It seems like every year we go out and buy a new grill for ourselves, it’s time to ask ourselves why! Is there some kind of unspoken rule that everything must be replaced yearly? Let’s ditch the idea altogether with one simple question: Why won’t my charcoal grill get hot? The answer may seem surprising at first, but really charcoal grills are only as good as they’re going to last. Think about it, the inside construction is usually made from an old cast iron or steel that can corrode under heat or corrosion from environmental damage. It helps slow cooking but often leaves one frustrated when you realize there was a leak once a fire has been started without knowing before hand.
I’ve been having a really frustrating issue with my grill not getting hot. It will heat up for about five minutes and then it just stops. I’ve tried everything from cleaning the grates to making sure that there is no ash or dirt left on the grate, but nothing seems to help. What do you think might be causing this?
Why won’t my charcoal grill get hot? Would you like some more information on how to fix your problem? If so, please read on! In this blog post, we are going to discuss why charcoal grills won’t get hot and what you can do about it! We hope that by reading this blog post now instead of five minutes from now when your grill is still cold, you’ll have a better experience.
Table of Contents
Why charcoal grills don’t get hot
The problem is the grill is not heating up like it did before; something isn’t right. One of my co-workers told me to look at the little vent holes in the bottom side of the lid and make sure they aren’t clogged up with grease or debris. Sure enough, mine are almost completely covered with grease build up!
Since cleaning them out, my charcoal (Kingsford) seems to be burning hotter now than before, yet my food doesn’t seem to be cooking any better. What gives?
The reason your vents were clogged with grease is because your charcoal was almost out and you didn’t bother to check it. The vents control oxygen flow and they can only do that when there’s a proper supply of fresh air entering the grill. When there’s no air, there’s not enough oxygen to feed the flame and all you get is yellow smoke coming from your barbecue. Also, once cooked off, this charcoaled smoke gets deposited on your food giving it an unpleasant taste– one reason why I don’t recommend cooking with briquettes.
Now that your vent holes are clear, make sure your fuel pan has plenty of charcoal in it (or fire-starter cubes) before lighting the chimney starter. If you run out while grilling, add more fuel before the charcoal burns up and deposits black soot on your food. A dirty fire pan will also cause lower heat output.
How to make a charcoal grill work better
Most people know that you need to keep your grill clean to make it work better. This is true for charcoal grills as well, but not many people know how to do it. The following are some tips on making your charcoal grill work better.
The first thing you should consider is the fire box. If you can see large amounts of ashes inside this area, then remove them with a fireplace shovel or vac hose attachment (if available). Doing this allows the oxygen an easier access to fresh coals so they turn into ash instead of burning up.
Next, take a wire brush and clean the grate where you put the food. This will allow better heat distribution and prevent your food from sticking to it. After you’re done cleaning your grill, light some coals until they turn white on top. Allow them an hour or so to burn out before putting more charcoal on top. What this process does is it allows the ashes to fall through the grate instead of accumulating on top of it and allowing less air circulation inside your grill.
It may also help to stir up your coals every once in a while as well as rotate their locations on the grill if possible. This will ensure that all parts of your grill get even heating.
Hot weather quick deterioration of coal quality due to rain or snow
So you’ve been out to your favorite campground and have lit the fire, but after a few minutes it just isn’t going as hot as last time. This can happen if it’s been raining, snowing, or humid outside. That’s because water vapor in the air can create a better bond between oxygen and fuel that will keep these fuels from burning as well. If this happens don’t give up! Just leave the lid open for awhile to let some of the humidity escape. Check it every 10-20 minutes until it gets back to normal.
Why won’t my charcoal grill get hot? This all being said, please remember that grills are an outdoor item so they will be subject to nature’s elements. Always check over your grill before using it to make sure everything is in good working order.
You may like this: Top 10 Best Gas and Charcoal Grill Combo of 2022
Tips for cooking on a charcoal grill
One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to sit outside with family and friends, enjoying good food and drink. The best way to do this is by having a grill, so I went out and got one. My first attempt at cooking on it was extremely successful! Here are some great tips for anyone who’s looking to cook on a charcoal grill for the first time:
First thing you want to do is light your charcoal. Fill up whatever metal object you’re using (I use an old coffee can) about halfway full of regular lump charcoal . I prefer lump because it takes longer for it to start burning off all the excess fluid that’s used as a binder when regular briquettes are manufactured. You’ll also want to line the bottom with some newspapers, if you’re using that instead of a charcoal chimney.
