How To Put Out Charcoal BBQ?

Written in 2024
by Adam

    Once you have finished using your charcoal grill for the day it is important that you safely and tidily dispose of the hot coals that remain. In this guide, we will give you all the information you need to put out your charcoal barbeque.

    The cleanup that follows using a charcoal grill is probably the least enjoyable section of the whole grilling process, and it is also deceptively tricky, messy, and dangerous.

    Once you have finished grilling you want to extinguish the grill as soon as possible for two reasons, firstly it will help save fuel, and secondly, it will reduce the risk of the coals flaring up and burning any of its surroundings.

    What Equipment Will I Need?

    • Heatproof BBQ gloves
    • Metal spatula
    • Aluminum foil
    • Bucket of water
    • Pair of tongs (preferably grill tongs)
    • Baking soda
    • Wire brush
    • Fire extinguisher

    Instructions for Putting out your Charcoal Grill

    Shutting down the grill

    Using heatproof gloves remove the rack from the grill and close the lid. In addition to this, close any vents that your grill has. This removes the oxygen supply to the coals.

    Leave your grill like this for 48 hours, it most likely won't take this long, however, it is vital that you are certain it's extinguished.

    Removing the ash/briquettes

    After the 48 hours have passed you can begin to remove the ash and leftover briquettes. Use a bucket to scoop up and remove the ash from the grill. Put the ash onto a piece of aluminum foil.

    Wrap up the sheet tightly and place it in a separate metal container rather than plastic as a single ember could cause it to burn.

    The briquettes will take longer to cool down so if you want to remove them at the same time as the ash then be sure to use some long-handled tongs, also you will need two metal bins so that you can separate the ash and the charcoal briquettes.

    In the event that your coals are still quite hot, there is a good chance they will continue to burn in the bin. To prevent this from happening remove the coals one at a time and dip them in your bucket of water.

    Remember to not use water on the grill!

    Do not use the bucket of water to pour or spray water on your charcoal grill while it is still showing signs of heat. This can damage the grill as the mix of the hot charcoal with the water can cause cracks to form on the grill. It will also throw up a lot of hot steam and ash that can disperse and cause burns.

    Cleaning your grill

    Begin by using the metal spatula to sweep any remaining ash from the grill. Then move on to cleaning the chamber, be sure to focus on the vents as ash has the potential to accumulate here and any obstruction to the vents will hinder a future grilling session.

    Using your wire brush paired with some soap and water thoroughly clean the grates. We also advise you use silicone spray on these areas to prevent any rusting.

    Replacing the cold briquettes

    Once you are certain they are cool you can place the briquettes back into your grill ready for your next grill, and that's it, you're done!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Isn't there a quicker way to put out and clean my charcoal grill?

    No. You may hear from some people that pouring water over it will do the trick but as we have already explained this dangerous both for you and for your grill. This is because the sudden temperature change can crack your grill and the steam produced can cause burns.

    Can I reuse charcoal?

    Yes, you certainly can! Rather than wasting any lump charcoal, you can very easily prime the leftover charcoal for reuse.

    To do this you simply have to submerge each piece of charcoal underwater for half a minute to a minute. After removing the charcoal place it on a non-flammable surface and allow it to dry. They can then be stored for reuse.

    At what point should I put the grill cover on?

    Straight after you have finished grilling, there is no point in leaving it at risk of rust or damage for the 48 hours the coals are cooling.

    To Conclude

    Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what to do after you have finished grilling and how to best go about putting out and cleaning your grill safely and efficiently. Have fun grilling but remember to be safe and responsible!

    Written by Adam

    Adam is the creator of the SmokeGuys website, running it since 2016. Hater of coriander, lover of all things meat... Adam currently works in marketing with a dream of being able to make food his full-time 'job' in the longer term.

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