Grilling: Learn How to Light a Charcoal Grill

Elizabeth Karmel, author of Taming the Flame and creator of GirlsattheGrill.com, demonstrates how to light a charcoal grill with firestarters and briquettes.

Released on 11/11/2008

Credits

Starring: Elizabeth Karmel

Transcript

00:00
(upbeat sweeping music)
00:10
Charcoal grilling is the original form
00:12
of outdoor cooking,
00:13
and today I'm going to show you how to light
00:15
the charcoal grill,
00:17
because that's the number one question that people have.
00:19
Now, let's decide what kind of fuel we're going to use.
00:22
You've got charcoal briquettes,
00:24
that are basically natural charcoal
00:25
that's been mixed with something to hold it together,
00:28
and formed into these wonderful little pillows
00:31
that have a consistent and even heat.
00:36
You also have natural hardwood charcoal.
00:39
This is literally charcoal in its natural state,
00:42
and it gives great flavor,
00:44
but because it's shaped
00:45
in very unusual and irregular pieces,
00:48
it burns very hot and quick
00:50
and you don't get as consistent a temperature,
00:53
so you really have to watch it.
00:55
The first thing that you want to do
00:56
is open the vent.
00:58
You want to open both the top vent
01:00
as well as the bottom vent.
01:06
Then, we are going to remove the cooking grate.
01:09
Now that we're ready to light the grill,
01:11
for those of you who've never seen a chimney starter,
01:14
this is what it looks like.
01:15
The chimney starter is divided into two pieces.
01:18
The bottom is where you put the fire starter,
01:20
the crumpled up piece of newspaper,
01:22
and the top is where you put the briquettes.
01:25
Today we're going to use the fire starters
01:26
and I love these fire starters,
01:28
because they're odorless, they're tasteless,
01:30
they light even when they're wet,
01:32
which is great if you're grilling in the rain,
01:34
and they last forever.
01:36
We're going to use these today,
01:39
and then put them right there on the charcoal grate.
01:42
I'm going to set the chimney starter over them,
01:46
and then I'm going to fill my chimney starter
01:48
full of charcoal.
01:51
Once you light the charcoal,
01:53
you have to wait 25 to 30 minutes
01:55
until the briquettes are covered with a white gray ash.
01:58
Then you'll be ready to cook.
02:05
(sweeping music)