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How to Barbecue with Charcoal?

How to barbeque with charcoal

Barbecuing with charcoal can be very tricky, and most people with less experience find it pretty daunting. However, there are some important tips that you need to follow for the best results. In this post, we will share with you all those tips and tricks that you can use for a great barbecue with charcoal.

Let’s find out how to barbecue with charcoal like a pitmaster in your home.

Charcoal BBQ tips

Before you get on with the process of barbecuing, you need to prepare the grill for pre-heating.

Preparing the grill for pre-heating

  • Prior to pre-heating the grill, you must prepare it, and you can do so by making sure that the dampers both at the top and the bottom are fully open.
  • Now remove the grate (top) and hand it with the handle.
  • Fill the chimney starter with approximately 50 to 60 briquettes of charcoal.
How to barbeque with charcoal
  • With the help of the charcoal grate, position a couple of lighter cubes right under your chimney starter. Light them up and wait for ten to fifteen minutes until the coals are entirely ashed.

Pre-heating the grill

  • Use your grill mitt for evenly dumping the ashed charcoal on the grate. One of the better ways to set your grill up is to place all not fully burned coals on one side because it will enable you to go for indirect grilling options as well.
  • You need to place your cooking grate in your grill right over the bottom grate.
  • Now put the lid on your grill and closely check whether the lid vent is fully open. The pre-heating will require 10 to 15 minutes.
  • During this time you can get your steaks ready.
  • A good practice is to put some olive oil on the steaks, but before that, make sure they are at room temperature.
  • Now season the entire surface of the steak with your preferred seasoning.

BBQ temperature charts

Beef BBQ temperatures

Food typeSurface temperature Grilling time (each side)Resting time (prior to serving)
New York Strip360F to 400F°130F to 165F (3 to 10 min)4 min
Hamburger Patties400F160F (2 to 5 min)2 min
Filet Mignon360F to 400F130F to 165F (3 to 10 min)4 min
Kebabs350F to 400F135F - 160F (2 to 4 min)3 min
Rolled rump or roast380F135F to 170F (16 to 22 min)15 min
Sirloin Tips350F130F to 165F (18 to 25 min)15 min
Tenderloin400F135F to 170F (8 to 14 min)10 min
Tenderloin400F145F to 170F (10 to 18 min)10 min

Pork BBQ temperatures

Food typeSurface temperature Grilling time (each side)Resting time (prior to serving)
Chops (Bone in & Boneless)325F to 350F145F (2 to 7 min)3 min
Ground Pork Patties400F160F (2 to 5 min)3 min
Ribs350F to 400F145F (30 to 120 min)3 min
Tenderloin400F145F (10 to 25 min)3 min
Loin Kabobs350F to 400F135F to 160F (2 to 4 min)3 min
Uncured Ham285F140F (6 to 10 min)3 min

Chicken BBQ temperatures

Food typeSurface temperature Grilling time (each side)Resting time (prior to serving)
Breast halves (Bone in & Boneless)350F165F to 170F (6 to 8 min)15 min
Whole not stuffed350F165F to 180F (60 to 75 min)15 min
Legs or Thighs350F165F to 180F (10 to 15 min)15 min
Drumsticks350F165F to 180F (8 to 12 min)15 min
Wings, wingettes350F165F to 180F (8 to 12 min)15 min

Turkey BBQ temperature

Food typeSurface temperature Grilling time (each side)Resting time (prior to serving)
Breast (Bone in & Boneless)350F165F to 175F (60 to 105 min)15 min
Whole Chicken350F165F to 180F (120 to 180 min)15 min
Thighs, Drumsticks350F165F to 180F (90 to 120 min)15 min
Boneless turkey roll350F165F to 175F (90 to 120 min)15 min

Temperature for vegetables

Food typeSurface temperature Grilling timeResting time (prior to serving)
Corn350F4 to 5 minImmediately
Eggplant350F5 minImmediately
Asparagus350F4 to 5 minImmediately
Sweet Onions / Onions350F2 to 3 minImmediately
Bell Peppers350F4 to 5 minImmediately
Cabbage350F10 minImmediately
Zucchini and Yellow Squash350F4 to 5 minImmediately
Tomatoes350F3 to 4 minImmediately
Mushrooms350F7 to 8 minImmediately
Portobello Mushrooms350F8 to 9 minImmediately
Cauliflower350F10 minImmediately

How much charcoal to use?

When you are working with charcoal, you need to understand one point, and that is, the more charcoal you have, the hotter the fire will be. This is something you need to keep in mind at all times. Therefore, if you are going for small food items like brats, hot dogs, or burgers, then you won’t need much heat. But you will certainly need a lot more coal when you are working with a steak (larger food).

How to barbeque with charcoal

Normally, charcoal will stay in the range of 500F, but if you are going to get higher, than you can either go for lump charcoal and don’t go for briquettes. The other thing you can do is to lower the grate and keep it at least one inch close to the coals. Two or three briquettes in each leg will keep the temperature up to 350 degrees, and you can use six to nine of them.

How to regulate the temperature in a smoker?

If you are looking to reduce the temperatures by 250F, then you need to cut the oxygen, and for this, you can close the vents to reduce the temperature. Now, if the temperature drops below 225F, open the vents up to increase the temperature again. You need to keep repeating this process to maintain the temperature for as long as you can.

When is lump charcoal ready?

As you know that lump charcoal is extremely sensitive to venting and airflow, it will be ready within 15 minutes, and it will stay hot for about 60 minutes. It burns much quicker than briquettes; you can add more charcoal to your fire at any time to elongate the burning fire.

How to barbeque with charcoal

Can you cook on black charcoal?

Yes, you can cook on black charcoal because it is beneficial for your health. It is also known as activated charcoal, and it is good for improving kidney function. Apart from that, it is also used in correcting Fish Odor Syndrome and can reduce cholesterol levels.

There are various other benefits of this charcoal, and it is being used in a range of different skin, teeth, and other products and medicines. There are some rare side effects, and dosage instructions must be carefully followed.

Final word

Maintaining the right temperature of different foods for barbecuing will lead to some deliciously tasting food that we all crave for. The charcoal flavor is something that adds a lot to your food. Therefore, it is better for you to follow the instructions and maintain the right temperatures at the right times for those beautifully done steaks with plenty of flavors.

For maintaining the right temperature, you need to do proper venting to make sure that the meat doesn’t get overcooked or remains undercooked. There are various other heat sources you can use for BBQ, but charcoal is excellent when it comes to adding that beautiful smoky flavor. You just need to do it right, and the results will be extremely satisfying.

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