sticking to the grate.


A charcoal grill can be used for about an hour before the coals begin to die out and the heat is no longer sufficient to continue cooking. If a longer cooking time is required, the coals must be replenished. It is best to remove the grate, add the coals, and wait until they are properly lit before continuing with the cooking process. The fresh charcoal usually requires only half the length of time (about 15 minutes) to be ready than starting coals from scratch.






8 diner's comment:

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Natutuwa ako sa intricate way nang paglalagay nang uling diyan. Dito sa Pinas ay itataktak lang yung uling tapos lalagyan nang papel sa ilalim at sisindihan at papaypayan para magapoy. Tapos pwede nang mag barbecue, dyaran, lol. Napansin ko lang na mas magandang variety yung uling diyan kaysa uling dito. Thanks for the post. God bless you all always.

Mrs. Kolca said...

tama si mel! papel lang ang pampaapot sa uling.. kung gas kc ang ibuhos mo, pede mangamoy gas den ang BBQ.. every weekend pala ay BBQ kami sa house namen sa bulacan.. we grilled chicken, fish, hotdogs, bell peppers, eggplant and other veggies every now and then.. sarap ng weekend! :D

CaptainRunner said...

Thanks for this very informative post.

Me said...

in-anana diay sad mo, dire sad in-anana pod ang pag-grill sa akong papsni...hehehe

chubskulit said...

Ang galing galing talaga ni Chef Dhemz hehehe.. thanks for the tips sis..

MinnieRunner said...

May ganyan pala sis, he he he. Ang alam ko lang basta ilalagay lang 'yung uling :P

shydub said...

Abi nku ug blue berry tsang, atot uling d i. Maayo na d i ka sugba bayot hehe.

eden said...

Naa koy ingon ani dhemz. ganahan kaayo si hubby kay humot daw ang luto kaysa sa gas barbecue. mao sad ni akong gamiton pag mag grill ko ug fish.
Nice post and thanks for sharing.