How to Use a Charcoal Grill | The Home Depot

Home Improvement
There are many different ways to use a charcoal grill. From indirect to direct heat, charcoal grills provide multiple options to help users get the most out of their outdoor cooking.

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Want to know how to use a charcoal grill? Or how cooking with charcoal impacts the taste? In this video, we’ll discuss how to cook with charcoal and its impact on the food and grilling experience.
Following the easy steps outlined in this video will ensure you get delicious, properly cooked food every time.

The Home Depot is your source for all of your charcoal grilling fuels. We have charcoal briquettes, wood pellets, and so much more.

*Video Transcript*

One of the keys to getting great results on a charcoal grill is to properly arrange the lit coals.
When spreading the charcoal, remember that the thinner the layer of coals the less heat they’ll provide and for less time.

A thick and condensed layer will burn hotter and last longer.

To cook with direct heat, light the coals and then spread them evenly in the grate area using a spatula or tongs.

To cook with indirect heat, place the lit coals on roughly half the charcoal grate area.

The food can be seared over the coals and then moved to the cool area for slower, indirect cooking.
This cool spot can also be used to reduce flare ups.

Placing a pan of water in the cool area can help regulate temperature and keep food from drying out during cooking.

This method works best for thick cuts of meat.

You can arrange the charcoal placing half the briquettes or lump charcoal to one side, leaving the other side cool…

Or arrange the charcoal to either side of the cook box leaving the middle cool.

Regardless of the charcoal arrangement, place the lid on the grill and pre-heat the cooking grate for about 10 to 15 minutes.

If a smokey flavor is desired, soak a few handfuls of wood chips in water for 30 minutes and place them on top of the hot coals before cooking.

Maintaining the proper temperature level is the key to great results and the best way to regulate the heat is by adjusting the airflow using the dampers located at the top and bottom of the grill.

To increase the temperature, open the bottom damper to increase the airflow to the fire.

To lower the temperature, open the upper damper to release heat.

If the desired temperature can no longer be met using the dampers, it’s time to add some more coals.

If your grill doesn’t have a built in thermometer, a surface thermometer placed on the cooking grate will help guide you.

Check the food periodically with a meat thermometer to ensure it’s cooked to the proper internal temperature.

The needed temperature range will vary depending on the meat you’re cooking.

When your food is ready, replace the lid and close the dampers.

Following these easy steps will ensure you’ll get delicious, properly cooked food every time.

To find out more about using a charcoal grill, check out our full guide on or to browse our wide selection of grills, click below.

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How to Use a Charcoal Grill | The Home Depot

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