How to Extinguish a Charcoal Grill (Fast and Safely)

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Many individuals leave their charcoal barbecue to burn for hours after they have finished cooking.

This is a massive waste of charcoal, not to mention a fire danger.

Continue reading to find out how to securely dispose of briquette ash after you’ve completed cooking on a charcoal barbecue.

How to put out charcoal grill

How to Put Out a Charcoal Grill (Fast & Safely)

It is extremely simple to extinguish a charcoal barbecue safely. Stopping the fire is as simple as turning off the oxygen supply and waiting for the coals to burn out.

1. Shut the grill down

The first step in properly putting out a charcoal barbecue is to cut off the oxygen supply to the charcoal.

Close the lid and block the air vents. Grills with adjustable intake vents beneath the grill and exhaust vents on top of the grill lid, such as the Weber Kettle, are available.

Check that all of them are completely closed, since even a tiny bit of air might keep the charcoal burning.

This will deprive the fire of oxygen and prevent the coals from burning, allowing them to be reused.

If you’re cooking at home, you may go dine, and your grill should be virtually cold by the time your dinner is over.

If you’re camping or need to put out a fire fast, use tongs or a metal spatula to push around all of your ashes to verify they’re no longer burning.

Just don’t do it too quickly, or the coal may get enough oxygen to keep burning.

2. Remove the ash and charcoal

After you’ve turned off your grill and let it to cool, pick up any residual coals with tongs or heat-resistant gloves and place them in a separate bucket.

Some grills, such as the Weber Kettle Premium, include ash collecting systems that make this task simpler.

Do not immerse hot coals in water because the resultant vapor might burn you.

Using an old brush, remove the ash from your barbecue before putting it into a pail of water filled with baking soda (or salt). Small non-flammable granular particles, such as baking soda or salt, aid to soak up grease and smother grease fires that cannot be extinguished with water alone.

After it has totally cooled, wrap it in aluminum foil and throw it away.

Pouring this mixture down the drain might cause clogging.

3. Deal with any hot coals

If they’re stubbornly refusing to go out, shower them with extra water from a garden hose (while staying a safe distance away) until they go out on their own.If you followed the procedures above, you should not have any hot coals to deal with; but, if you took shortcuts, you can always put out any live coals that are still burning within the bucket by covering them with either baking soda or water.

Once the coals have been removed, dispose of them in the same manner as the ash.

Equipment to help put out a charcoal grill

How to Put Out a Charcoal Grill (Fast & Safely)

To securely set out your charcoal grill, you only need a few conventional barbecue items and a few extras from the kitchen pantry, which include:

  • Aluminum foil
  • A wire grill brush and a dedicated brush
  • Grill tongs
  • Heatproof gloves
  • A bucket of water
  • Baking soda

To ensure you have all the knowledge you need to properly set out your grill, we have compiled a list of the most often asked questions and answered them for you:

Can I use water to put out a charcoal grill?

It is never a good idea to pour water straight over hot coals. It has the potential to produce a flare-up, and you don’t want to be standing near your grill when this occurs. While water may be used to complete cooling off coals, we never recommend throwing water straight into your barbecue.

What’s the best way to dispose of old charcoal and ash?

Taking old charcoal and ash to the landfill is the best method to dispose of it. If you’re only cleaning up your grill, ash may be dropped securely into a metal container or bucket with at least one side perforated for ventilation and placed in an outside trashcan away from flammable materials.

Before disposing of possibly hot ash in a trashcan, always double-check that it is not labeled No Hot Ashes, since the heat created by even day-old ashes is capable of melting through a plastic trashcan and starting a fire.

Can I reuse charcoal briquettes?

You certainly can. Charcoal briquettes may be reused as long as you haven’t used water to put out your barbecue. Simply store your briquettes in a metal container and allow them to cool before reusing them. Then, remove any extra ash and place it in your charcoal bag.

Wrapping it all up

Charcoal grills are a fantastic method to prepare really tasty food, but they may be dangerous if not properly extinguished. Using this tutorial, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to set out your charcoal barbecue fast, safely, and successfully.


Is it safe to let charcoal burn out?

According to the Hearth, Patio, and Barbeque Association (HPBA), the best method to dispose of charcoal after grilling is to let it burn out and convert to ash for at least 48 hours. The lid must be closed and all vents must be closed while cooling, and the grill rack should be removed for convenience.

How long to let charcoal burn before closing grill?

But how long should the coals be left to burn? Allow the charcoal or briquettes to burn until they are coated in white-gray ash (approximately 5 to 10 minutes for high heat and 25 to 30 minutes for medium heat).

Can you pour water on charcoal grill?

Water should be used to douse the coals.

By carefully pouring water over the charcoal and swirling it, you may swiftly and thoroughly cool the ash, removing the risk of latent embers rekindling.

Does charcoal give off carbon monoxide when not burning?

Charcoal briquettes may produce deadly levels of carbon monoxide (CO) when burned incompletely and in poorly ventilated areas. The number of charcoal briquettes needed to create dangerous levels of CO is relatively tiny — around the amount used in ordinary barbecues.

Will water put out a grill fire?

NEVER put out a grease fire or flare-up with water. Remember the old adage, “oil and water don’t mix.” Water may aggravate the problem by splashing and spreading drips of burning oil, exacerbating grease fires. Water over a hot fire, on the other hand, may generate steam and inflict serious burns.

How do you lower the fire on a charcoal grill?

Most charcoal grills feature bottom vents. When you open the vents wide, you get more air and a hotter fire. Close the vents partially to obtain less air and a cooler fire. When lighting the charcoal and preparing the grill, make sure the vents are open.

Does charcoal burn faster with lid on or off?

Opening the lid allows more oxygen into the coals, causing them to burn hotter and increasing the possibility of food burning. Follow this advice: Open the lid to flip the meal and check on its progress, but keep it as closed as possible.


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