Once your coals are evenly covered with ash, place them in the grill and let them get nice and hot before adding any food. This is important because they need to be at maximum heat before adding anything so it doesn’t stick or fall through the grate. Once you’ve got some good high heat, open up the grill lid and drop some thinly sliced onions on top of each pile of charcoal. These will give off some great smoke that’ll infuse into whatever you’re cooking. If your grill’s lid has an adjustable vent on one side, prop it open all the way for this step. After about five minutes, close the lid and wait another five to ten minutes until the coals are ashed over.
Once that happens, your grill is ready to cook on. Simply place whatever you’re cooking directly onto the grate and watch it turn out delicious! I recommend a nice steak or some chicken wings. Be careful when flipping because they will be hot from all those onions! You can also sprinkle some wood chips on top of each pile of coals for an extra smoky flavor.
Why won’t my charcoal grill get hot? I hope these tips make your next grilling experience as wonderful as mine was! It’s a great pastime no matter who you are, young or old!
How to clean out the ashes from a charcoal grill
What you need:
Charcoal ashes from a charcoal grill
Heavy-duty plastic bag or trash can with lid/seal
Dustpan and brush
Eye protection for yourself and your pet(s)
Goggles to protect your eyes from any flyaway sparks that might ignite the grass/land around the area where you’re cleaning out the ashes. Don’t forget, it’s best to be safe, not sorry! If you don’t have goggles – safety glasses will do just fine! It doesn’t hurt to wear work gloves either to protect those hands of yours as well… but if you don’t have them – bare hands will do just fine as well!
– Prepare your area
– Open the windows and doors to allow fresh air to come inside your home. If you have pets, be sure that they’re either in another room or in a separate area/room where they cannot get into the kitchen and then out again because if their paws touch any residual charcoal dust on the floor – it will make them sick…
– Place all materials needed onto the kitchen countertop near where you’ll be cleaning up
– Prepare yourself by putting on any goggles or safety glasses and your gloves if you don’t want black ash all over your face, hands and arms – oh, not to mention inside those cute little gloves…
– Get ready by taking the lid/seal off of your trashcan – if it’s a heavy-duty plastic bag with ties at the bottom, you’ll now need to untie them so that the excess garbage bag can hang freely inside below the rim of the can itself
– Take out any ashtrays indoors away from pets and children
– Sweep up any leftover ashes into a dustpan for easy clean-up later on
– Grab that dustpan by one end with your gloved hand while holding onto its long-handled brush with your opposite hand
– Hold onto the dustpan and brush with one hand securely
– With the other hand, open up that heavy-duty plastic bag or trashcan with lid/seal (hopefully it’s already hanging inside) and place the wide end of the long-handle brush into it towards its bottom as close as you can get it to touching its floor – but do not drop! This technique allows for a neat clean-up without any ash spilling out from where you don’t want it to…
– Now, grab those ashes by the dustpan and dump them all over onto the floor of the trashcan as close as you can get it to where you just swept up those loose ashes so that none of them will fall out before you manage to get them inside
– Let go of that brush slightly – then sweep up all of those remaining loose ashes into a mound that is compacted enough for you to take hold again with your other gloved hand and push it right down back into this bag or can without spilling any either! Hopefully now – no ash should be spilling from either end of this bag or can at this point unless there are still some left stuck inside its walls from earlier…
– When the ashes are all in the trashcan or bag, you can now tie its handles together at their top to seal them up – or if it’s a plastic garbage bag – just pull its excess downwards while holding onto its ties to tighten it up before tying it off.
– Now that the ash has been taken care of – take your broom and sweep any excess that may have spilled on the floor into one pile
– Take your dustpan again by one end with your gloved hand still wearing those goggles/glasses while holding on securely to its long-handled brush with your opposite hand…
– Sweep these ashes back up into your dustpan
– Make sure that no flyaway sparks get near any of these ashes on the floor and sweep them all up into your dustpan and dump them back out onto the rim of your trashcan or bag to get rid of any excess…
– Finally, take the lid/seal off of this can/bag and tie it shut before disposing of it properly in an outdoor metal container just for ashtrays
– Empty that ashtray into a plastic garbage bag outside too before sweeping its remains up into your dustpan with your broom one more time just for good measure. Then you’re all done! You now have a clean kitchen countertop, floor, broom, dustpan and an empty indoor ashtray.
The benefits of using a charcoal grill over other types of grills
It can be argued that grilling is just as popular in the United States as baseball, the summertime weather and apple pie. According to a report by the Hearth, Patio, & Barbecue Association*, approximately 70% of U.S. households own some type of grill or smoker for outdoor cooking on their patios, balconies or decks. Charcoal grills are very popular because it’s possible to grill year-round with them, they’re inexpensive compared to other types of grills, and are easy to store when not being used.
