Consistency is one of the hardest skills. Especially when it comes to keeping a charcoal grill hot, but for all barbecue sessions, this is one of the most important and absolute musts.
Charcoal grilling is a form of outdoor cooking. The key ingredient of this cooking is charcoal, without which the cooking does not have any relevance. As charcoal is very difficult to light, it becomes way more difficult to control the temperature.
Since grilling takes a lot of time, therefore, the temperature fluctuates wildly. But for the meat to have a perfect tenderness and smoked flavor, you need to ensure that the charcoal grill temperature is hot and steady. Fluctuations may cause your meat to ruin and produce spots over the grill surface.
To keep your charcoal grill hot, you need to master the process of air ventilation of the grill chamber. Constant ash disposal and usage of tools like chimney starters and thermometers are a must requirement.
It is not an easy process to start the fire, but you need to understand the core principles to continue to keep the charcoal grill hot once you have done it.
How to Keep a Charcoal Grill Hot?
A good thermometer
While grilling, the temperature of 225° Fahrenheit is safe to be ideal. Especially when you are making barbecues, you need to maintain this temperature to get the best result.
At 225 degrees Fahrenheit, you can get the perfect juicy and delicious barbecue meat. You can be tempted to attack the cuts of your pork, beef, or chicken with a sear but leave it to the charcoal grill at this. All you need to do is learn to keep your charcoal grills temperature consistent.
Unlike stainless steel, all the gas grill and the charcoal grill does not have any temperature reading parameters. It leads to the biggest problem while you are trying to maintain the heat of the charcoal grill. Besides, if you don’t control the heat of your charcoal grill, your meat can be overdone or even dry.
You can introduce a nice air probe to monitor the temperature of the grill. The air probe will help you to maintain a temperature of 225 degrees Fahrenheit. While adding more fuel or coals to the grill, the Air Probe will help you track down the activities and create a cooking environment.
But make sure while fixing the air probe, you have to set it close to your food to provide you with an accurate reading of the temperature.
Lighting the coal pieces can be a lot more than you have ever thought. One can use several ways to light those lump of coals. But the safest and the best way is to use the chimney starter. A chimney starter is also known as charcoal chimneys. It is one of the most reliable ways to deal with your barbecue.
It ensures that the coals are evenly distributed, helping you maintain a consistent temperature for the charcoal grill.
Chimney starters look like coffee mugs and are tall in structure. You can feel charcoal into this mug-like structure. The ventilated force of the chimney starters helps one to easily light in the coal. Also, the chimney starter’s shape helps to push the heat upward when you light the charcoals. The chimney starter protects the coals from outside elements, helping them ignite without any distance.
Dampers to be opened
While using a charcoal grill, it is important to have woods or a supply of charcoal in abundance. Apart from this, oxygen happens to be another important element of the charcoal grill. It helps the grill to have a controlled temperature.
For any charcoal grill, oxygen and charcoal are the two main fuels. Before you try to control the heat consistency of your grill, you need to locate the dampers. There are two dampers present in every charcoal grill. The intake damper is located at the basement position.
Generally, besides the intake damper, you will find the chimney starters. The other kind of damper is the exhaust temper located in the grill lid.
When the two work together, it creates a healthy supply of airflow. The year flows through the intake damper and exhausts out through the exhaust damper. If any one of the dampers is not present, it might lead to a faulty charcoal grill. And will deprive one of the qualities of the goods of air supply for your lit charcoal.
It would be best if you opened both of your dampers before igniting the charcoal of your charcoal grill. When you see that the heat has risen, you need to adjust as per your temperature preference. The damper helps to keep the grill hot.
Setting up a 2 zone is important if you are going for indirect grilling. Once you can create two working zones in your charcoal grill, you have achieved the key of how to keep the charcoal grill hot.
Setting up two zones is an easy task. You can only achieve it after you light your coal in the charcoal chimneys. Once you have done it, you need to place it on one of the sides of your grill. On the other side, you need to place the barbecue meats above the grates. Covering the grill in this way will help you to maintain a hotter environment for your food. Two zones act as a catalyst when it comes to keeping the charcoal grill hot.
Monitoring the Fuel
Depending on the type of cooking skills you want to exhibit on your charcoal grills, you need to control your grill’s temperature in a preferred way. To keep the charcoal grill hot, you must light down pieces of charcoal in your charcoal chimneys before you add them to the grill. It will enhance the uniformity of your temperature. But if the fuel dries down, you can add new charcoal over the older ones.
Adding charcoal will help to build and uniform temperature, making your grill stay hotter for a longer period. Building up the heat is possible as when you ignite the coal, it emits smoke. But discount also leads to this stabilization of the cooking temperature. To prevent this, you need to limit the intake damper.
As we know that the heat emitted from the charcoal deviates inevitably from the ideal 225 degrees Fahrenheit, you need to make some adjustments. You have to keep in mind that both the dampers of your grill are set to open.
It would be best to try out with your dampers to set the correct temperature while controlling the heat. But remember not to overdo it. You can only adjust the intake damper, whereas leave opens the exhaust dampers.
After every 5 minutes of the adjustment, you need to check the air probe. Once the heat is low, you have to open the intake damper, but if the heat is high or 225 degrees Fahrenheit, you need to close the intake damper partially.
Get rid of ashes
When the charcoal inside the grill starts to burn, it will produce a lot of ashes. These ashes get collected at the basement of the grill and smoother down the lit coals. Once this phenomenon occurs, your grill will slowly cool down as the ashes will extinguish the lit coal and prevent the proper airflow inside the charcoal grill.
Most of the charcoal grills come with Ash disposal technique. If you get hold of one with easy Ash disposal, you must use it after every 30 to 60 minutes while you are cooking.
But if your grill does not have any Ash disposal, you must do the process manually by scooping out the ashes from the bottom of your charcoal grill.
Be careful not to overdo this process as it might tamper the temperature of your grill.
Apart from all these methods, other factors need to be considered while you want to keep your charcoal grill hot for a long time. The thickness of smoker walls and the type of fuel you use help decide how long your charcoal grill would be hot.
Nature also plays a major role in helping with temperature consistency. If you are using the charcoal grill in a region where it is windy, make sure that you have a frequent check at your fuel.
Nevertheless, when you know about all the tactics to keep your charcoal grill hot for a longer time, it is now time to get your hands together and play your part.
Using charcoal briquettes can help you with the process of maintaining the consistency, but if you cannot start the fire, you can apply a lighter fluid on the coals and leave it for a few minutes for it to absorb fully before burning.
So what are you waiting for? Take out that charcoal grill that has been there forever at the corner of your house feeding on cobwebs and start making delicious BBQ steaks, maintaining a proper temperature, and controlling it throughout.