Anonymous asked in Home & GardenDo It Yourself (DIY) · 5 months ago

What am I doing wrong with charcoal?

I tried to BBQ using charcoal the other day but the coals would not turn white no matter what I did. I followed the instructions on the bag, piled them up, used lighter fluid, and left the top open like it said. The instructions said it would take about 15 minutes for all the coals to ash over, but very few were. I squirted some more lighter fluid, tried putting the top down but leaving the vent open, came back, same result. What am I doing wrong?

4 Answers

  • Steve
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    Some possibilities:  Old damp charcoal (get a new bag).  Old lighter fluid (practically turns to water).  Perhaps get some fresh stuff and give it another try?  Do follow the instructions on the bag; that's how it is always done.

  • 5 months ago

    well, i have a round metal tube thing for starting charcoal.  it's maybe 7 inches in diameter by a foot or so high.  put your charcoal in the top, shove wadded up newspaper of advertising in the bottom, light the paper and walk away for 15 to 20 minutes.  the tube keeps the charcoal close together and mostly on top of each other, so the bottom ones light the upper ones well.

    as to your problem ... a picture might have helped. excessive wind makes charcoal difficult to light, for example

  • John
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    You stack the briquets in the middle as well as they will go into a pile. You squirt the lighter fluid GENEROUSLY all over. You want to soak them with fluid, most or all of them. Maybe a half cup of fluid. Wait a minute and then light it. You should get flames maybe a foot tall after a minute or so. It should be a real fire. I think that you aren't using enough fluid. That doesn't mean to use the whole bottle either. Just soak the charcoal all over.

    A "chimney" that is the can for starting charcoal with newspaper works a lot better, once you figure it out. Which isn't hard to do.

  • 5 months ago

    My best GUESS is too much charcoal backed into too little space. That would block sufficient airflow and oxygen.

    While you believe you followed the instructions, you failed to state what you actually did.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.