Tricks To Keep Charcoal Grill keep Going for Hours?

We can not stop using charcoal grills even though they are challenging to use and hazardous to nature.

But why, right? The charm of barbecuing with charcoal is not possible in any other type of grill. These grills are famous for the delicious smokey taste of juicy meat. 

How To Keep A Grill Lit

It can be tricky for the beginner to fire on a charcoal grill because a little bit of mistake can be dangerous. Mastery is not to light the coal but to ensure it keeps going for hours. Keep scrolling if you are serious about “how to keep a grill lit.”

How To Keep A Grill Lit? – In Easy Steps

Lit the coal in the charcoal chimney, so each piece of coal ignites evenly. For smoking meat, it is ideal for maintaining the 225-degree Fahrenheit temperature for the rest of the cooking session.

If you ask any pro Pitmaster, “Is it that easy?” He will tell you that sometimes it can be a complicated task. The following tips will help you with “how to keep a charcoal grill going for hours.”

Must Check: How to Start Charcoal with a Chimney Starter

Buy Good Quality Coal

Charcoal is cheap and plentiful, but it is not always the best choice for grilling. If your grill does not have a thermometer and the coal is not fresh, it could produce excessive heat that will burn food before it has time to cook. The better the quality of the coal, the less likely it is to produce too much heat.

buy best quality coals

Open Dampers

Keep the dampers open, but you can adjust them according to the situation. It helps smoke to escape from under the lid easily without spilling into other areas of the barbecue or onto your guests while they are eating their food.

Moreover, by opening the dampers, you can ensure the proper airflow in the burning chamber, helping the coals keep on burning till the last.


Clean Coal Residual

clean the grill

A dirty charcoal grill can cause the temperature to drop significantly, resulting in charcoal extinguishing. To prevent this, you should clean the grill and its surroundings.

If there is any accumulated ash or other residual material, remove it. Then use an old toothbrush to scrub down the great and any other part of your grill that may have become dirty or charred over time. 

Monitor The Coal

The next thing that you need to do is monitor how much coal is left in the grill. You should keep an eye out for any signs that there are no longer enough coals in the grill.

If yes, you should add more coals, either by placing some in another part of the grill or loading some into an empty bag and placing them directly on top of your existing coals.

Use Thermometer

Another way you can keep a charcoal grill lit for hours is by checking the temperature of your fire often. It is essential to ensure that your grill reaches high temperatures and stays there.

check tempraure of a grill

You should have one that measures between 200-600 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the type of meat you are cooking and its thickness. If you want to be sure of having an accurate reading, then buy a probe thermometer.

Why Does My Grill Keep Going Out?

Charcoals won’t stay lit after you have ignited it. These factors can result in extinguishing: let’s find out who is at fault, you or the charcoal. 

Charcoal Is Dry

I know it sounds complicated because sometimes we buy dry coal from the market and store it in the backyard, but it absorbs the moisture quickly because it is too dry. After extracting the moisture, the coal will be easy to burn. You can dry your charcoal by putting it under the sunlight for a few hours.


If you have briquettes, then it tends to crumble when it becomes damp. The good news is you can save your money by using moist coal, but from the start, you must utilize dry coal to begin the process. Save the damp coal for later use because they have infinite expiration dates.

Ventilation Problem

As a newbie, you may think that coal is the fuel you need to give to your charcoal grill for going on, but it is not. Combustion needs oxygen or, in easy words, air. A fine example is the vents in the grilling systems.

Sometimes these vents get blocked due to ash and coal residual because these tiny holes let the air go to the burning chambers. 


Chances are high that poor ventilation is the root cause of charcoal not staying lit. For example, if you put a small cup on a burning candle, then what will happen is it will stop burning because no oxygen will be there to support the combustion process. Make sure that some vents are open whenever you are grilling. 

Clean Grill

Sometimes vents are open, but ventilation is not optimal for the coal fire to last for long. It is because vents got blocked due to the dirt, food residual, or ashes stuck in them. The only solution is to clean your grill internally and externally using grill cleaners. 

Low-Quality Coal

Low-quality coal can be due to many factors, including poor packing and storage of the coal before it reaches the store.

  • Poor packing or storage can result in poor coals that are too wet or contain too many pieces of coal, which can cause them to clog up your gas grill and burn unevenly.
  • Another cause for low-quality coals is if you have not properly cleaned them before using them on your grill. 
  • If you are unsure how old your coals are, properly clean them to eliminate any dirt off them.
  • You have an even bigger problem if there is a hole in the bottom of the coal bags. It infers that there was no pressure inside that bag when it was made, and all of the moisture in the bag evaporated during the transportation. 

Try to get good quality coal, so you do not face any hassle afterward. Do you know the most expensive coal comes from Japan? It does not produce smoke and consistently gives heat at 300° Fahrenheit as it is derived from hard oak. Whereas you can also get cheap charcoal in the market with only 50% carbon content, it can be tough to keep it burning until the grilling session lasts.

Final Words

If you have made a mess of lighting the charcoal grill and have given up, there is no need to worry. Read this article carefully and try to properly implement what I have suggested in this post. You will gain adequate knowledge about how to keep fire going on a grill. The key factors are charcoal quality, oxygen supply, and temperature control.

Similar Posts