Tips for How To Make Your Charcoal Last Longer While Grilling
One of the best ways to cook your food is to grill it to perfection. When you grill your steak, hamburgers, chicken, or other types of food on a hotbed of charcoal, and you can look forward to some delicious food.
Charcoal is one of the most common sources of heat for grilling, and it produces this heat by burning carbon. Some charcoal can reach insanely high temperatures while burning, but that’s not necessary if you want to grill a simple burger.
Charcoal can produce significant amounts of heat very quickly, but it burns significantly faster than other heat sources such as gas or wood. Nonetheless, there are a few different methods for boosting the length of time that your charcoal burns. With that in mind, here are a few tips for how to make your charcoal last longer while grilling.
Keep Your Grill Away From the Wind
A contributing factor to lengthening the amount of time your charcoal will burn is where you put your grill. Your grilling area is important because your charcoal burns more quickly when you put it in the path of the wind.
Open areas such as the center of your backyard will have the most airflow, which means your charcoal will burn faster if you put the grill there. Air adds oxygen to your charcoal when it passes over it, so when you position your grill away from the wind, your charcoal burns slower.
When you’re picking a grilling location, find a windbreak. Avoid keeping your grill near your home for safety reasons. If you lean your grill on the side of your house, it could cause a fire. Therefore, keep anything involving flames—such as your grill, smoker, or fire pit—a minimum of ten feet away from your home or anything else flammable.
Open Your Lid
One method that can cause your charcoal to burn for longer than you want is by opening your lid a few times while you grill. Some people think that if you take the cover off while grilling it burns the charcoal faster because the fire will have more oxygen.
Taking off the cover allows heat to escape, which makes the charcoal burn way slower than it normally would. Keeping your lid closed traps the remaining heat in your grill, which makes it burn right through the charcoal.
That's why you should open the lid every few minutes to reduce the internal heat and make your charcoal last longer. Keep an eye on the temperature if you open the lid so the fire doesn’t go out. Re-igniting the burnt charcoal is difficult, so modify your damper vents accordingly and invest in a high-quality cooking thermometer to stabilize your grilling temperature to an appropriate level.
Spread Your Charcoal Out Evenly
Another tip for extending the burn time of your charcoal is to spread it out evenly across the bottom of your grill when it turns white. When you are preparing the grill before starting the process, place your charcoal in a mound so it’ll collect heat in one location.
After you stack the charcoal up, light it from the bottom and watch the beginning of flames settle in. Once the pile starts to heat up, spread the charcoal out evenly before adding your food so it’ll burn consistently.
If you keep your charcoal stacked in a mound, the heat will make it burn too fast, which will lead to less cooking time overall. By spreading it out, you ensure that the charcoal will last for the entire grilling session.
Choose Briquette Charcoal
If you thought that all charcoal types burn for equal amounts of time, think again. In addition to regular lump charcoal, there are also charcoal briquettes available for your grilling pleasure.
Although it is more common and comes from burning the wood down into dense pieces of carbon, lump charcoal isn’t the only type available. Even though briquette charcoal is less common, some grilling enthusiasts swear by it for its ability to lengthen your burn and last longer than lump charcoal.
Briquettes come from combining sawdust and other scraps of wood with other materials that bind together. If you don't want to constantly add more charcoal while you grill, switch to briquette charcoal.
Although lump charcoal burns hotter than briquettes, you can burn slower and longer by using them. This makes them the perfect choice for grilling foods at lower temperatures for longer periods of time. If you want to save money and reduce your carbon footprint while also lengthening your burn, shop around for some coconut charcoal briquettes wholesale.
Avoid Using Lighter Fluid
Using lighter fluid might be tempting if you're struggling to light the charcoal. However, even though lighter fluid causes your grill to light easier, you shouldn't use it. It will make the fire burn through your charcoal faster. Manufacturers make lighter fluid to burn more quickly than dry charcoal, so if you want to extend the life of your charcoal, then avoid lighter fluid at all costs.
In addition to shortening your burn time, lighter fluid also affects the flavor of your food—and, even more importantly, it also affects your health. As it burns, the lighter fluid releases chemical vapor that rises into the food. Perhaps the worst thing about it is that it causes thousands of injuries each year because it's easy to pour too much. The enormous fire that flares up as a result can harm you, your house, and anyone nearby.
If you want your meat to taste naturally flavorful—and if you want to be safe—grill without lighter fluid.
If you are still having trouble lighting your charcoal, chimney starters are a safer alternative. They offer an enclosed space for lighting the charcoal easily.
Overall, there are numerous different methods for making your charcoal last longer. Now that you know some of the best tips for how to make your charcoal last longer while grilling, you can use them for a more beneficial experience the next time you want to cook.