Add Charcoal to Grill

Add Charcoal To Grill

This is about how to add charcoal to grill. Charcoal can be added to the grill either prior to or while cooking or smoking. This is listed in our “Complete Guide to Grilling on Charcoal” and is a part of our Food Equipment & Tools category.

Overview Of Add Charcoal To Grill

Several grills offer multiple methods for incorporating charcoal. Various options for adding charcoal will now be examined. To begin, the starting point is identifying where charcoal should be placed.

Where to Put Charcoal in Grill

In most cases, charcoal grills are designed with a specific placement area for the charcoal grate. This area is typically located underneath the main cooking grate. However, there are some grills that only have a single cooking grate on top, leaving the charcoal to be placed in the bottom of the grill.

Where to Put Charcoal on Weber Grill

This pertains to the placement of charcoal on a Weber grill. Typically, the charcoal is positioned at the base of the kettle, unless a charcoal grate is present, in which case it should be placed there.

Where to Put Charcoal on Weber Grill
Where to Put Charcoal on Weber Grill

How To Add Charcoal To A Grill

Here are three methods for adding charcoal to a grill in order to prepare it for lighting. You may empty it directly from the charcoal bag onto the designated charcoal area. Alternatively, if your grill has charcoal bins such as those in Weber grills, you can pour the charcoal into them, adding a little extra. Lastly, filling a charcoal chimney starter container with charcoal is another option.

  1. Directly onto the charcoal grate
  2. Into charcoal bins
  3. Into a charcoal chimney starter
Adding Charcoal Onto Charcoal Grate
Adding Charcoal Onto Charcoal Grate
Pouring Charcoal into Charcoal Bins
Pouring Charcoal into Charcoal Bins
Put Charcoal into a Charcoal Chimney Starter
Put Charcoal into a Charcoal Chimney Starter

Also, Weber has a good representation of different charcoal fire configurations you can consider when initially adding charcoal.

How To Add More Charcoal To Grill

The process of adding more charcoal to the grill can be done anytime, even while cooking. The method and timing of adding charcoal may differ depending on the type of grill being used.

How to Add Charcoal to Grill While Cooking

There are multiple methods of how to add charcoal to a grill while cooking. The need exists for longer grilling sessions such as smoking, slow roasting, or when using a rotisserie.

However, there may be obstacles in the way of your chosen insertion point, such as the food on the grill. To prevent blocking the charcoal, you may need to move the food aside before adding more. In the case of using an electric rotisserie, turning it off before adding the charcoal is recommended.

If you have a hot grill, you can add charcoal to it. Certain grilling grates, such as those on Weber grills, may have hinges that allow you to lift part of the grate and add charcoal in that manner. Nevertheless, you must have prepared earlier and placed your charcoal bins in that location.

Adding Charcoal Using Hinged Grill Openings
Adding Charcoal Using Hinged Grill Grate Openings

Several types of grills allow you to add more charcoal through a front opening. If there is also a charcoal tray, you may need to adjust the height in order to add the charcoal. Alternatively, certain grills have a chute for adding charcoal.

To add charcoal to the grill, either open the designated entry point or carefully lift the top grate and add the charcoal on top of the already hot coals. It may be necessary to remove any food from the grill beforehand.

It is recommended to add new charcoal to already burning hot coals and to keep the vents open to allow enough air for ignition. Blowing on the charcoal can also aid in ignition if required. However, it’s important to adjust the vents back to their original position once the new coals are lit, so that they burn normally and not too quickly.

When To Add More Charcoal To Grill

There are optimal moments of when to add more charcoal to a grill. It is important to monitor the charcoal and determine when it has burned down about 50%. This typically happens after 30 minutes. If using lump charcoal, it may be possible to wait up to 45 minutes before checking for the need to add more.

It is crucial to have a sufficient amount of hot coals to ignite any additional charcoal added on top of them. Having enough hot coals eliminates the need for more lighter fluid and often prevents the need for alternative ignition methods.

Related Articles

Here are some related articles, as well as some recipes that might require adding charcoal during the grilling session.


You’ve now seen several ways of adding charcoal to grills. And, also covered, were some things to take into consideration when adding new charcoal to hot coals while grilling or smoking. How about trying a long cooking item like a Pulled Pork on Grill Recipe or this Rotisserie Chicken Recipe on the Grill? And, for considering getting a grill that lets you easily add charcoal, look at this article on “How To Choose Charcoal Grill“, a complete buying guide.

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