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Light your charcoal BBQ in 5 easy steps

Light your charcoal BBQ in 5 easy steps
By BergHOFF 14 June 2019

There’s nothing quite like that authentic barbecue flavour of food cooked on a charcoal barbecue. However, firing up your grill can sometimes be a bit of a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be. Simply follow the 5 easy steps below and you’ll be grilling in no time.

Safety first.

Before you get started, make sure your barbecue is placed on a flat, even surface and isn’t too close to any bushes and fences or in a windy spot. If you’re using the BergHOFF table barbecue or small ceramic BBQ and oven on a table, please ensure that it’s placed far enough from the table’s edge. It’s also a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher or a bucket of water ready nearby, just in case, and keep kids and pets well away from the grill.

Fire it up

Once you have everything in place, it’s time to get your grill started.

  1. Get out your chimney starter and stuff a few sheets of crumpled newspaper into the bottom before you place it on the grill’s grate.
  2. Top the newspaper off with charcoal and light the paper underneath in several spots with a long match or lighter.
  3. Be patient. The coals will start glowing quickly but you’ll need to let them burn until they’re mostly white or grey.
  4. Once the coals are ready, remove the grill grid from the barbecue and safely and easily tip the coals onto the bottom grill grate. Make sure you use a heat-proof barbecue mitt or oven mitt to grab the chimney starter’s handle.
  5. Arrange your coals strategically with a long-handled barbecue tool. If you place a thick layer of coals on one side, put some coals in the middle and no coals on the other side, you’ll create three heat zones so you can cook over both direct heat, which is great for burgers, vegetables, hotdogs or seafood, and indirect heat, to allow chicken, ribs and larger pieces of meat to cook more slowly without getting burnt.

Note: if you don’t have a chimney starter, you can also use crumpled newspaper balls or natural firelighters such as wood shavings to get the coals started. Just arrange them between the coals, light the paper or wood and let the flames catch on to the coals. Then leave the coals to get going and let them die down until they get the desired white or grey colour. We discourage the use of lighter fluid because this can affect the taste of your food.