Ah, good ol’ grilling – juicy steak, sizzling veal, satiny pork – what’s not to love?
Now, when I say “good ol’ grilling” I do mean going about it with a charcoal grill – not the propane kind.
Why? Easy, unlike a propane one, a charcoal grill captures that iconic meaty flavor and delivers tenderness for the books – something a propane grill could never achieve. Sure, it’s great for neighborhood barbecues, but is that really the quality of meat you’re going for?
Well, since you’re already here, I take it you might not be the handiest around a charcoal grill – especially putting one out. Those who’ve used the charcoal kind know, its fire doesn’t die down for at least a couple of hours, which can turn out to be quite tricky.
So, I’m here to reveal the best way to go about this task and make the most of the unburned, leftover charcoal while at it.
A pro tip to consider from the get-go – you want to barbecue your meat just the right amount – it shouldn’t be shoe leather, but it also shouldn’t be able to eat your salad!
Table of Contents
How to Put a Charcoal Grill Quickly – A Walkthrough
If you’re about to use the charcoal grill for the first time, it is important to know that only one way to put out your charcoal grill swiftly.
Randomly switching between options will leave you with a messy muck to clean up. Heck, you may even damage your grill!
If you want to do it the right way – you’ll have to get yourself some grill tongs, fire-resistant gloves, a grill brush, and a water bucket to dump the still-scalding charcoal.
Careful when picking out a water bucket – make sure to use a metal one just to be on the safe side. Though, a plastic one should do the trick just as well since the charcoal will cool down as soon as you submerge it in water, without damaging or melting the bucket.
The 3 Steps to Putting Out A Charcoal Grill Quickly
You’ll need to accomplish three steps to put out a charcoal grill. Here’s how to do it:
- First off, don’t put out your charcoal grill without having fire-resistant gloves on and without your pair of grill tongs. It’s simply because you’ll have to carefully pull out the charcoal or briquettes without, well, setting the place on fire.
- Before removing the charcoal, make sure that there’s no fire burning. That said, know that briquettes tend to burn more steadily than charcoal. The charcoal is going to be hot, but with the gloves on and your grill tongs at hand – it’s foolproof and fireproof at the same time!
- All that’s left now is to pour down the briquettes or charcoal in the water bucket.
Always drop them one at a time to ensure you don’t miss the bucket and spill the charcoal all over your backyard. This method is quite nifty as it allows you to reuse charcoal times and again.
Other Options & Steps
Another option when putting out your charcoal grill is to put the lid on the grill while the charcoal is still burning and shut down the vents to smother it. But, here, you’ll have to wait for 2 whole days before the charcoal cools down. Not very efficient, and you lose a lot of charcoal.
Next order and final order of business, properly cleaning your prized possession, using your grill brush. Soaps won’t cut it – they leave the grill smelling funny.
But, plain water and a little bit of baking soda blend can work wonders so that you can scrub-a-dub-dub to your heart’s desire!
Done cleaning the grates and interior? Lay out the wet charcoal in the sun to prepare it for a future batch!
And, this is how to put out a charcoal grill quickly – without burning your hands, house, or the nearby forest!
Can I Pour Water on my Charcoal Grill to Put It Out?
One thing that you most certainly do not want to do is pour water directly over your charcoal grill. Yes, it’s the simplest and quickest way to put out charcoal – but you should avoid it by all means.
Do you want to damage and crack your grill? No, you don’t! As the difference in temperature is massive, using water will only deteriorate the structural integrity of your grill.
Do you want to clean that watery, ashy, muck residue? Also no. There won’t be any other way out of that mess if you pour water on your charcoal grill.
Sprinkling the charcoal might be less damaging, but you should avoid it nonetheless as there’s still the factor of accelerating the metal rusting process.
One last thing – the steam that the poured water creates is potentially hazardous to you and the environment as it will contain charcoal micro-particles in it.
On the whole, pouring water to put out your charcoal grill will just leave you with double the work, and zero efficiency.
Why Should You Put Out Your Grill and Reuse Charcoal?
I’m no bragger, but the dollars I’ve saved because I’m a barbecuing maniac have been absolutely worth it! Reusing charcoal after putting out your grill is the most conscious thing you’ll do.
To begin with, it helps the environment. Also, reused charcoal will ignite a lot quicker than new charcoal pieces will, and that’s a huge plus. To reuse it, just pile all reusable charcoal into the grill, and let there be fire! Once you light it up, the grates will be hot and ready to burn on.
Additionally, salvaging charcoal will not only save you money – it will spare you the never-ending store visits to stock up on briquettes. Do yourself some justice – salvage your charcoal!
Off you go now, young grasshopper – you’ve learned how to put out a charcoal grill quickly, and now, it’s time to embark on a proper grilltastic adventure!