Lit charcoal grill

How to Put Out a Charcoal Grill Quickly

Charcoal grilling sessions can be immensely enjoyable, offering that distinctive smoky flavor to your favorite dishes. Once you've learned how to use a charcoal grill, the next step is critical: safely putting out the charcoal to prevent any potential hazards and to prepare for your next culinary adventure. 

In this post, we've provided a detailed walkthrough on how to efficiently put out a charcoal grill. Read on to learn more about how to put out a charcoal grill safely.

Understanding Charcoal Briquettes and Charcoal Grilling

Charcoal briquettes are the fuel of choice for most charcoal grilling enthusiasts. They provide consistent heat and burn evenly. However, mastering the process of extinguishing a charcoal fire is essential for safety and preserving leftover charcoal for the next grilling session.

Safety Measures - Prioritize Safety Above All

The process of extinguishing a charcoal grill involves careful assessment, controlled cooling, and safe disposal. Before diving into the extinguishing process, ensure you have essential safety tools within reach. Safety should be the priority when dealing with hot coals and ashes - it's messier and more dangerous than you might think!

Here is some equipment we recommend:

  • Wire brush
  • Aluminum foil
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Grill tongs
  • Baking soda

How to Safely Turn Off Your Charcoal Grill

Assessing the Charcoal Fire

As you finish grilling, take a moment to assess the state of your charcoal fire. Keep a lookout for any partially burned coals or briquettes that are still producing substantial heat. This evaluation will guide the approach you take to extinguish the fire effectively.

Shutting the Charcoal Grill Down

Once the grilling is complete, begin the cooling process by closing all the vents on your grill. This action restricts oxygen flow, gradually reducing the flames and heat. Avoid pouring water directly onto hot charcoal, as the sudden thermal shock could cause a flare-up or damage the grill. For added safety when dealing with flames, keeping baking soda nearby can be a lifesaver. It helps extinguish flames without the potential hazards associated with using water. You can use grill tongs to push around the remaining ash to ensure they are no longer smoldering.

Removing Charcoal from your Charcoal Grill

For a gas grill, turning off the heat and gas supply is sufficient. However, for charcoal grills, after the charcoal has cooled adequately, you can use metal tongs or heat-resistant gloves to transfer any remaining charcoal to a metal container. This step is crucial, especially if you intend to reuse the charcoal for your next grilling session. Don't dump the charcoal into water as the steam can scald you.

Disposal of Ashes

Once the charcoal grill has completely cooled down and all the charcoal is in the metal container, it's time to dispose of the ashes. It's imperative to ensure the ashes are entirely cold before disposal to prevent any potential hazards. Avoid using water on hot ashes as it can create hot steam and pose burn risks.

Cleaning the Charcoal Grill Out

To clean your grill out, you can use a metal grill spatula or trowel to clear away any remaining ash residue from the grill. Next, conduct a thorough cleaning of the grill chamber, paying particular attention to the vents where ash might accumulate and impede future grilling sessions.

For the lower sections and grill grates, employ a wire brush to ensure a comprehensive cleaning. As per your preference, periodically clean the grates with soap and water. Don't forget to apply silicone spray to these components. This spray serves as an effective anti-rust agent, enhancing the longevity of your charcoal grill.

Reusing Charcoal: A Sustainable Approach

If there's usable charcoal left after grilling, you can store it in a dry, non-flammable area for reuse in your next grilling session. You can also put any cold briquettes back in the bottom half of your grill so that you can use them again next time. This approach not only saves resources but also ensures your grill is ready for your next barbecue adventure.

Can I Use Water to Put Out a Charcoal Grill?

It's not advisable to pour water directly onto hot coals. Doing so can lead to a sudden flare-up, and it's best to avoid standing close to your grill if this occurs. While it's acceptable to use water to complete the cooling process for mostly extinguished coals, we strongly advise against simply dumping water directly into your grill.

Lighting your Grill Again

Ready for round two of grilling? Once you're ready to light your grill again, it's time to get out your RocketFire Torch. This is the fastest and easiest way to light your grill without lighter fluid. Eliminating the need for matches, kindling, lighter fluid, or any liquids, it swiftly ignites wood or charcoal within seconds. It's also the perfect tool for keeping your fire burning longer. Happy grilling!