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Charcoal Grilling Tips and Techniques

Updated on August 17, 2014

If you love grilling as much as I do, then you can appreciate the woodsy flavor over charcoal grills. There's nothing like it!

Here you'll find tips here on how to grill steak, chicken, seafood, pork and more. I've researched tips from others and have also included things I have learned from my many years of grilling my favorite foods for family and friends.

It really is easy to prepare your favorite foods for all to enjoy. Grilling is a fun summer activity that many families have been doing for years. You can do it in your back yard, at a park and at many public beaches.

The next time you throw an outdoor party, consider grilling a variety of foods using the tips and techniques I'm sharing on this page!

Photo by Ginny CC BY-ND 2.0


Getting Started

Tips To Starting A Fire In Your Charcoal Grill

1. Place your charcoal in a pyramid shape in your grill.

2. Pour an ample amount of lighter fluid on the briquettes, soaking them thoroughly. Let this soak in for about five minutes then apply another light coat of lighter fluid.

3. Use matches to light the charcoal by igniting the match then tossing it on the grill. You can toss more than one to get the briquettes lighted in more than one area.

4. Once most of the charcoal briquettes are turning ashy colored, then spread them evenly in the bottom of the grill for even heat and cooking.

Weber 741001 Silver One-Touch 22-1/2-Inch Kettle Grill
Weber 741001 Silver One-Touch 22-1/2-Inch Kettle Grill | Source

The Perfect Backyard Grill!

My Personal Recommendation

This grill will help you cook like a pro. It's so easy to clean and care for, too. The aluminum ash catcher keeps ashes contained and once cooled, you simply have to dump them out, plus it includes a one-touch cleaning system to reduce the work you'll have to put into maintenance. I love the look and size of this one. It provides you with ample space to grill, yet won't take up a lot of space on your patio. It has wheels so you can easily move it from one area to another and can easily store it when the grilling season is over.

Also what I love about this grill is that its heavy duty and can retain heat at a very high temperature. I recently had to upgrade to this Weber grill when the "off" brand grill I had didn't retain the heat like I wanted.

Customers have given this grill a 4.5 out of 5 star rating on Amazon, too. Those who have used it love it, and I think you will, too! This is my grill of choice!

Cuisinart CGS-5014 14-Piece Deluxe Stainless-Steel Grill Set
Cuisinart CGS-5014 14-Piece Deluxe Stainless-Steel Grill Set | Source

Proper Grilling Tools Make Life Easier!

14-piece Grilling Set

This 14-pc. grilling set is made up of stainless steel cooking utensils that are absolutely perfect for grilling! The set includes a chef's spatula, a silicone basting brush for basting your meats and vegetables, grill tongs, 4 pairs of corn holders, a cleaning brush (with an extra brush head). The aluminum storage case keeps your utensils clean and organized, and this set makes a cool gift for any occasion, too. Give it to dad or grandpa for Father's Day or as an anniversary gift or birthday gift. This set is highly rated on Amazon and enjoyed by those who have purchased and used it!


How To Grill The Perfect Steak

1. Let steaks sit in a covered bowl for 20 minutes before cooking.

2.Trim off excess fat from the steak.

3.SEASONING: Some people prefer to season ONLY with salt and pepper, and some prefer their own special seasonings. The important thing is to rub the spices into the meat. If you want you can combine spices with some cooking oil and/or melted butter and rub this in thoroughly making sure the meat is not overly saturated.

4. You'll need to make sure your charcoal briquettes (or gas grill) are super hot.

5. Use tongs to flip your steak, and try to flip only once. Sear them for 4-5 minutes before moving them around.

6. After 4-5 minutes move the steaks to indirect heat or turn down your gas grill.

7. Cook steak to preferred doneness. The softer the steak the rarer it will be. A well-done steak will be the firmest of all. Normal times include the following: 3-5 minutes for medium-rare, 4-7 minutes for medium, and 8-10 minutes for medium-well, depending on the thickness of the steaks.

Photo by Robert S. Donovan CC BY-ND 2.0

Photo by Pillsbury CC BY-ND 2.0
Photo by Pillsbury CC BY-ND 2.0 | Source

Tips For Grilling Chicken

1. SEASON: You can season chicken before or after grilling (or both). You can use dry rubs or sauces by choosing flavors and seasonings you'll enjoy.

2. Place on a grill that offers medium heat, and grill uncovered. If you cover the chicken it will bake.

3. Keep an eye on the chicken turning 1-3 times.

4. When chicken has reached the proper temperature, remove to a serving plate or platter.

An internal temperature between 165 F and 170 F is considered done, so use a thermometer to ensure proper temperature has been achieved. Here are some approximate grilling times for various pieces of chicken...

Keep in mind that times may vary, so make sure the internal temperature is OK before serving.

Cooking Times
14-18 mins
20-25 mins
10-12 mins
Breast Cutlets
6-8 mins
Whole Chicken
40 mins
Lawry's 30-Minute Marinade, Lemon Pepper with Lemon Juice, 12-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 6)
Lawry's 30-Minute Marinade, Lemon Pepper with Lemon Juice, 12-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 6)

Delectable herbs with touches of garlic and lemon make this marinade a lip-smacking favorite! A bit tangy but not too much.


How To Grill Pork

A Nice Little Poll

What Food Do You Grill The Most?

See results

Tips For Grilling Seafood

1.Make sure your grill is clean and hot! Fish will stick to dirty grill racks and you want it to cook quickly to retain flavor and moistness. One tip is to oil the rack just before grilling then place it on the grill right before you put your seafood on it!

2. Season with salt, pepper and any other seasonings you desire.

3. Try not to flip fish at all to avoid it crumbling. Other seafood can be flipped at your discretion.

4. Grill for about 10 minutes per inch of thickness. You can use a wide spatula or special grilling basket for fish to place it on and remove it from the grill. Fish will begin to flake when it's done. Shrimp and other seafood will cook in approximately the same amount of time (10 min. per inch of thickness).

What Are Your Grilling Tips and Techniques?

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