ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Charcoal Grilling Tips For Everyone

Updated on August 29, 2013
To me nothing tastes as good grilled as hamburgers cooked over charcoal. Gas to me adds a flavor I don't like.
To me nothing tastes as good grilled as hamburgers cooked over charcoal. Gas to me adds a flavor I don't like.

Charcoal Grilling Tips For Everyone

Charcoal to me just gives you a much better flavor than gas powered grills. Charcoal can be difficult to light and work with but here I'm going to give you tips that will make it easy for you to grill using charcoal. With a little practice and patience you can become an expert cooking with charcoal. You will never get the flavor with a gas grill that you have with a charcoal grill. Charcoal is just so much better. Or at least I think it is. As do about 71 percent of all Americans.

When Match-light Charcoal came along using charcoal became so much easier. Because with Match-light Charcoal all you have to do is light your charcoal in two or three places and before you know it you'll have the perfect charcoal fire. Match-light charcoal also made it so much easier to do indirect cooking on a charcoal grill. Indirect cooking is where you build your charcoal fire over on one side of the grill and you cook over on the other side. This makes cooking things like seafood and poultry so much easier to cook with out burning your food.

You really should cook with indirect heat when ever you can when cooking with charcoal. What this means is that you have a charcoal fire on one side of your grill and you cook over on the other side and if your charcoal fire is hot enough you'll end up with some of the tastiest hamburgers or hot dogs you've ever tasted. You should keep an eye on your charcoal and add more charcoal as you need to. I like the Match-light charcoal because I don't have to use lighter fluid when I start my charcoal and I don't have to worry about my foods on the grill taking on the flavor of lighter fluid. if you use lighter fluid you can taste it and it will give your grilled foods an unpleasant taste. So never use lighter fluid.

Clean Your Grill After Each Use

You need to brush down your grills grates with a heavy duty bristle brush after each time you use your grill. After you have the grill grates clean wipe them down well and set them aside. Now empty out any ashes left in the grill and wash it out. Be sure to thoroughly dry your grill so it won't rust. Spray the grill grates with vegetable cooking spray and put them back on the grill. Your now ready to grill again. You should buy a tarp to cover your grill up with when your not using it. Only cover it up after you have cleaned it and the grill has cooled completely. If you clean it after each use and cover it up you can get started cooking quickly.

I keep cotton rags to clean my grill up with and I dispose of them once I've wiped the grill down both inside and out. A lot of people don't realize how important it is to keep a grill clean. If you don't keep a grill clean the flavor of your food will suffer.

Food Safety Tips

Be very careful when your cooking chicken. Never use the plate you carried the chicken out to the grill on until it has been thoroughly washed with hot soapy water. You must wash any surface that chicken or chicken juices touch with a bleach / water solution to kill any bacteria. Always keep in mind never to cross contaminate. Never use the spoon or fork from one item in another item. And what ever you do keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Use good common sense and you should never have any problems. You can make a great bleach solution by mixing five parts water with one part bleach. But remember even after you use the bleach solution still wipe everything down with soapy water with a clean cotton cloth.

Powerless Cooking: How-to Start a Charcoal Fire

Hamburger Recipes for the Barbeque Grill by the BBQ Pit Boys

How To Butterfly A Chicken

More Grilling Tips

There are some things you'll need if your going to be doing grilling. Below is a list of the items you'll need.

1. Several clean cotton rags each time you grill.

2. A grill brush with metal bristles to clean up your grill with. Ideally it will have a long handle so you can brush down a hot grill easier.

3. A large spray bottle of water to put out fires with.

4. Your seasonings in metal shakers so you can shake on your seasonings.

5. A good heavy duty spatula to turn foods over and lift them from your grill. don't ever stick a fork into your meat while its on the grill.

6. A Charcoal Chimney to keep extra charcoal going in case you need it.

7. A pair of heavy duty tongs.

Never Stick A Fork In Any Meat You Are Grilling.

You should never use that large metal fork that comes with a lot of grilling sets. You don't want to poke your hamburgers or steaks with a fork because you will let the juices out of your food and its those juices that help to flavor your charcoal grilled foods. Also don't beat your hamburgers with your spatula. When you do your losing juices that will flavor your food and if you mash those juices out your in danger of starting a grill fire and burning your food.

This is one of the biggest mistakes made by new grill cooks. They will use a grill fork to pierce the steak and when they do this it releases all the delicious juices inside the steak. Once these juices are released you have basically ruined your steak. You for sure can't put the juices back in your steak. But you can start off the right way and wrap your steak with bacon secured with a wooden toothpick before you cook the steak.

Use ground sea salt and freshly ground black pepper for the very best grilled steak. If you wrap it with bacon and sprinkle it with salt and pepper you'll have one of the best steaks you'll ever eat in your life.

