How to Put Out a Charcoal Grill (2022 Quick Guide)

Looking for a guide on how to put out a charcoal grill? This article will give you answers.

Grilling food, especially meat, using charcoal is one of the best ways to enjoy a meal. There is a certain richness in flavor that comes from that smokey taste which comes from barbecuing fresh ingredients. People usually use briquettes, coals or wood while also adding wood chips to give that extra flavor which develops further as you grill that meat longer.

Enjoying a hearty barbecued meal is an experience itself however, you must not forget that your responsibility as the griller does not stop after feeding everyone some good food. You also have to ensure that you are able to clear, clean and most especially, put out the fire from your charcoal grill once you are done cooking.

Why should you put particular attention to putting out the heat from your charcoal grill?

  • Charcoal grills do not have an automatic shut-off valve or button, unlike gas-powered grills. So, you cannot expect the heat to easily extinguish without any effort from you. You have to shut it down manually, by yourself.
  • Charcoal grills use wood or coals as fuel and these remain hot even after some time. If it remains unattended, it can continue to smolder away which will be very dangerous for kids or pets running around. It can accidentally be toppled over and the hot embers will spill out and risk starting dangerous fire.
  • People who are not aware if the charcoal grill is still hot and live can easily make a mistake and get burned. Burns from a red-hot grill can be quite severe and should be avoided at all cost and in any way possible.
  • Keeping your charcoal grill burning when no longer in use can be wasteful since you probably use some of the briquettes or coals for the next barbecue. You are also contributing to air pollution by needlessly releasing carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in the air.

Putting out your charcoal grill is very important however, before you go and actually do it, you have to be aware of what NOT to do when it comes to cooling off your charcoal and your grill.

Avoid pouring or spraying water directly on your burning hot charcoal while it is still in the grill and even on the grill itself.

Water might be the easiest trick to put out heat or fire but, in this case, you should not douse your barbecue or grill with it until you are positive that the equipment or the fuel inside of it is absolutely cooled-down. Coals burn at very high temperature and introducing them to water while they are still inside your griller will definitely lead to cracks and corrosion. Yes, you will definitely ruin or destroy your precious grill.

Also, keep in mind that pouring water over something extremely hot can create harsh levels of steam that can be dangerous and will cause severe burns if it accidentally touches your skin or any part of your body. Hot ash can also disperse as they are buoyed by the rising steam and can also cause unnecessary burns. So, never, ever pour water directly into the charcoal or the grill while it is still hot, hot, hot!

Now that you are aware of what not to do, you may proceed towards learning how to properly put out a charcoal grill.

There is an easy step-by-step process in putting out a charcoal grill. But, before you get into the steps of finally cooling your charcoal grill, you have to check if you have the tools you need to make the process easier and more importantly, safer, for you, your surroundings and the people around you.

Materials or Tools You Need to Have:

  • Heat-Proof gloves
  • Metal Scooper
  • Grill Tongs
  • Grill Brush
  • Bucket of Water (Preferably Metal)
  • Aluminum foil

The stuff you need in order to put out your charcoal grill will depend on the method you will want to use when putting the charcoal out. Remember, it is not the grill itself that you need to turn off but actually, extinguish the burning coal within it so the grill will cool down enough to be cleaned and stored away safely.

How to Put Out a Charcoal Grill ( Step by Step )

shut down charcoal grill
STEP ONE: Shut the Grill Down

The only way to shut the grill down and get it to cool down enough is to extinguish or put out the charcoal in it.

There are 2 ways to actually put out the hot charcoals or wood embers that have not turned into ashes or disintegrated enough to not cause any fire accidents. Check out these 2 processes and pick the one which you think might be best for you.

  1. Fast and Quick Way to Put Charcoal Out
    If you do not have the patience to wait for your charcoal to naturally die down, you can use this quick process. Just keep in mind that you have to be extra careful and not hurry through the actions to avoid any accidents.

    Using your heat proof gloves and your grill tongs, remove the briquettes or hot charcoal from the grill one by one and drop them into a metal bucket filled with water. Again, slowly drop each coal or wood into the water and never dump them all at once to avoid splashing and unintentional hot steam that can be dangerous.
  2. Put Out Your Charcoal in 4 to 8 Hours
    If you have enough time and you want to traditionally as well as meticulously shut off your charcoal grill’s fuel, you can opt to choose this way of doing it. Coals need oxygen to burn so as long as it is getting a good amount of airflow, it will continue to burn as long as it can.

    Using your heat proof gloves, close the vents of your griller to effectively cut off any oxygen supply that flows into your grill. This will suffocate the charcoals as they use up whatever remaining air is inside the covered and sealed off grill.

    Please wait up to 4 to 8 hours for the charcoal to actually go out and the grill is cooled down. If you can, keep it shut and unventilated for up to 48 hours just to be sure. Obviously, that is a long wait but, it is also a good, safe way for you to avoid handling hot coals directly. Just make sure that your grill is blocked off or way out of harm’s way so it does not get knocked out or touched by any person accidentally.

    Again, whichever way you opt for in putting out your charcoal, the intent is to extinguish any smoldering embers so your grill can cool off. Whether you choose the quicker or the slower procedure, always air on the side of caution and carefully go through the process. Safety first!
Dispose of the Ashes and Charcoal
STEP 2: Dispose of the Ashes and Charcoal

Once you are perfectly sure that your charcoal is extinguished and your grill is cool enough, it is time to SAFELY get rid of the ashes and the burnt coals. If your grill is equipped with an ash dump, use it to empty out as much ash as possible.

Using your metal scooper, start scooping out the extinguished coals and carefully place them unto your aluminum foil. You can examine the residue if there are some coals that can be salvaged or reused later. Once you have gotten all the ash and coal out of the grill, slowly wrap the foil up and then dispose of it in a metal container.

Avoid using plastic containers as a precaution in case you missed a dying ember. It can still be hot enough to burn or melt plastic which might cause unnecessary trouble. Utilize a metal ashcan to have zero chances of any live embers from setting anything on fire.

Clean the charcoal grill 1
STEP 3: Clean the Grill Thoroughly

After properly dumping out and disposing the ash and charcoal from your grill, it is time to clean up whatever remaining residue that has clung on the inside of your griller. This ensures that your equipment will remain rust-free and food safe to be used in your next barbecue gathering.

Using your grill brush, sweep off the remaining ash on your grill in the chamber. Make sure to also clean out the vent areas since that is where some of the ashes are stuck which can obstruct the success of your next barbecue night. You also have to scrape off whatever hardened oil or sauce, substance that might have clung unto your grill grate to avoid any carcinogens or dirt from getting unto your food the next time you grill.

Always schedule a time where you can clean the grate with soap and water so it is spick and span for your next barbecue cook off. If you have silicone spray, use it to lubricate the grates. This will act as an anti-rust agent which will definitely expand the lifespan of your grill.

Putting out a charcoal grill is not a very difficult process it does however require patience, careful handling of hot elements and of course, thorough cleaning of your charcoal grill. It can easily and safely be achieved. Just remember to check your surroundings after you put out your grill and clean it to make sure that there aren’t any stray embers which might have fallen to the ground or any combustible surface. Finally, always keep your grill stored properly or protected with a sturdy, efficient cover when not in use to maintain its good condition so you can enjoy using it for a very long time.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap