If you're a homeowner, chances are you've used charcoal as fuel for your grill at some point. But what is charcoal, exactly? And why do grillers love it so much? In this post, we'll answer those questions and provide some tips on using charcoal for the best results. So read on to learn more about this popular grilling fuel!

What is Charcoal, and Why is it Black?

Charcoal briquettes prepped and ready for grilling

You might have heard of charcoal before, but you're not sure what it is or how to use it. Charcoal can be a little confusing if you're not familiar with it. There are different types of charcoal available, and each has its own unique set of benefits.

Charcoal is made from wood that has been heated in the absence of oxygen. This process drives off the water and other volatile compounds, leaving a lightweight, porous material with high carbon content. When burned, charcoal produces little to no smoke and can reach incredibly high temperatures, ideal for grilling.

The black color of charcoal comes from the carbon left behind after the wood has been heated.

Lump coal is one type of charcoal

Types of Charcoal

There are two main types of charcoal: lump charcoal and briquettes.

  1. Lump charcoal is made from whole chunks of wood that have been charred. This type of charcoal burns hot and fast, making it ideal for grilling meats.
  2. Briquettes are made from sawdust and other wood scraps that have been compressed and held together with binders. Briquettes burn more slowly than lump charcoal, making them better suited for long cooking times.

Why Grillers and Chefs Love Using Charcoal

Grillers and chefs love using charcoal because it provides a unique flavor to food. When grilled over charcoal, food takes on a smoky flavor that other cooking methods can't replicate.

In addition to its flavor benefits, charcoal is also popular because it's easy to use and relatively inexpensive.

Negative Aspects of Using Charcoal

While charcoal has many positive aspects, there are some negative aspects to consider. One downside of charcoal is that it can be messy. Charcoal can easily get on your clothes and skin, which can be challenging to clean up. Another downside is that charcoal produces emissions when burned, which can harm the environment.

Charcoal burns fast and hot for great searing and mesquite flavor

How to Use Charcoal for Grilling

Now that you know more about charcoal, it's time to learn how to use it for grilling. The first step is to choose the right type of charcoal for your needs. If you're looking for a quick, hot fire, lump charcoal is the choice. If you plan to cook for an extended time, then briquettes are a better option.

Once you've selected the correct type of charcoal, it's time to start grilling! If you're using a charcoal grill, follow the manufacturer's instructions for lighting the fire and adding charcoal. Preheat your grill before adding food to ensure your food cooks evenly for best results.

When grilling over charcoal, it's essential to keep an eye on the fire and adjust the vents as needed. Since fire needs oxygen, opening the vents allows more air in and hotter fire. If you need cooler slower-burning heat, partially close the vents to limit oxygen to the coals.

When you're finished grilling, allow the coals to cool completely before disposing of them. Never dump hot coals in the trash or on the ground, as this can start a fire.

Grilling on the Encore Grill by American Made Grills

By following these tips, you'll be able to use charcoal like a pro in no time! And don't forget, you can also use charcoal for cooking other solid foods like pizzas and bread. So get creative and experiment with different recipes.

Tips on How to Get the Best Results from Your Hybrid Grill Using Charcoal

  1. Now that you understand charcoal a bit better, we wanted to share some tips on how to get the best results from your hybrid grill.
  2. Start by igniting the gas burners on high heat. Then, add your charcoal and wait until it's covered in gray ash. This usually takes about 15 minutes.
  3. Once your charcoal is ready, turn off the gas burners and use tongs to place the coals where you want them on the grill. Put half of the coals on one side and half on the other for a two-zone fire. This will give you a hot side for searing and a cooler side for slower cooking.
  4. If you want to add wood chips for flavor, soak them in water for 30 minutes before adding them to the coals. This will help prevent them from burning up too quickly.
  5. Now it's time to start grilling! Keep an eye on your food and move it around as needed to ensure even cooking.
  6. Allow the coals to cool completely before removing them from the grill when you're finished.

By following these tips, you'll be able to get the most out of your hybrid grill and cook delicious food that's full of flavor! So don't hesitate to give charcoal grilling a try.

American Made Grills Makes Hybrid Grilling with Charcoal Easy!

The patented fuel trays in American Made Grills' hybrid grills can hold any solid fuel

If you're looking for an easy way to get started with hybrid grilling, look no further than American Made Grills. Our grills are designed for easy and convenient use, so you can focus on enjoying your food instead of worrying about the process.

Easy, Flexible Multi-Fuel Loading System

The hybrid grills from American Made Grills feature patented fuel trays over each gas burner that also act as barriers to protect the burners. Simply load your preferred solid fuel in each fuel tray, choosing from charcoal briquettes, lump coal, hardwood, pellets, and more. Use the powerful gas burners to light the solid fuels, preheat them, and prepare them for grilling quickly and efficiently.

You can also use the gas burners independently of the solid fuels, meaning you have the flexibility to grill with either type of fuel depending on your needs.

The Muscle Grill makes grilling with your favorite fuel easy

In addition, our grills come with a built-in temperature gauge that makes it easy to monitor the temperature of your coals, ensuring that you always have the perfect amount of heat for cooking.

So why wait? Get started with hybrid grilling today and see how easy and delicious it can be! Visit American Made Grills to learn more.

The Final Word on Charcoal

Overall, charcoal is an excellent option for grilling. It's easy to use and provides a delicious mesquite flavor that rivals gas grilling. So if you're looking for a way to step up your grilling game, then give charcoal a try! You won't be disappointed.

For more tips on grilling with charcoal, check out our blog, "Lump Charcoal vs. Briquettes – Which is Better?" American Made Grills also offers weekly recipes to try at home and grilling tips to help you become a seasoned barbecue enthusiast.

American Made Grills is redefining luxury and innovation with premium hybrid grills