The unique rich flavor can be hard to reproduce. They get much hotter than other grills which is ideal for searing meat or cooking foods like tuna quickly. Modern charcoal grills have features for easy cleanup and accessories speed up the process of heating up the coals.

How a Charcoal Grill Cooks
Charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal at the bottom of the grill provide the fuel and the flavor. You monitor temperature using a meat thermometer, or a lid thermometer and you control the temperature by adjusting a vent or damper that lets oxygen into the grill.
How to Start a Charcoal Grill
You have a few options. You can use lighter fluid and a grill lighter. Try an electric starter to avoid chemical taste. Or, use a chimney starter. Lay lighter cubes on the grill grate and light them or add newspaper to the bottom of the chimney starter leaving space in the center and ignite it. Put it on the grate. Fill it with charcoal half to ¾ full. Coals will smoke and glow. Wait 10-15 minutes until coals turn gray, then pour coals into charcoal grate to cook.

Basic Must-Haves:

  • Grill cleaning brush
  • Long-handled barbecue tongs, fork and spatula
  • Grilling mitt
  • Grill cover
  • Chimney starter or charcoal ignitor
  • Thermometer
  • Basting brush or mop

Built-in Upgrades:

  • Built-in smoker box, storage or prep surfaces
  • Thermometer in the lid, side burners
  • A portable unit
  • Built-in lighting

Add-On Accessories:

  • Charcoal baskets for indirect cooking
  • Rotisserie, griddle, wok or or pizza stone
  • Smoker box, wood chips
  • Handle light
  • Vegetable or fish baskets, rib or roast racks, skewers, racks for specialty dishes like wings or poppers
  • Tool holder, apron, wireless thermometer
  • Cookbooks, rubs, sauces