Are you someone who has fallen in love with a charcoal grill? If so, you need to make sure you keep the flame lit. It can be very frustrating if you are trying to cook a meal and your charcoal grill keeps going out. After all, you have an army of hungry people who are waiting for a delicious meal. What do you need to do if you want to keep the charcoal on your grill lit?

In general, you need to make sure you use dry charcoal. You need to stack the briquettes appropriately, and you should use dampers. If your grill is too dirty, you will have a difficult time keeping your grill lit. Of course, you also need to think about the weather.

Regardless of the reason why you are having a difficult time keeping your grill lit, you need to prepare accordingly. We have done a significant amount of research to figure out the most common reasons why charcoal grills might not stay lit. Take a look at what we have found below, and see if you can keep the flame going on your grill! Are you ready to learn more? If so, let’s get started. 

The Top Tips for Keeping a Charcoal Grill Lit

If you want to make sure the grill on your charcoal has a strong flame, there are several tips you need to follow. These include:

#1 Don’t Grill Outside in a Storm

Even though this one might seem obvious, it is important to specify things that might be overlooked. If you are trying to grill in the middle of a thunderstorm, you are going to have a difficult time. Water and fire do not mix. If there is a torrential downpour outside, you are going to have a difficult time maintaining a strong flame.

You might even be thinking about putting a tarp over your grill, allowing you to grill without having water pouring on your flame. This is not a good idea. You never want to trap the smoke coming from the grill underneath a tarp. This is going to be dangerous for you, and it will be a difficult task to make delicious food.

If there is a lot of rain coming down outside, you need to stay away from a charcoal grill. It is better to simply use a different cooking method, and leave the grill for another time.

#2 Make Sure the Charcoal Is Dry

Now that we have established that the weather has to be dry, we need to discuss the state of your charcoal. It needs to be dry as well. When you put charcoal on the grill, it needs to be dry. If you store your charcoal on concrete floors, in the garage, or outside with the firewood, it could get damp and wet. It should seem obvious, but if your charcoal is not dry, it is not going to light.

If you put wet charcoal on the grill, it is going to produce a tremendous amount of smoke. If your charcoal is wet enough, it may not light at all. Therefore, you need to make sure your charcoal is dry. If you believe your charcoal is too wet, then you may want to put it in a sunny area to dry. It takes a long time for charcoal to dry, so you may be better off purchasing different charcoal.

#3 Arrange the Charcoal Correctly

You may think this is simple, but it is not nearly as simple as you think. You are probably used to just dumping the charcoal on the grill, but this is not going to give you the best results. In general, you need to arrange the charcoal from large to small. That way, you can get the best results.

In addition, you need to pile your charcoal in a single spot. Make sure your charcoal looks like a pyramid. You do not want to spread a thin layer out across the grill, as it is going to be difficult to keep the flame going. Instead, make sure you put your charcoal in the shape of a pyramid. 

Charcoal shaped into a pyramid
Arranging charcoals into a pyramid ensures heat distribution to keep the flame lit

If you arrange your charcoal in this manner, you will create even heat distribution. This allows you to keep the flame lit, and it will give you the best results when you put your food on the grill. Think carefully about how you arrange the charcoal on the grill. This is going to have a significant impact on your ability to keep the grill going and to produce a delicious meal.

#4 Make Sure You Use Enough Charcoal

In addition, you need to make sure you use enough charcoal. A lot of people do not want to use too much charcoal because they think this is going to cost too much money. If you are having a difficult time keeping the flame going, there’s a chance that you might not be using enough charcoal.

If you do not use enough charcoal, your fire is going to go out quickly. Therefore, be generous when you are putting your charcoal briquettes on the grill. Take a look at the instructions on the package, and figure out exactly how much charcoal you need for a certain amount of time. That way, you know you have enough charcoal to keep the party going. 

#5 Think About Where You Put Your Starter Cubes

You should have a few starter cubes you can use to get the grill going. Make sure you think carefully about where you put your starter cubes. In general, you should place them in different corners of the pile. You need to tuck them inside the corner so that the fire will distribute evenly throughout the charcoal grill.

When you are trying to find the right starter cubes, make sure you find ones that are all-natural. You do not want to use starter blocks that contain a lot of chemicals. Otherwise, this is going to lead to a meal that does not taste very good. You should think about the types of cubes you get and where you put them in the charcoal. That way, you can keep the flame going. 

#6 Make Sure the Vents Are Open

There is a chance that you are having a difficult time keeping the fire going because the vents are not open. You may think that closing the vents is a great way to trap the heat in the grill. In reality, you are simply going to suffocate the flame. Therefore, you need to open the vents to allow air to circulate accordingly.

If you open up the vents, you can maintain a steady flow of air throughout the grill. When the air flows easily, you provide plenty of oxygen to the flame. That way, you have plenty of power to keep the flame hot as you cook your food on the grill.

Grilling with open vent
Opening the grill vent will allow oxygen to flow through the grill and will keep the flame going

These are a few of the most important tips you need to follow if you want to maintain a healthy flame on the charcoal grill. If you are having a difficult time keeping your flame lit, you may want to put a few of these tips to work for you. Then, see if it helps you keep the fire going.

What About Lighter Fluid?

There is a chance that you might be using lighter fluid. If you would rather use lighter fluid to help you keep the plane going, there are several steps you need to follow. These include:

  • First, you need to make sure your charcoal is arranged correctly. It needs to take the shape of a pyramid. This means you need to put the larger blocks on the bottom and then put the smaller ones on top. 
  • After this, you need to pour your lighter fluid evenly across the coals. Read the instructions on the lighter fluid package to see how much you need.
  • You do not want to overdo it on the lighter fluid. Make sure you use a thin layer and avoid spraying it all in one place.
  • You should wait approximately one minute for the coals to absorb some of the lighter fluid. That way, you get the best results when you light it. 
  • After this, you can use a grill lighter to light the lighter fluid. You should see the flame spread throughout the grill. Once the flame is on, do not add anymore lighter fluid. Otherwise, this will create a serious safety concern.
  • Wait a few minutes for the individual pieces of charcoal to light. Once the flame is consistent throughout the grill, you can start grilling.

You need to make sure you put safety at the top of your list when you are using lighter fluid. Otherwise, you run the risk of burning yourself.

Make Sure You Keep Your Charcoal Flame Going

There are plenty of ways for you to light a charcoal grill; however, it is not unusual for people to have a difficult time keeping the flame going. If you feel like you are having a hard time keeping your charcoal grill lit, you may want to try a few of these tips. Make sure you choose the right charcoal, arrange it appropriately on the grill, and think carefully about how you use lighter fluid.

With a little bit of practice, you can become an expert at using a charcoal grill. At the same time, you also need to be very careful. You do not want to use your grill under unsafe circumstances, and you need to make sure you do not burn yourself. If you need help using your grill, you may want to take a look at the manual to learn more. Or, you may want to reach out to a professional who can help you. That way, you can make sure you produce delicious food on the charcoal grill every time you use it. Now, get ready to become a grill master with a few of these tips!