There is no doubt that a charcoal grill offers extraordinary smoking and grilling results, but it can also pose specific challenges and safety concerns that need careful attention.
For example, suppose you don’t extinguish the grill properly after using it. In that case, it can lead to fire hazards, create an unpleasant environment, unsafety for people and animals, and even damage the grill itself.
Therefore, I have come up with this comprehensive guide regarding how to put out charcoal grill, along with the risks of neglecting this process and the advantages of doing it when required.
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To successfully put out your charcoal grill, first, you need to wait for your charcoal grill to cool down. Then, get rid of the hot coals, set them inside an aluminum foil sheet, and finally, move on to your grill’s cleaning process.
Remember that burning charcoals takes longer to extinguish. So, if you are in a hurry, pick the coal pieces one by one using tongs or heat-resistant gloves and set them inside a metal bucket of water to speed up the whole process.
Why Do You Put Out Your Charcoal Grill?
Unlike gas grills and electric smokers, charcoal grills use charcoal pieces and wood chips or chunks as fuel sources to perfectly cook your different food items.
Therefore, once you’ve finished the grilling session and there are plenty of hot coals left in your grill, you can’t simply turn a knob to extinguish the flames like you would with a gas grill.
So, the only right thing I would recommend you do is to put out your charcoal grill in a proper way. But what happens if you don’t take this process seriously?
Consequences Of Not Putting Out Charcoal Grill
Let’s have a quick look at the consequences that you might face if you neglect to put out your grill when required.
- Fires Hazard: First and foremost, if you leave burning coals in the grill and don’t put it out, it can initiate a dangerous fire that could hurt animals, people, etc.
- Possible Injury: Even a few hot coals can increase the temperature of your grill to a level where if somebody touches it unintentionally, they would likely burn themselves.
- Weakening The Grill: It is pretty evident that if you often keep your grill hot even when you’re not using it, it will become less strong. Ultimately, you’ll have to bring a new grill to your backyard to continue your outdoor cooking activities.
So, these are some of the most prominent disadvantages of not putting out a charcoal grill at the right time.
Advantages Of Putting Out Charcoal Grill
Well, if there are disadvantages to not cooling down your charcoal grill properly, there are some essential benefits as well that you get when you do it the right way.
- Fire Prevention And Safety: After cooling down your charcoal grill nicely, you can prevent it from spreading a severe fire or burning someone’s hand.
- Optimal Cooking Performance: If you immediately extinguish the hot coals inside your grill, it is a good practice that ensures you get a smooth and optimal cooking experience when you use it next time.
- Easy Cleaning: It somehow makes the cleaning process easier, but if you leave it unattended after grilling, you’ll likely face stubborn residues that are harder to remove.
- Grill’s Longevity: Lastly, you can ensure that your grill remains sturdy for an extended period if you take care of its cleaning process and put it out at the right time.
How To Put Out Charcoal Grill? An Easy Step-By-Step Guide
Enough of the benefits and drawbacks. Allow me to take you through a comprehensive guide regarding how to put out your charcoal grill properly.
But first, let’s have a look at the accessories that must be available before you begin the task.
- Heat-Resistant Gloves
- Grill Brush (should be quite long)
- Metal Bucket with Lid For Water
- Aluminum Foil
- Grill Tongs
Let Your Grill Cool Down
Start by shutting down your charcoal grill. To do this, simply close its lid and any other pots for ventilation so that the oxygen supply gradually reduces.
As a result, your burning coals will begin to extinguish, but there are strong chances that it will take a longer duration, almost two days, and I know you can’t wait for that longer.
Then, what to do? In this case, we will first find a suitable way to speed up the cooling process of charcoal without compromising safety.
To cool down your grill quickly, take out the hot charcoal pieces from the grill using heatproof gloves or long tongs. Simply pick up each piece and put it in a metal bucket filled with cold water. Lastly, use a spoon to get rid of the leftover ash inside the grill.
Take Out Ashes And Charcoal
In case you opt to wait for the grill and charcoal to cool down automatically, no matter how much time it requires, it is an essential step to perform. However, if you chose the quick method (shared above), you don’t need to perform this task.
So, after waiting for about 48 hours, when your grill has completely cooled down, you can free it from the coals and ash. Don’t worry. They won’t be hot enough to cause any harm at this point.
The next step is to gather the whole ash and coals and place them over an aluminum foil paper. Make sure to see if there are any unburnt charcoal pieces, and if there are, set them aside because you can reuse them for your next grilling session.
So, this is how you can simply dispose of any coals or ash from your grill.
Let’s Move Towards Cleaning
The last step is to clean your charcoal grill, for which you will need to start by removing any tiny leftover ashes or food debris that might be in the grill.
Secondly, remove the cooking grates and clean them using a grill brush. Also, you can use water if you see there is any stubborn food or dirt.
Pay attention to the vents because they can get blocked with dirt, and this can affect how well you control your grill’s temperature.
After you’re done cleaning the grates and vents, you can move on to the final step, which is to clean the grill’s interior. So, simply grab your grill brush and continue brushing its interior till satisfied.
Now, let your grill and its parts dry entirely and place them back in their position. If you gained any unburnt charcoal pieces, return them where they belong.
Below I have attached a detailed video on how can you thoroughly clean your charcoal grill.
Is It Okay To Clean Your Grill Using Water?
It depends on when you pour water in the grill because sometimes, it is okay to do that, while other times, it is not.
For example, if the grill is screaming hot and it also consists of hot coals at that time, it is not recommended to pour water into it. The reason is that it will produce dangerous steam that can cause a fire hazard as well as be lethal.
Additionally, it would create plenty of mess that would take hours to clean, and the charcoal may struggle to stay lit.
In contrast, if the grill has completely cooled down and the coals are not that hot, you can use water to clean it that too after you’ve put the charcoal out.
Putting out your charcoal grill at the right time is crucial because it repels many threats and offers you a safer and more enjoyable grilling experience.
Doing it is as simple as letting your grill cool down completely, freeing it from charcoal and ashes, and cleaning it thoroughly to make it ready for the next cook.
Have A Wonderfull Grilling Session!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it okay to leave the lid of the charcoal grill open or closed?
You should close the lid when cooking food because it helps in better heat retention and circulation. When you have done your work, you should keep the lid open, allowing the charcoal to cool down.
How long should a grill remain on after use?
Keep your grill on high for 15 minutes after cooking. Doing this will turn any stubborn food residue into ash, which is simpler to clean up than stuck food. After that, shut down the grill and let it cool.
Caspian James, the Founder and Chief Editor at FaveGrills, is passionate about sharing his knowledge and expertise on the latest Smokers and Grilling Products along with mouth-watering barbecue recipes. He constantly researches new gear with a sharp eye for detail, providing the FaveGrills community with in-depth reviews.