Don't Turn Your Food Over Any More Often Than You Need To.

Use your spatula or tongs to turn your steaks, chops, or hamburgers over with. And resist the urge to turn your food over more often than you need to. The more you turn that steak over the tougher it will be. Put your seasonings on your meats in the last few minutes of grilling time and the flavors will still be there when you take the food off the grill. If your adding barbecue sauce only add it in the last 15 minutes of cooking time or you will burn your food. The sugars in barbecue sauce burn easily on the grill.

Keep in mind that if you need to add more charcoal to your grill that you do it ahead of time because the charcoal will take time to heat up and start cooking right. That's the reason I always have some hot charcoal in my charcoal chimney especially if I'm going to be cooking a lot of food.

Applewood Gives Wonderful Flavor To Beef, Chicken, And Pork.

You should when ever possible cook with indirect heat because your meat will cook much better this way and your meat won't get burned by charcoal being directly below your meat. If your grill is large enough have your charcoal fire over on one side and cook on the other side. I like to use wood to produce smoke when I'm cooking on my charcoal grill and I usually use apple wood. I soak the small pieces of apple wood for at least 12 hours so it will smoke and not burn up in a hurry. Apple wood gives steaks the best flavor ever. I love to cook a big brisket over apple wood using indirect heat.

Beef Briskets Take 8 - 10 Hours To Cook.

It takes 8-10 hours to cook a beef brisket done over indirect heat. You want your grill to be able to be closed up so it will keep the smoke inside the grill where you want it. Don't ever stab your beef brisket with a fork and use care when you turn the brisket over. If you have your charcoal fire going with lots of good smoke you shouldn't have to turn your beef brisket over but once or twice. Try soaking your beef brisket in Italian dressing for six to eight hours before you cook it. You will find that the Italian dressing will enhance the flavor of your beef brisket and it will tenderize the meat.

The mistake a lot of people make when cooking beef brisket is they try to rush it. You can not rush a beef brisket or you'll be disappointed with the end product.

Use Cheaper Cuts Of Beef

You can use cheaper cuts of beef if you soak the meat in Italian dressing for six to eight hours before you grill it. Sirloin works just perfect for cooking this way.

Make Use Of Fresh Herbs When Your Grilling

I like to use fresh grown rosemary and basil to flavor the foods I'm cooking on the grill. Almost any kind of chicken will taste wonderful sprinkled with fresh rosemary. I often remove the backbone from whole chickens with a pair of poultry scissors and sprinkle the flattened out chicken with rosemary and basil, and end up with some oh so wonderful flavors this way.

I take pieces of basil and lay it on thick pork chops while they are grilling. If the pork chops are thick I cut slits in the pork chop and stuff fresh basil in the pork chops and end up with flavors you won't ever forget.

I use both fresh and dried rosemary and basil with my grilling and I love the flavors that the fresh herbs give to the meat.

Grilled Corn On The Cob Is Delicious

In order to cook corn on the cob on the grill you'll want to pull the shucks back on each ear of corn and remove the silks from your corn. Pull the shucks back up in place and soak your corn in its shucks in water for at least one hour before you grill your corn on the cob. You don't need to turn your corn over but once or twice and you should end up with delicious grilled corn on the cob each and every time.

Kebobs On The Grill

You can make delicious kebobs on the grill by threading peeled and deveined shrimp, pineapple, bell peppers and potatoes on bamboo skewers and then you place them on the grill on a cooler place on the grill and let them cook. You will want to sprinkle them with salt and pepper to taste. Most people who try these love them. I like to cook the kebobs on the grill and serve them on top of a bed of saffron rice. I add fine diced mushrooms to the rice and it's a delicious gourmet meal that every one loves.

Grilled Chicken Thighs

You can remove the skin and bones from chicken thighs and you'll end up with a delightfully delicious meat that is oh so delicious. I like to grill the chicken thighs and while they are grilling I sprinkle them with dry taco seasoning. Once the chicken thighs finish cooking I slice them up into very thin slices and use them in taco salads or in chicken tacos. Made this way with the grilled chicken thighs you end up with meat that is oh so delicious. And the really great thing is that chicken thighs are usually about a third the cost of chicken breasts.

Thank You For Reading My Hub Page

I appreciate you taking the time to read my Hub Page on Charcoal Grilling Tips. If you have any questions, tips, or comments please post them below now. I hope you have a nice day and I hope you get to cook something on the grill real soon.

Please Post Your Comments, Tips, Or Suggestions About Charcoal Grilling Now.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      Great hub with handy tips;take care and thanks for sharing.

      Take care and enjoy your day.



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)