How to Put Out a Charcoal Grill? Detailed Guide

Do you want to learn how to put out a charcoal grill? Isn’t it so simple? You need only close your grill’s lid and vents and then turn off the oxygen connections to the coals. Therefore, the process of cooling down the coals takes two days. However, letting the coals cool is more effective than trying to put them out with cold water.


Charcoal must be handled with skill in order to put out the grill. Several tools will help you accomplish this task. The key requirements are:

  • You must have heat-proof gloves to hold the hot grill. 
  • A bucket of water is also required to wash the grill. 
  • The grill tong is used to pick up the coals burn. 
  • Aluminum foil is required to dispose of the ashes and to preserve the coals.
  • To remove the ashes properly, use the metal spatula.
  • To clean the grilling grates, you need a wire brush and baking soda.

Why People Love Charcoal Grilling? 

One reason to use a charcoal grill is that it will get considerably hotter than an ordinary gas grill without an infrared burner, which is necessary for preparing steaks, roasting Pork butt, etc. Moreover, we cannot deny the aroma and crispness of charcoal briquettes. As the drippings evaporate, they carry a myriad of fats, oils, sugars, and proteins back to the meat where they belong.

So, you will get the original charcoal flavor which is just mind-blowing. Moreover, these are less expensive and convenient to move anywhere.  You can enjoy grilling only if you know how to use the grill properly.

 However, cleaning the hot grill or putting out charcoal grills is somehow a tough job. No worries, we have a solution for that. You need to come down and follow the process.

How to Put out a Charcoal Grill- Complete Process:

Here are the step-by-step instructions that will help you out to safely extinguish the charcoal grill quickly. Let’s have a look below!

Step#1: Turn off the Grill

Invest in heat-resistant oven mitts that are capable of preventing excessive heat from reaching you. Okay, let’s start:

  1. Slowly close the lid of your grill slowly once the rack is removed.
  2. Check to make sure that vents on your grill are also closed. This prevents additional airflow from being consumed to fuel the fire by ensuring that all avenues for oxygen access are blocked.
  3. Wait for the coals to cool down, so leave the grill after the grilling session for at least 2 days with vents closed.

Step#2: Taking out Ash and Charcoal Briquettes

As soon as your grill has cooled completely, you need to remove the charcoal briquettes which are already used.

  1. From the spatula, take out all the ashes and use tongs to pick up the briquettes for safety.
  2. Keep in mind to contain all the ashes and briquettes in the aluminum foil. Cover the sheet and trash it. 
  3. Ensure the large sheet is wrapped carefully and disposed of in a metal trash can or carrier. In the event of a fire, plastic can catch fire and melt. To prevent a plastic trash can or bin from burning or melting, avoid it at all costs.

The unburned charcoal can also be removed with a pair of long-handled tongs instead of having to wait until they fully cool down. Additionally, a separate metal container should be used to hold the ash and the briquettes. If they are still hot, you can put them one by one in the water bucket.

Step#3: Stay away from Water

While the BBQ is hot, do not pour water on it. The reason is, throwing cold water onto a hot grill can cause a thermal shock, and your cooker may break. Water poured directly onto coals can also cause unpleasant burns because it will produce steam and disperse hot ash, also causing a fire hazard. If it takes 2 days for it to cool down completely, wait until it has. 

Step#4: Clean up the Grill

It’s time to clean out the grill, so that’s what we’re going to do next:

  1. To remove the remaining ash from the grill, you will need a metallic spatula. 
  2. Make sure to use a wire grill brush on the bottom of the grill, especially on the grates. 
  3. The grates should be cleaned with soap and water at your own discretion. These parts need to be lubricated with silicone spray. 
  4. In addition to improving longevity, this spray acts as a good anti-rusting agent for charcoal grills. Save the leftover briquettes. 
  5. In the bottom half of your grill, place the lump charcoal or briquettes for future use. Keep in mind to use a pair of tongs to pick them.

Suggestions To Put Out A Grill Safely:

Following are a few suggestions that will definitely help you to put out a charcoal grill.

Save Leftover Charcoal Briquettes:

When grilling, it is best to use new charcoal each time, but if you happen to find leftover charcoal after your grilling session, you do not have to discard it; you can save them for future use. So prepare water in a large container.

Put the charcoal pieces into water to ensure that they are fully extinguished from the grill. After immersing the charcoal for 30 to 60 seconds, remove it from the water and allow it to dry on a non-flammable surface. Then store it.

Put A Grill Cover:

Grill cover can be placed over your grill right away after you finish grilling! You can comfortably put the cover on your grill to avoid rust once both the lid and vents are closed.

A case of Flare-ups:

Occasionally, even at a barbecue, a fire can get out of control. Flames are caused by grease shooting up from the firepit when a flare-up occurs.

You should not throw water on fire and flare-ups. To control the flames, it is best to put back the grill cover to prevent oxygen and flames would getting lower down. Heat-resistant gloves should be worn, and extreme precautions should be taken. Alternatively, you can use your class ABC fire extinguisher- all grillers should have one nearby. Also, check out the safety tips to use a charcoal grill.

Cleaning is Necessary:

After finishing cooking on the charcoal grill, it is important to clean the grill and the grilling grates with warm water and baking soda to remove the debris. Cleaning is important to avoid rust and then cover the grill with its cover after it was completely soaked.

Final Words:

You have read this article before experiencing BBQ grilling, you are certainly aware of what to do and how to do it. So, now you can enjoy your BBQ safely and save money by following these suggestions. I hope your query, how to put out a charcoal grill would be solved. You can also share your experience with us in the comment section below.

Can I pour water on my charcoal grill?

No pouring water on the charcoal grill directly would be harmful, it can cause a thermal shock, and your cooker may break. Moreover, an unpleasant burn would be caused because it will produce steam and disperse hot ash.

How do you cool down a charcoal grill?

Waiting for two days to cool the charcoal grill is the safest option rather than running water over it. 

How long until charcoal burns out?

In general, charcoal briquettes will burn at a constant temperature for about an hour, generally hotter than normal smoking temperatures.

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