How to
Light a Grill

Learn how to light a grill with charcoal in a few quick and easy steps.

Quick & Easy Way to Light a Charcoal Grill

Two Easy Ways to Light a Charcoal Grill

Summer celebrations are quickly approaching, which means more time spent in your outdoor kitchen! Start the season by getting your grill cleaned and primed for your favorite meals! From burgers to steaks to veggies and dessert, the proper heat is often hard to set while grilling with charcoal. Lighting the grill properly will help you regulate the heat for whatever you are cooking! We have created a step-by-step guide to help you light your grill in only 15 minutes. Get back to outdoor entertaining with family and friends with our help!

Step 1: Choose your charcoal. Charcoal comes in two ways: lumps or briquettes. Lumped charcoal is made with natural materials – cherry, coconut shells, and mesquite – and burn hotter and faster. However, they do not layer very evenly. Briquettes are made of sawdust and binders and are easier to stack and regulate heat. They do not burn as hot as lumps but are great for food that requires less heat.

Step 2: Choose how much charcoal you need. The more charcoal you use, the hotter the fire will be. Meats like burgers and hot dogs need medium heat – about 1-2 layers in the shape of a pyramid fi you're not using a chimney. Steak and other long simmering meats need around 3-4 layers so the fire burns longer and hotter.

Using Newspaper

Step 3: Add a few sheets of rolled up newspaper underneath the layers of packed charcoal in the grill bowl.
Step 4: Light the newspaper with a match or lighter.
Step 5: Let sit for about 10 minutes. If the coals are not starting to glow or become ashy, add more lit newspaper.
Step 6: After about 15 minutes, when your coals are hot and ashy, they are ready for cooking.

Using a Charcoal Chimney

Step 3: Fill the chimney with charcoal – packing around 60-100 briquettes depending on desired heat strength.
Step 4: Place newspaper on grate underneath the chimney. Light the newspaper in a couple spots. As the newspaper burns, the flames will begin to light the charcoal. The charcoal should start to become white and ashy. If not, burn more newspaper.
Step 5: Coals will begin to glow and become ashier. Flames will begin to flicker over the top of the coals.
Step 6: After 10 minutes pour charcoal into a pile onto the bottom of the grill and spread them out.
Step 7: After about 15 minutes you are ready to begin cooking.

For charcoal and other grilling essentials, place an order with Giant Eagle Curbside Pickup & Delivery today!