How to Replenish Charcoal in a Charcoal Grill Video
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Video:How to Replenish Charcoal in a Charcoal Grill

with Kenneth Nickle

Charcoal grills need to have the charcoal replenished to keep the grill heated to a proper temperature. Check out these tips for replenishing charcoal, how to light them, and how to use a chimney for the best BBQ flavor.See Transcript

Transcript:How to Replenish Charcoal in a Charcoal Grill

Hi, my name is Kenneth Nickle, I’ve been cooking BBQ in Kansas City for a little over ten years B.B.s Lawnside Barbeque, competitions all over Missouri, and Fiorella’s Jack Stack. Today I am going to show you how to replenish your charcoal in a charcoal grill for

Pile Charcoal Like a Pyramid

O.K. a question I am often asked is how much charcoal do I put in the grill to cook my meat. Just start out with a good pile and you want to make a pile of it you don’t want to lay it out flat because you are not going to get it lit. Go ahead and put it in a pyramid pile, or you can do a long rectangle stacked. A lot of grills have air vents. Keep them open in order to let air get to the charcoal to keep it hot.

If you feel like you have put too much charcoal on the grill that is fine, because it will cook down. When you are comfortable with the heat then you can throw your meat on.

Safely Light the Charcoal Grill

Now a few safety tips on lighting your charcoal grill with lighter fluid. Get your base of charcoal going, go ahead and spray your lighter fluid on your charcoal, go ahead and soak your lighter fluid for about five minutes, because if you go to light it right away you are going to get that big burst of flame. I typically put my charcoal up soak my lighter fluid in it five or ten minutes and then I can use a lighter or a match or those long lighters, those are great, you are not going to get that big explosion of flame when you let that lighter fluid soak in, so make sure you let it soak in a little bit.

Use Chimneys for Natural Charcoal Flavor

Now a lot of times when I have used lighter fluid on charcoal and have served my guests, they say that maybe they might get that funny lighter fluid taste. So that is where a chimney might come in to play because you are not using any of that lighter fluid, there is no funny taste in your meat. With a chimney you are just using newspaper or some kind of propane heater to ignite your charcoal. You are not getting any added flavors in there. That is why chimneys are great you get that natural charcoal flavor.

Carefully Handle Hot Grill Grates

When you start off with your charcoal grill you are going to want to take your top grill rack off put your charcoal in get it lit, get it going. If you need to go ahead and add more charcoal in after you have put your meat on, go ahead and carefully take a couple of rags pick your top grill grate off of the grill itself. Add more charcoal.

Don’t worry about putting anymore lighter fluid on it because the heat from the charcoal that is already in there is going to go ahead and light the rest of the charcoal for you. You can put the meat back on the grill, set the lid on and you should be set.

There are other options for replenishing the charcoal in there, some of the grill grates have side flaps on there that you can just flip up and you can easily add more charcoal just like that. Now remember when you are replenishing the charcoal that grill grate is about 400-450 degrees, use your towels, tongs, keep your kids away, pets away, you don’t want anybody around. You don’t want anybody getting burnt.

Thank you for watching for more information on how to replenish charcoal in a charcoal grill check us out on the web at

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