CHOOSE YOUR CHARCOAL TYPE
See our summary of charcoal types below, along with suggested uses.
FILL THE CHIMNEY WITH CHARCOAL
Don’t overfill the chimney. If you are using logs, make sure to stand them on their ends for the best airflow.
FIRE UP THE CHARCOAL WITH A NATURAL FIRESTARTER
Once the coals are mostly ashy (usually 20 mins), it’s time to load them into the grill. Remove the grate and pour the coals inside. Be careful; ash and small embers might spill. Once the grill is loaded, place it on the table and enjoy!
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KNOW YOUR COAL
There is more than one type of charcoal and each one has different flavor, burn rate, and temperature.
Ignite with: Chimney and two fire starters Ready to grill in: 20-30 minutes
Heat Level: Low/Medium
Burn time: Approx. 2 hours
Best for: General use. Provides stable, even heat for burgers, brats, dogs, and basic grilling fare.
Ignite with: Chimney and four fire starters Time to full ignition: 30-40 minutes
Burn time: Approx. 3 hours
Best for: Fast-cooking yakitori, thin cuts of meat and seafood. Great for when you need the grill to stay hotter, longer.
Reusable charcoal: Yes
Ignite with: Chimney and three fire starters Time to full ignition: 30 minutes
Burn time: Approx. 2.5 hours
Best for: Adding extra flavor and high heat for steaks, kabobs, and veggies. Try different pairings and find new favorites.
Think of charcoal as the first ingredient in your grilling recipe. Different charcoal types work better for certain ways of cooking and types of ingredients and marinades. Check out our Charcoal 101 page for more details and insights on grilling with charcoal.
Make sure your charcoal is completely ignited, and all the coals are glowing and ashy. Remember, never use lighter fluid!
Get into the temperature zone. Control your heat level by loading 3/4 of your coals on one side and 1/4 on the other.
Quality charcoal is a terrible thing to waste. If you have remaining lumps or logs, remove them using tongs from your YAK into a charcoal bucket and cover with a lid.