How Much Charcoal to use on the Grill
Choosing the right amount of charcoal is both an art and a science. However, we’ll stick to the “science” part and give you a guide on how much to used based on your food and cook type.
The first important factor is whether you’re grilling with direct or indirect heat and thus how much burn time you need.
This handy chart below will provide a rough guide to make sure you don’t end up using more charcoal than you need nor running out when you’re food is nearly done.
How Much Charcoal for Direct Heat Grilling
|Grill Size||Briquette Charcoal||Beech Charcoal||Mixed Hardwood|
|40-50 cm||~25-30 briquettes||1lb / 0.5 kg||0.75 lbs / 0.35 kg|
|55-60 cm||~35 briquettes||2 lbs / 1kg||1.5 lbs / 0.7 kg|
|65-70 cm||55+ briquettes||5 lbs / 2.4 kg||3.5 lbs / 1.5 kg|
How to Light your Charcoal
- Fill the chimney with charcoal
- Place 2-3 sticks of fatwood firestarter on the grill
- Light fatwood and place chimney over it
If using charcoal briquettes, the easiest way to light them is using a charcoal chimney.
How Much Charcoal for Indirect Heat Grilling
For indirect grilling, you’ll start with a smaller amount of charcoal and continue to add more every hour.
|Grill Size||Charcoal Briquettes||Hardwood Lump Charcoal|
|40-50 cm||~15 briquettes to start and half that every hour||2 handfuls to start and another each hour|
|55-60 cm||~20 briquettes to start and half that every hour||2 handfuls to start and another each hour|
|65-70 cm||~30 briquettes to start and half that every hour||3 handfuls to start and another each hour|
Learn more about grilling with lump charcoal here.