How To Get Amazing Red Hot Coals For Any Barbecue

Red Hot BBQ Coals

Getting amazing red hot coals for your barbecue is crucial for achieving that perfect sear and smoky flavor. Here are some steps to help you achieve those fantastic coals:

  1. Choose the Right Charcoal: Quality charcoal is essential for getting those red hot coals. Lump charcoal is often preferred over briquettes because it burns hotter and cleaner. It’s made from hardwood and doesn’t contain binders or fillers.
  2. Use a Chimney Starter:
    • A chimney starter is one of the best tools for lighting charcoal quickly and evenly. Fill the chimney starter with charcoal and place crumpled newspaper or paraffin starter cubes in the bottom compartment. Light the newspaper or starter cubes, and the heat will rise through the chimney, lighting the charcoal from the bottom up. It usually takes about 15-20 minutes for the coals to be ready.
  3. Wait for Ash Formation:
    • You’ll know the coals are ready when they have developed a thin layer of ash on the surface. The coals will appear ashen, and they will be glowing red.
  4. Spread Evenly:
    • Once the coals are lit and ready, carefully pour them into your grill or barbecue. Arrange them evenly, spreading them across the grill surface. If you’re cooking over indirect heat, push the coals to one side or create a two-zone setup.
  5. Preheat the Grill:
    • Allow the grill to preheat with the lid closed. This will help ensure that the cooking grates are hot and ready for searing.
  6. Use a Grill Thermometer:
    • Use a grill thermometer to monitor the temperature inside the grill. For high-heat grilling and searing, aim for temperatures around 450-550°F (232-288°C). This is the range where you’ll get those red hot coals and a great sear.
  7. Keep an Eye on Ventilation:
    • Maintain proper ventilation by adjusting the grill’s vents. More oxygen will increase the heat, while less oxygen will reduce it. Adjust the vents as needed to maintain the desired temperature and red hot coals.
  8. Clean Grates:
    • Before grilling, make sure your cooking grates are clean and well-oiled. Brush the grates with a grill brush and wipe them with an oil-soaked paper towel to prevent sticking.
  9. Sear Your Meat:
    • Once the grill is hot and your coals are red, it’s time to sear your meat. Place the meat on the grill grates directly over the hot coals and sear each side for a short amount of time until you achieve your desired level of caramelization and grill marks.

By following these steps, you can achieve amazing red hot coals for your barbecue, which are essential for that perfect sear and smoky flavor. Remember to always exercise caution when working with hot coals and grills to ensure safety while cooking.

Read more great BBQ articles at Bob’s BBQ Tips