How to Keep a Charcoal Grill Lit? Complete Guide

How to Keep a Charcoal Grill Lit

Everyone loves a good charcoal grill. They’re easy to use, fit in the tiniest backyards, and impart the perfect smoky flavor to your meat. But do you struggle with keeping them lit?

If so, this article is just for you! Because we are going to give you the best tips on how to keep a charcoal grill lit.

How to Keep a Charcoal Grill Lit

How to Keep a Charcoal Grill Lit?

How to Keep Your Charcoal Grill Lit?

Most charcoal grill experts will tell you to maintain its temperature at 225 F, and that is true; the best steaks are cooked at this temperature. However, keeping the heat steady can be a lot of hard labor. We’re here to solve that problem. So, what are you waiting for? Read on and discover the secret!

Get that high-quality coal

How to Keep Your Charcoal Grill Lit?

We have always recommended the use of charcoal briquettes instead of lump charcoal. If you’re new to charcoal grilling, or in general, getting yourself a pack of briquettes from a reputable brand over cheaper lump charcoal is always smart.

Keep the Damper open

This is a great way to keep your grill from overheating. Pull open the intake damper completely and adjust as required when your grill heats up. Oxygen is only second to charcoal in terms of keeping your grill lit.

Vertical is the best way to stack

This is a game-changer since warm air rises, so stacking the charcoal vertically keeps them alight longer.

Stay wary of the lighter fluid

Let your charcoal soak in the lighter fluid for enough time to allow it to absorb a substantial amount of the fluid before lighting a charcoal grill. keep in mind that leaving the fluid out for too long will allow the fluid to evaporate. Do not add lighter fluid once the fire has been ignited since that is a safety risk.

Clear the ash

Excessive residue in the form of ash restricts the airflow to your grill, which could very well be the reason why your fire doesn’t stay alight. Our solution to this problem is to wait till the ashes cool down after each time you use the grill and then dispose of them carefully.

Keep an eye on the fuel

Monitoring the time and the grill itself can aid with keeping it lit. Adding additional briquettes after a considerable period has passed or stoking the fire when the charcoal turns grey to increase the time your grill stays ablaze.

Using a thermometer

Investing in a quality temperature probe is probably the best decision for your charcoal grill. A good temperature gauge allows you to act efficiently according to accurate heat measurements.

Keep the wind away from your grill

If that’s impossible, you can lower the grill’s lid to protect the flame but leave enough space for airflow to keep the fire going.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it recommended to add more charcoal during the grilling process?

Yes! In fact, it is a perfect idea to throw in some additional charcoal as you grill since it helps keep the fire going. Adding a few briquettes whenever the temperature drops is always a good idea.

Although, caution must be exercised while adding the charcoal. It is better to divide the charcoal into smaller portions before adding it to prevent the flame from going out or a sudden temperature drop.

Can water be poured over the charcoal grill?

Sure, it will put out the fire, but it will also have severe repercussions. The drastic temperature change may cause your grill to crack, not to mention the cloud of steam that would be released, resulting in your eyes watering.

We definitely don’t recommend pouring water over your grill because of the long hours you’ll have to clean up afterward, which would also include removing all of the charcoal and scrubbing the bottom of the grill to get rid of all the stagnant ash and water.

Will closing the grill help with increasing its temperature?

We’re here to debunk the widespread belief that shutting the grill’s lid will cause the temperature to rise. This is not the case. In contrast, it leads to the temperatures dropping. This owes to the vents underneath the grill that provide the oxygen required to allow the charcoal to burn faster, consequently raising the temperature. However, when the lid is closed, instead of being grilled, your meat is smoked since the flame becomes steady and low.

Is there a specific reason why my grill keeps going out?

It may be because of inadequate ventilation. Without enough air, there would be insufficient oxygen to allow the fire to keep the fire going, and therefore, the charcoal will eventually go out.

Video Credit by Munchies YouTube channel


By now, you should know several factors influencing how long your grill stays lit. Hopefully, this article taught you some tips and tricks to master the art of keeping your charcoal grill’s fire consistent. Thank you for reading till the end!

Here’s some related content you might like:

How Much Charcoal to Use in a Grill

Best Way to Light a Charcoal Grill

Best Charcoal Starter

Best Charcoal for Smoking


  • Troy Miller

    Hi! My name is Troy, and I'm the founder of Grill Taster. I have a lot of experience in grilling because I've been testing out products for over a decade. With almost ten years as a professional griller and help to thousands of aspiring BBQ masters, you can trust me to help you find the best grills and accessories on the market so that you don't have to waste time or money on junk. With my family enjoying some summertime fun just outside Carolina, we're all looking forward to your comments and questions!

    View all posts

Similar Posts