How To Safely Use a Charcoal Barbecue

Posted on : June 9, 2017

Barbecue safety is always important when grilling during the summer. Knowing how to use your barbecue properly is the first step to being safe while using barbecues. If you prefer propane barbecues over charcoal, check out our how to guide for using propane barbecues here. Now, let’s break down how to use charcoal barbecues safely.

Step 1: Clean Up Ash or Dirt

If you have used your barbecue before, it is important to clean up any excess ash or dirt from the last time you used it. Scoop out the ash and place it in a garbage bag. If your barbecue is new, you do not have to worry about this step.

Step 2: Remove Grill and Open Vent

Before putting in the charcoal, you must remove the metal grill. Place it in a safe spot till you’re ready to use it. Also, make sure to open the vents at the bottom of your barbecue.

Step 3: Put in Charcoal and Lighter Fluid

Now you can put the charcoal into your barbecue. It is best to lay it out in a pyramid form so the flames will evenly distribute. 

After the charcoal, you can put in your lighter fluid. Evenly pour the lighter fluid over the charcoal but do not put on too much. Also, make sure to not get any lighter fluid on your clothing which can cause a fire. If you do, make sure to wash it off with water or change clothes.

Step 4: Light Up the Grill

Lighting up the grill can often be the most dangerous part of grilling if not done carefully. To prevent yourself from getting burned, take a match or lighter and carefully light the coals. 

After the coals are warm and on fire, carefully put the metal grill back in place while wearing fire resistant gloves. This will prevent you from becoming injured by the fire.

Step 5: Cook 

Next, you can place your food on the grill. Make sure to use proper barbecue utensils to flip your food without getting your hands too close to the grill. Once your food is cooked to your liking, remove it from the grill.

Step 6: Make Sure the Fire Goes Out

Before putting your grill away make sure the fire is out. To have the coals burn out quickly, put on your heat resistant gloves, and close the vent at the bottom of your barbecue. Also, cover the barbecue with the lid which will remove any air from entering the grill.

Do not remove any ash or leftover coals till everything is completely cool. Even if you do not see any heated coals, it does not mean they aren’t still hot and can cause you to get seriously burned.  

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