How Much Charcoal Do I Need – Full Calculation 2021

The amount of charcoal you will need when working with it will depend on what type of food you want to cook. The general rule for the charcoal is that the more you will use it, the better heat you will get. Before starting to grill something, many of you think about how much charcoal do I need. Well, it’s good for you that you are here to know about the matter. We will explain everything very clearly to you in this article.

How Much Charcoal Do I Need?

It’s a common factor that grilling on a charcoal grill is comparatively more complicated than grilling the same thing on a gas grill. However, since you have a charcoal grill, we will provide important information regarding the amount of charcoal you need to cook different things. The first thing you should know about some basic principles before you get the answer to your question of how much charcoal do I need. Below are some of the ideas of how much charcoal you should use for cooking different things:


For cooking easy stuff: If you want to cook some easy stuff such as burgers, dogs, brats, and some other similar stuff, you don’t need to have much charcoal. You will be able to complete your tasks with approximately 15-20 coals. If you need a scorching fire for searing steak instantly, you need a lot more charcoal to finish your job. In this case, you need at least 30-40 coals.

For cooking or smoking slowly: If you like cooking or smoking slowly, then you also don’t need to have much coal. It’s expected that you need more coal if you are going to cook for a longer time. You also need more coal if the temperature of your grill doesn’t reach above 200 when you grill. No matter what you cook or grill, you should start low and increase the amount of charcoal over time.

For cooking thin cuts of meat: For small and thin cuts of meat, you only need 100 briquettes of charcoal if you want to cook it in high heat. This level of heat is ideal for thin meat to get a good flavor and lock moisture in it. You are good to provide a single layer of charcoal every time across the cooking grate bottom. You may also use charcoal as per your preference if you think in another way.

For cooking multiple cuts of meat: When you are prepared to cook various cuts of meat and considering having different levels of temperature to bring out a bit more variation, you should consider a two-zone fire. In this case, you have to spread out the charcoal briquettes over half of the grill and leave the other half without. If you have charcoal briquettes of 50 to 100, you can easily cook your meat with perfect texture and temperature.

Maintaining Grilling Temperature With Charcoal

Maintaining the charcoal temperature is all about controlling the exhaust and intake dampers of the charcoal grill. You should also pay attention to the way you add charcoal to the grill. If you want less heat, you need to add charcoal slowly. But if you wish to intense heat, you need to add more charcoal more frequently. It’s also essential to adjust the exhaust and intake dampers.

How Charcoal Should I Use When Grilling

Depending on several types of charcoal, you have to follow the use technique. You can light it easily and burn it for a long time if you use most traditional briquettes charcoal. If you use hardwood charcoal or aka lump charcoal, you will get more intense and blazing hot to burn out your stuff faster.

How charcoal should I use when grilling

  • You have to open the vents before you light your grill. The fire of your grill will need oxygen, and it will get that from charcoal. After providing charcoals in your grill, you can have full control over the internal cooking temperature with the help of the vent adjustment.
  • If you use wider vents, you will get hotter flames and more oxygen. If you use smaller vents, you will get a comparatively cooler cooking temperature. You must ensure that you don’t close them to your task. You have to start your grilling or smoking with a charcoal chimney.
  • Then you have to use stuff newspaper keeping it loose in the bottom of the chimney. After that, you have to fill it with charcoal. Now, you have to displace the top grate from your grill and put the chimney inside. Finally, you need to light the newspaper. After that, let your grill do the job until it cooks the stuff perfectly.

Frequently Asked Questions

We get a lot of questions related to the charcoal and charcoal grill from a lot of users. So we have compiled some answers to your most frequently asked questions. It will help you gather more information and remove some of your confusion.

How long does a bag of charcoal last?

It depends on how many charcoals your bag can occupy. You can use a bag of charcoal for 2-3 weeks if you have a 20lb tank.

How many times can I use charcoal?

You can use charcoal as much as you want. But you should keep in mind that if your grill gets overloaded by charcoal, then it will provide negative results.

How many times can I reuse charcoal?

You can only reuse charcoal for two to three times for the next use. Reusing charcoal is a widespread practice, so you don’t have a problem with that.

Watch Out the Video to Learn How Much Charcoal Do You Need When Grilling

Final Thought

To sum up the whole thing of your query regarding how much charcoal do I need, we will write some more sentences. If you want low heat, then you can fill the chimney 25% of its capacity. If you want medium temperature, fill it 50% and for medium-high heat, fill it 75%. But if you wish to intense heat, fill the chimney 100%. Thus, you will get your desired temperature and results.

Hello, This is David Bower. Let me, introduce my website Gas grill hub that will inform you about all the latest gas grill BBQ machines, it’s accessories, using and maintenance information. As a chef, I know about a good gas grill and its every particular thing but then again I have been researching this sector for the last ten years. On this website, I’ll provide you every single information that you should know about a gas grill.

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