How to Start a Charcoal Grill. The unique smell of a charcoal grill is certain to get anyone's taste buds watering. Firing up the grill on those warm evenings of summer is a great way to get together with friends and family for a delicious, tasty meal. Getting your charcoal grill started isn't as hard as you'd think. Just follow these quick steps and you'll be on your way to slicing into thick, juicy steaks in no time.
Determine the amount of charcoal you will need. Typically, one pound of meat requires about 30 charcoal briquettes. There are between 75 and 90 in a 5-pound bag. Plan accordingly and spread out the briquettes in your grill pan to ensure you have enough to cover it in a single layer.
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Stack the charcoal briquettes in a pyramid shape in the center of your grill pan or use a charcoal chimney to get them started with no chemicals.
Pour lighter fluid on your pyramid (approximately ½ cup) and let the fluid soak in for a few minutes. If using a charcoal chimney, fill the bottom half with crumpled newspapers and the top half with charcoal and place the starter in the center of the grill pan.
Light your pyramid with a long match or fire starter. Light the newspaper of your charcoal chimney through the holes in the bottom with a match. With either method it will take about 30 minutes for the charcoal to reach the proper temperature.
Use long-handled tongs to spread the coals over the surface of the grill pan once they reach temperature. Use a long sleeve oven mitt to empty the charcoal chimney before spreading the coals. Your grill is now started and ready for cooking!