How To Keep A Grill Lit [Everything You Need To Know]

Cooking on the grill has become increasingly popular. People across the world have fallen in love with the rich flavors and low-fat food this style of cooking creates.

But that doesn’t mean that cooking on a grill will be easy. One of the biggest challenges is how you can keep it lit, especially if you are facing poor weather conditions.

8 Ways To Keep A Grill Lit Without Damaging It

Here are some of the ways to avoid this problem.

#1. Storing Your Charcoal Properly

Sometimes, the issue will start before it comes to light the grill. It might stem from the way that you are storing the charcoal.

For the grill to light easily, you will need to start with dry charcoal. Once moisture has gotten into the charcoal, it will take more heat to ignite.

There are a few clues that this might be the issue. The biggest is that there is a lot of smoke coming from the charcoal bricks.

There is a simple way that you can stop this from happening. You can keep the charcoal in an airtight container.

This protects it from rain on a wet day. It also stops air moisture from affecting the charcoal during storage.

#2. Stack Your Charcoal

One of the most common errors is that you haven’t stacked the charcoal properly. This is restricting the amount of air that is flowing to the charcoal. Remember to leave some small gaps in the stack.

It’s also a good idea to think about where you are putting the charcoal. You should try to make a stack in the middle of the grill.

From there, the heat will spread out to all parts of your grill. The video below goes into more depth about the best way to start a grill.

#3. Use A Wind Break

When you are working with a charcoal grill, you are also working with the elements.

If the weather isn’t cooperating, you could be facing a lot of issues. It’s common for a strong wind to blow out the fire.

Shutting the dampeners can help provide some protection. But you might want to take things one step further and add a windbreak.

This doesn’t need to be a permanent feature. Even something like a piece of wood will be enough to block the wind and allow the fire to keep burning strongly.

#4. Getting The Right Charcoal

Not all charcoal is created equal. Some high-quality charcoal will be able to burn strongly, providing plenty of heat.

But if you opt to cut costs, you will end up with lower-quality charcoal. This is because of the lower carbon content.

This lower-quality material will often be harder to light and more difficult to keep lit.

It’s also worth noting that the type of charcoal will also determine the flavor of your food. That’s why it’s often best to experiment a little with this area.

Find the right type of charcoal to compliment the food you are preparing.

#5. Using The Dampeners

Charcoal grills will come with dampeners. These are designed to make it easy for you to control the way that air is flowing through the grill.

This will allow you to control the heat. If you give more oxygen to the fire, it will burn hotter.

When you are grilling, you should always think about how the oxygen is flowing.

For example, sometimes, you can put on the lid before the fire has had the opportunity to take over the charcoal. Because of the sudden loss of oxygen, the flame will be extinguished.

#6. Cleaning The Grill

If the grill isn’t clean, it can cause plenty of issues. Not only will it influence the flavor of the food and raise health concerns, but a dirty grill can also explain why you are having trouble keeping the charcoal lit.

The grime and grease can build up over time, affecting the ventilation. Without enough oxygen flow to support it, the fire will die.

There are a few steps that you need to follow when cleaning your grill. After each session, you should clean the inside of the lid. You should be able to just wipe it with a paper towel.

If there is a strong build-up, you might need to brush it with a steel brush. You can use a steel wool pad to clean the inside of the bowl.

This article has more tips on how you can keep your grill in excellent condition.

#7. Getting A High-Quality Grill

grill lit

If you are planning to cook with a grill frequently, you should make sure that you are getting a high-quality model.

There are a few things that you should be looking for. For example, you will need to think about the bowl size and how big the grill will be. Think about the number of people who you intend to cook for.

It’s also important to think about the type of materials that were used to create your grill. You should try to get something that will be made from ceramic.

Most grills will come with a warranty. This gives you some insight into the quality of the construction process. This list of premium charcoal grills will give you more tips on how you can choose the right one for you.

#8. Managing The Temperature Of The Grill

You will also need to think about how you are managing the temperature. There are a few ways that you can do this.

First, you can open or close the dampeners. The more oxygen the flames get, the hotter they burn.

You can also add more heat by adding more charcoal. You can also use wireless thermometers to keep track of meat temperature.

Finally, you can set up a two-zone system, by stacking all the coals on one side. This is useful for cooking two types of meat at the same time.

This approach can come in handy if you want to start smoking meats.


Grilling is a fairly simple way of cooking food. The biggest challenge you will face is keeping the grill lit, especially if you are facing adverse weather conditions.

Hopefully, these tips will allow you to maintain a consistent temperature for perfectly cooked meat each time.

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