Beginner Mistakes to Avoid With a Charcoal Grill
Beginner Mistakes to Avoid With a Charcoal Grill

Ask any barbecue expert, and they'll tell you that a charcoal grill is the best way to get flavor out of your meat, poultry and fish. However, unlike a gas grill, there's a bit of technique to keep in mind to grill your food properly. You'll have to plan ahead and avoid a few mistakes to get the best flavor out of your food; here are a few things to remember.

Using the Wrong Fire Starting Method

Using the Wrong Fire Starting Method
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Lighter fluid is commonly used by amateur cooks, but it imparts flavors of its own rather than letting the charcoal do its work. Instead, you'll want to use a chimney starter to get your coals hot. It does the job of getting the flame going without adding any unwanted flavors to the equation.

Adding Coals Too Early

Adding Coals Too Early
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When you add your charcoal to the grill, you want to wait until the coals are fully gray. Black charcoal will continue to heat up while it's in the grill, which can completely change your heat distribution. If you're trying to cook chicken at one temperature and find that it's actually another, you could find yourself with one overdone bird.

Forgetting to Preheat

Forgetting to Preheat
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Just like an oven, you don't want food going into a cold grill and heating up along with the grill. That's going to make it impossible for you to get a proper sear on your meat. Instead, be sure that you've preheated the grill for at least five minutes before adding anything to it. If the meat doesn't sizzle right away, the grill isn't ready!