Nothing says manly Americana like standing in front of charcoal grill that’s spewing flames like the upturned end of a rocket ship. But creating a massive fire doesn’t always equate to properly prepping a charcoal grill. At the end of the day, you’ll earn more admirers by serving up great tasting brats and burgers than by offering a low-budget pyrotechnics show. Learn to light your charcoal grill using one of these two methods and you’re sure to get the praise you deserve.
Charcoal chimney method
- Fill a charcoal chimney with your choice of lump charcoal or briquettes.
- Place crumpled up newspaper underneath the charcoal chimney. Don’t overstuff the bottom as it might prohibit airflow.
- Light the newspaper and let it burn through until the top layer of charcoal is white. With thick gloves, lift the chimney and pour the lit charcoal into the bottom of the grill.
Lighter fluid method
- Arrange your lump charcoal or briquettes in a pyramid shape.
- Douse the charcoal in lighter fluid, coating each piece evenly.
- Light the charcoal pyramid at the edge, let the charcoal burn until it turns white, and then spread it into an even layer.