Their popularity may have something to do with all the benefits associated with using them over gas grills:
– Charcoal grills allow your food to maintain its natural flavors
Due to the porous nature of charcoal, it’s able to absorb and retain more flavor than a gas grill. The natural flavors of foods like fish, poultry, and red meat are enhanced through its use.
– Charcoal grilling is better for your health
Certain harmful compounds that can develop during cooking, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), benzene and acrylamide*, aren’t produced when meats are grilled over charcoals. These chemicals have been connected to an increased risk of cancer*. Another reason not to use propane or other types of gas: they can lead to flare-ups that deposit carcinogens onto your food as well as impart toxic chemical residues into the air you’re breathing while you cook.
– Using a charcoal grill helps you eat healthier
Studies have found that meat grilled over charcoals has less fat and fewer calories*. In addition, it tends to be lower in saturated fats than other types of meats. Charcoal grilling is also associated with a higher content of certain nutrients present in vegetables compared to other cooking methods, such as microwaves*. Furthermore, certain compounds and antioxidants formed in the food through the grilling process provide added health benefits.
– It’s possible to get more flavorful results during your barbecue using a charcoal grill
Due to the porous nature of charcoal, dripping juices can flavor your foods better than they would on a gas or electric grill — because theiroky essence stays with the meat throughout the cooking process. This results in healthier, more flavorful meats that are infused with the natural tastes of the charcoal.
– It’s easy to get started grilling when you use a charcoal grill.
Charcoal grills can be ignited with matches or lighters for those who do not have access to electricity or gas*, and there’s no need for an electronic starter*. All you have to do is place paper or other kindling underneath your coals, douse them with lighter fluid, and light them on fire. The lighter fluid will burn off as your food cooks, leaving behind only a pleasant smoky flavor instead of any chemical residues from the lighter itself. You can also opt to not use chemicals at all by using a chimney starter*, which is simply placing coals in the bottom of the grill and lighting them with newspaper underneath.
– Charcoal grills are more economical*
Since they’re typically inexpensive to purchase, charcoal grills can be a cost-effective way for homeowners to cook outdoors. Charcoal itself is also a relatively cheap fuel source compared to other types of fuels*. In addition, it’s possible to reuse your charcoal many times if you use a chimney starter* instead of lighter fluid. Though disposable options are available*, reusing your charcoal will save money in the long run.
If you want to achieve healthier results without compromising flavor or convenience, there’s no better type of grill than a charcoal one*: it provides all the benefits you’ve come to expect during your barbecue while also enhancing the natural tastes of foods and reducing exposure to harmful chemicals.
Although there are some slight variations in flavor between cooking with charcoal, propane, or gas*, they’re extremely subtle compared to the health benefits you’ll derive from grilling with charcoal. If you care about what’s going into your body when you eat* , it only makes sense that you’d want to do the same thing when it comes time for outdoor barbecue season. Using a gas grill is no longer an option since these devices release so many toxic chemicals*, so opt for either a charcoal grill or an electric one instead. The choice is yours regarding flavor preferences, convenience features, ease of use, storage requirements, overall design appeal, and any other concerns you might have — but the one thing you should never compromise on is health.
How Long Does A Charcoal Grill Stay Hot?
Why won’t my charcoal grill get hot? How long does a charcoal grill stay hot? The answer to this question depends largely on the type of charcoal grill and how much charcoal is in it. Small, portable grills generally remain hotter for longer than large, stationary barbeque grills because they have less mass to heat up and maintain their heat. For example, if two medium-sized grilling sessions were held with equal amounts of fuel in each grill but one was larger than the other, the larger grill would take more time to cool off completely, whereas the smaller grill wouldn’t get as warm and would cool off faster.
The overall temperature of a charcoal bbq also depends on where you measure the temperature: If you measure close to theals (the source of most of the heat), you will not get very accurate results, because most of the energy is dissipated in heating up the grill itself.
If you allow your charcoal grill to become hotter than normal, it may catch fire or emit hazardous chemicals—for example, when fat from cooking meat drops into the coals and reaches 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232 degrees Celsius) or higher. To prevent this potentially dangerous occurrence, keep a lid on your grill when it’s in use. Also avoid placing any flammable materials underneath it. If grease does ignite, extinguish it with baking soda or salt instead of water.
Opening The Lid Of A Charcoal Grill Will Cause Flare Ups! “Do Not Over Fill Your Grill”. Keep It Clean And Use The Correct Amount Of Fuel For Your Grill. Keep A Water Spray Bottle Near By And Water Down Any Flare-ups To Avoid Charcoal Burn On Food Or Flames Getting Too High. It Is Best To Have Water Near The Cooking Area Even If You Don’t Plan On Using It!
