How To Light A Charcoal Barbecue?

by Marilyn Harris

Whether in summer or winter, we all like to enjoy meat, fish or vegetables cooked on a good barbecue. Not only is it the perfect excuse to get together with friends, but we also take the opportunity to eat using a healthy technique.

Lighting a charcoal barbecue is not complicated if you know the proper procedure. The first time you have one in front of you it can be a bit intimidating, but as soon as you read the tips for lighting a barbecue that we offer you, it will be much easier.

Steps to light a charcoal barbecue

Have you never lit a barbecue and want to learn how to do it? Do not worry, below we will show you the steps you must follow so that you can achieve it without problems. You just need to follow the order and in no time you will become the king of barbecues.

Gather the necessary materials

In addition to meat and drink, a series of elements are needed to get a barbecue to light correctly.

  • If it is your first time, we recommend having vegetable oil on hand so that the fire starts to catch fire and heat the charcoal. If you have forgotten, alcohol can also be used, but it is less recommended and more dangerous than the first option. In any case, these two elements can slightly alter the classic flavor of the barbecue.
  • As a support for the fire, newsprint is a good fuel, as well as being cheap. As an alternative, you can use magazine paper, but it is not as effective.
  • Charcoal has to be on your shopping list and the amount will depend on both the number of guests and the dishes you want to prepare. For example, for four or five people, you will need a bag of 3 to 5 kilos if you use meat or fish, while if it is a vegetarian barbecue, a couple of kilos will suffice.
  • A charcoal barbecue can be lit without pellets, either using dried herbs, twigs, or paper. Ignition pads are helpful for beginners but are made with petroleum derivatives, they are not highly recommended.
  • Don’t forget to have matches or a lighter handy.

Place the barbecue in the right place

A level barbecue is a safe barbecue. It’s best to choose a spot that doesn’t have anything around it that can easily catch fire, such as branches or overgrown areas.

Fixing the barbecue correctly will help not only to turn it on but also to ensure that the food is cooked evenly and without accidents. Once you find a level area, perform movement tests to check that it remains the same at all angles.

Finally, when you have your barbecue stable, check what is on the ground around it. Remove stones, pieces of herbs, and other debris that could be a danger to you or the cook. Security is essential.

Properly distribute the lighters around the barbecue

Make balls with the paper that are not very uniform, so that they are somewhat loose or it will be more difficult to light it. These have to be distributed throughout the barbecue, some closer together and others separated.

Next, place the remains of dry branches on your barbecue, avoiding too much together with the paper. You don’t have to follow an exact science to perform this step, but make sure that all the elements are spread out so that the heat is distributed evenly.

Once you have assembled this base, put the charcoal as if it were a mountain on the paper and the branches. Distribute -if you have- some ignition tablets and the vegetable oil on the charcoal.

When you have all this ready, it will be time to use the matches or the lighter. Light a new ball of paper or a lighting pill and take it to the base you created earlier. In those moments do not blow or make air or the fire will go out.

If you’ve done all of these steps, within a few minutes you’ll see the charcoal start to turn red. Congratulations! In this way, you will have lit your first barbecue and you will only need a little more time to start cooking.

Tips for lighting a charcoal barbecue

The amount of charcoal for a barbecue, the supplies that we will need, the wind… all these influences when it comes to lighting a barbecue. Although we have already taught you how to make a barbecue with charcoal, now we want to give you some final notes so that your barbecue is perfect.

Choose a good location

We have mentioned before that you should look for the stable ground without elevations for your barbecue. In addition to this, for it to work correctly, look for an area where there is not too much current or the embers will not be able to light up.

Use quality materials

Although you can light a charcoal barbecue with any brand, we recommend that you invest in one that is reputable and has good reviews. It is better to invest a little more money to get it to turn on the first time.

Use a lid

Covered barbecues are useful for several reasons: you avoid the smell of smoke from sticking to you, you will not end up with sore eyes, the meat will cook covered and it will give off less smoke. Its use is not totally necessary, but it is recommended.

Fireplace ignition

The ignition chimneys are perfect to guarantee the ignition of your barbecue. They consist of cylinders with holes in which the coal is placed next to the newspaper. They condense the heat and manage to stoke the embers in less time so that later you only have to empty them on the barbecue.

You can buy them or make them yourself using cans. Of course, we recommend that you have barbecue gloves for handling.

We trust that our advice will allow you to light a charcoal barbecue without any problem. Remember that with practice it will become easier for you. We hope you enjoy your barbecue!

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