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How to Put Out a Charcoal Grill: BBQ Tips

Put Out a Charcoal Grill

The beauty that comes with charcoal grilling can sometimes come to an end when you have to put out the fire after a busy day of setting up flavourful dishes. For you to do it properly, you have to avoid any shortcuts, and by that you know I’m talking about water. At the same time, putting the charcoal grill out doesn’t mean ensuring that there’s no more heat; it also involves cleaning it afterwards.

At this point, you’ll probably realize how messy spraying or soaking up hot coal with water can be, and this is just one of the reasons why you should avoid the temptation that comes with it. It may seem like the quickest way out but with the speed also comes greater repercussions.

With that in mind, you probably want to know how to put out a charcoal grill in the best possible way. We will help break it down for you.

Tips on How to Put Out a Charcoal Grill

Charcoal Grill

Shut it down

First, you have to invest in heatproof oven mitts to prevent the excess grill temperatures from reaching you. With this on, you’ll be safe to remove the grilling rack and thereafter close the lid and any other vents that act as oxygen avenues. By preventing further airflow into the chamber, you minimize the chances of fuelling the fire thereby speeding up the process of cooling the charcoal.

One thing to take home is that for the charcoal or whatever alternative fuel you’re using to completely cool; it might take up to 48 hours. This is the only best way that you can be sure that every single piece has stopped burning and that you can now handle it with ease.

Remove ashes and briquettes

You can now get a full picture of how important it is to give the grill that much time to cool off. When you try to do everything in a rush, you might end up with serious burns when it’s time to empty the charcoal grill. To make your work effortless, it’s recommended that you scoop the ashes with the help of an ash-removal bucket. You should avoid using your hands directly because there might be existence of harmful objects or residues in there.

For safe and easy disposing, be sure to use an aluminium foil before throwing them in the trash can. If you have no foil around you at the moment, you can still use any material for the same, provided that it’s not plastic; and so should your garbage can. The main reason here is that plastic is highly susceptible to fire, even the tiniest of them all.

Clean the grill

In our previous article on how to clean a charcoal grill, I hinted that the best way to clean your grill is immediately after you’re done grilling. Keeping a greasy and messy grill will make cleaning strenuous once additional layers of dirt accumulate on the same. To ensure that all the ash is removed, use a trowel or spatula to sweep off the chamber, paying attention to the vents.

Thereafter, you can thoroughly clean the entire grill to your perfection, using water and dishwashing detergent. What I failed to mention is that apart from oiling the cooking grates to prevent rust, it’s also safer to use silicon spray to lubricate the parts of the grill which are open to rust. This positively impacts on how durable the grill will be.

Return the leftover briquettes

You may have asked yourself how best you can store the briquettes left over from the previous grill. When not properly stored, they might give you hard times when firing up the grill next time. This is because they can easily become moist, and this is another reason why I don’t encourage using water to cool them down, especially if you have plans of using them any sooner. The best cool and dry place you can trust is at the bottom layer of your grill. Here, you’re also unlikely to misplace them, helping you save on fuel. So don’t dispose these leftovers at any particular time.

Do not use water

To drive this point home, let me paint the picture why you shouldn’t use water anywhere on your grill, unless you’re cleaning it. When you pour or spray water directly on a hot charcoal grill, the chances are that there will be steam levels created that will in return disperse the already hot ash from the burning charcoal. In the event that this reaches any part of your body, you’ll clearly suffer from severe burns.

Apart from that, when still hot, the grill can easily crack when it meets with hot water on its layers. When you do this repeatedly, it reduces how durable the grill is and it’s unfortunate that it may not last long.  Many often think that alternatively immersing the hot charcoal in water is safer but there will still be steams formed with that too. Pouring water on the grill with ashes still in the chamber also creates a mess which could lead to stubborn stains, making cleaning difficult.

Frequently Asked Questions | How to Put Out a Charcoal Grill: BBQ Tips

1. How do I put out a charcoal grill?

If you’re finished grilling for the day, let the coals cool completely before disposing of them. You can either dump them in a metal bin with a lid or cover them with sand. Never pour water on hot coals, as this can cause an explosion.

2. What is the best way to clean a charcoal grill?

The best way to clean a charcoal grill is to wait until it’s cooled down, then scrape off any food residue with a wire brush. If there’s tough buildup, you can soak the grates in soapy water overnight before scrubbing.

3. Should I oil my grill grates?

Yes, it’s a good idea to oil your grill grates before cooking to prevent sticking. Use a high-heat cooking oil, such as canola or peanut oil.

4. What temperature should I cook my food at?

It depends on what you’re cooking! Check out our comprehensive guide to grilling temperatures for more information.

5. How long does it take to grill food?

Again, it depends on what you’re cooking. Refer to our grilling times chart for more specific recommendations.

6. What are some common mistakes people make when grilling?

One of the most common mistakes is putting the food on too early, before the grill is properly heated. Another mistake is not cleaning the grill grates before cooking, which can lead to sticking and uneven browning.

7. What are some tips for grilling success?

Some of our top tips include preheating the grill, oiling the grates, and keeping an eye on your food to avoid overcooking. For more detailed advice, check out our ultimate guide to grilling.


We hope that you have now learned how to put out a charcoal grill in some of the most effective ways available. Just like cleaning, we recommend that you put out your charcoal grill as soon as you’re done, especially if you have pets and children around. This minimizes chances of any accidents that may result from it flaring up and also saves on fuel, which you can re-use afterwards.  

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Author: Meetfresh

Hi, I'm Meet Fresh. I'm a food enthusiast who loves making people happy with delicious eats. I enjoy experimenting with new flavors and recipes, and love nothing more than seeing someone's face light up when they take their first bite of one of my dishes. I started out as a small street stall in Taiwan, and quickly gained a following for my innovative and tasty cuisine. Today, I have locations all over the world, but I still remain dedicated to serving up fresh and delicious food that makes people happy. Thank you read meetfresh.net!

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