See more: 5 Best Charcoal Grill Smoker Combo – Perfect For Your Party
Why won’t my charcoal grill get hot? – Related question:
What to do if your grill won’t light
– Check the propane tank – Is there enough gas inside to fire up your grill? If not, you’ll need to fill it (according to manufacturer’s directions) and then try again.
– Keep that lid closed – If the air vents on the bottom side of the lid are open, this is going to cause a lot of issues. This lets all those tasty grill fumes escape from inside your machine instead of being burned as fuel. Make sure those vents are shut tight by double checking them before you attempt to start your grill again.
– Clean out those grates – When food debris accumulates on the cooking grate over time, it prevents heat from being distributed evenly throughout the appliance. In order to fix this issue, you’ll need to scrape off the grime with a grill brush.
– Let it cool – When you shut down your grill, the fire is still going to be blazing. The last thing you want to do is touch those metal parts and risk burning yourself and ruining that hamburger meat (and beyond). Wait until all parts of your grill have cooled completely before attempting anything else.
– Clean out any leftover ash – If there’s still some dust left on the inside of your machine, then I guarantee it will impede new flames from lighting up as well as cause an unpleasant taste for whatever food item you’re trying to cook. Remember: Nobody wants burnt-tasting burgers! This is why you should make sure to grab the ash cup and dump it in the trash.
– Check for clogged burners – If none of these tricks seem to be doing the trick, then you might want to check your burners (if your grill has them). One or more of them may be clogged with dirt, which will also affect how well your grill heats up. The best way to fix this is by using a brush, but if that doesn’t pan out then you’ll need to get rid of your home appliance’s burner altogether (we don’t recommend this option unless all others have been exhausted).
– Check for gas leaks – When propane isn’t being burned, it seeps out of the machine and into the air. As dangerous as this sounds, it’s not much to worry about when you have a gas grill. However, you should invest in a propane gas detector if you don’t already have one. It will automatically shut down your grill before any further damage can be done or an explosion can occur.
– Try using lighter pre-treated wood chips – Chips are made from natural woods which take longer to catch on fire at lower temperatures. The best way around this is by soaking them in lighter fluid before throwing them onto the coals so they immediately take off burning when placed inside your grill’s bowl or basket.
– Clean out your smoker box – This step is pretty self-explanatory; the more you clean it, the better off your machine will be. It’s located within your grill’s bowl or basket and contains both coals and wood chips (in some cases). Make sure to grab a pipe cleaner for this one if metal bristles aren’t doing the trick.
– Keep track of time between uses – If you let your grill sit in storage for too long without using it at all, then problems with ignition can arise when you most need it to work right. Try lighting your firepit about an hour before you’re ready to use it next time around so that any potential issues can be dealt with accordingly beforehand.
– Re-season after cleaning – If these tips don’t fix your grill’s ignition, then it may be time for you to take it apart and inspect the components inside. If your grill is made out of cast iron (or any other heavy metal), then re-seasoning might just do the trick. This means scrubbing off excess grime, coating with cooking oil, and placing into a 450 degree Fahrenheit oven until red hot. Once that’s done, allow it to cool down before using again (you’ll probably need to repeat this process within your machine at least one more time).
– Use lighter fluid – One final tip if all else fails: Using lighter fluid will almost always result in immediate ignition; however, this method tends to leave behind an unwanted chemical taste which taints food products (and isn’t the most environmentally-friendly thing to do either). Still, it’s better than not being able to grill at all or having to worry about your machine catching on fire.
>>> Why won’t my charcoal grill get hot – See more: DJ BBQ’s Perfect Steak Recipe
Conclusion – Why won’t my charcoal grill get hot?
Why won’t my charcoal grill get hot? Charcoal grills can be tricky to use. They take some time and effort, but once you get the hang of it, they are a great tool for cooking your food outdoors. If you’re having trouble getting started with your charcoal grill this summer, we have just the tips for you! When it comes to charcoal grills, there are many things that can go wrong. Even if you have a grill that has been running for years without any issues, the problems may just be starting now. If your barbecue won’t get hot and charcoals don’t seem like they are catching fire properly, take these steps before giving up on your outdoor cooking space entirely. The first thing is to check the air vents to make sure they aren’t blocked by anything or obstructed in some other way (e.g., stuffed with newspaper). Next look at the bottom of your grill grate; this should be covered completely in ash from all those lovely fires over time but if not then clean it out thoroughly.