Mistakes to avoid when grilling with charcoal

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Grilling With Charcoal In 2023

Hey grillers! Can you feel the heat of summer approaching? It’s time to dust off your grill and get ready for some mouth-watering barbecue. But hold your tongs, before you get too excited and start playing with fire, let’s talk about the most common mistakes to avoid when grilling with charcoal. These blunders, from lighting the coals too much to losing control of the temperature, can turn your cookout into a disaster. But don’t you worry! I am here to help you avoid these pitfalls and achieve the perfect grill every time. So, let’s fire up the fun and get cooking!

Common Mistakes to Avoid when Grilling on Charcoal

Grilling on charcoal is a great way to enjoy delicious food and spend time with friends and family. However, there are some common mistakes to avoid when grilling on charcoal that many people make when grilling on charcoal. By avoiding these mistakes, you can ensure that your food is cooked perfectly and that your grill lasts for many years.

Not cleaning grates before cooking

One of the most common mistakes people make when grilling on charcoal is not cleaning the grates before cooking. Dirty grates can cause food to stick and can make it difficult to get those nice grill marks. To avoid this, make sure to clean your grates thoroughly before cooking. Use a wire brush to remove any debris or residue, and then wipe the grates down with a damp cloth.

Not using chimney starter to light coals

Another common mistake is not using a chimney starter to light the coals. Many people simply pour lighter fluid on the coals and light them, but this can lead to uneven heating and a bad taste in your food. Instead, use a chimney starter to light the coals. This will ensure that they heat evenly and that there is no lighter fluid taste in your food.

Not Letting the Grill Preheat

Before adding any food to the grill, it is important to let it preheat. This means letting the charcoal heat up for at least 15 minutes with the lid closed. This will ensure that the grill is hot enough to cook your food properly and will help prevent sticking.

Adding Lighter Fluid to Hot Coals

Never add lighter fluid to hot coals. This can cause a flare-up and can be dangerous. Always add lighter fluid to the coals before lighting them, and never add more once they are already lit.

Opening the Lid Too Often

Opening the lid too often can cause heat to escape and can make it difficult to cook your food properly. Only open the lid when necessary, and try to keep it closed as much as possible.

Using the wrong type of heat

Using the wrong type of heat for what you’re cooking is another common mistake. For example, if you’re cooking something that requires high heat, you should use direct heat. If you’re cooking something that requires low heat, you should use indirect heat.

Not using the vents properly

The vents on your grill are there for a reason. They help regulate the temperature and can be used to control the amount of oxygen that reaches the coals. Make sure to use the vents properly to ensure that your food is cooked perfectly.

Cooking for too long

Cooking your food for too long can cause it to dry out and become tough. Make sure to pay attention to cooking times and use a meat thermometer to ensure that your food is cooked to the proper temperature.


If you’re new to grilling charcoal, you may have some questions about how to do it properly. Here are some frequently asked questions that can help you avoid common mistakes:

Wrap Up

Now that you know the common mistakes to avoid when grilling on charcoal, you can enjoy your BBQ with confidence. Remember, always use the right amount of charcoal, and let it heat up for at least 15 minutes before cooking. Use a chimney starter or an electric starter to light the charcoal instead of lighter fluid, which can add a chemical taste to your food and is a safety hazard.

When grilling, be mindful of your food’s cooking time and temperature. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that your meat is cooked to a safe internal temperature. Don’t overcrowd the grill and keep a close eye on the flames to prevent flare-ups.

Lastly, don’t forget to clean your grill after each use. A clean grill not only looks better but also prevents food from sticking and reduces the risk of flare-ups. Use a grill brush to remove any food debris and ash, and wipe down the grates with a damp cloth or paper towel.

I hope you enjoyed the post on mistakes to avoid when grilling. But I’d love to hear from you: what works, what doesn’t? Did I leave anything out? Fire it away in the comments section below.

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