How to Put Out a Charcoal Grill Safely

A barbecue set up on the weekend with those fresh steaks coming right out. What can you ask more from life? Yes, we know what you are saying. The meal and all is fine, but what about the post-meal cleanup. 

A charcoal barbeque lunch affirmatively sounds terrific with the dash of extra grilling and the authentic aroma that beautifies the process, but it sure needs a lot of cleaning up after you are done cooking your meal. 

It’s not just about the grime and the mess. Putting out that bad boy is a task of its own

Why do I need to put out a charcoal grill 

 If you don’t put out the grill after using it, you are wasting a lot of fuel and potentially risking the grill flaring up and spreading. Charcoal grill fires are not uncommon.

There is a possible chance of air to reignite the fire on the grill if it is not extinguished correctly. 

Things needed to extinguish the fire? 

  • Heavy-duty oven mitts
  • Water in a bucket 
  • Fire extinguisher 
  • Baking soda 
  • Long-handled tongs 
  • Wire brush
  • Metal Spatula 
  • Baking Soda 

How to Put Out a Charcoal Grill Safely

The process is merely closing any area which can provide oxygen to the hot grill. (i.e., The lid and the vents). Removing the sources of oxygen will prevent any potential damage. You can easily put out a charcoal grill by this method within 48 hours. It might take a bit too long for the charcoal grill to cool off, but there isn’t any safer method for this.

Step 1: Shut the lid of the grill down

The primary purpose of the step is to prevent any oxygen in the air from getting into the grill. Any additional oxygen can be harmful as it can Ignite the Fire.

Put those heavy-duty oven mitts on and slowly close the lid. Make sure the oven mitts are powerful enough to prevent the heat from reaching your hands.

Check for vents: After closing the lid, close the vents. You will probably find them on the top and the bottom of your grill. Most commonly used grills have two vents. Wait for 48 hours. 

Step 2: Remove the charcoal leftover

It takes about two days for the grill to cool down. Remove the charcoal leftover and the briquettes using the pair of long-handled tongs. 

Note: Even if you feel that the briquets are cold enough, do not try to touch or hold them without a pair of long handle tongs. You can end up hurting yourself.

Keep a bucket of water near the grill to dip those briquettes one by one. Once you are done, close the lid again. 

Allow the charcoal to rest for a couple of minutes in water before you take it out. Keeping it directly exposed to water will help you in reusing them next weekend or whenever. 

Transfer the wet charcoal to a fire-proof container and let it dry. 

Step 3: Clean the remaining ash 

Clean up the leftover ashes off the grill by sweeping them off using a metal spatula. You can also use the leftover ash later once you cool them off and take care of any chances of fire re-ignition. 

Caution: The ashes can easily enter the vent area, disturbing the flow of the grill, making it difficult for you to use it next time. 

Step 4: Clean the bottom of the grill 

The grates area of the grill requires special attention and a wire brush. They are prone to rust and making your future barbecue meals a broken dream. So taking care of that as soon as it cools off is very important.

Clean the grated with a mixture of soapy water or any of these top-recommended grill cleaners for the best results. Once cleaned lubricate it with silicone spray. This will take care of the rusting and will keep your grill’s material safe. 

Step 5: Keep the leftover briquettes ready for the next grill.

After they have cooled down, don’t forget to put them back. You can use the leftover briquettes next time. 

When you are grilling does not extinguish the fire without a fire extinguisher. The best fire extinguisher classes are mentioned below: 

  • Class K 
  • Class B 
  • Class ABC 

All of the above classes of extinguishers work fine on grease fires. If the fire is uncontrollable or you don’t have a home fire extinguisher, get out of the vicinity of the area and call the fire department.


Things to Avoid when putting out a Charcoal Grill

Put water on the grill. 

The last thing you want to do to your grill is to use water to put it out. Putting on water directly on the charcoal grill can be very dangerous. The Barbeque requires high temperatures to grill. Spraying water on it can lead to high steams and potential burns. Moreover, it can spoil the grill by exposing it to cracks and rust. 

Keeping the grill inside the house.

Charcoal burns to release carbon monoxide, a residual gas that can be lethal. Overconsumption of carbon monoxide can be toxic, so keep the grill for the outside. 

Important: Do not try to extinguish the fire without a fire extinguisher. 

Small fires can be taken care of with baking soda, but if the fire seems to be uncontrollable, always put it out using a fire extinguisher or call the fire department if you don’t have one. 

Leave the grill uncovered.

Once you are done with lid and vent closing, cover the rest with a heavy-duty grill cover. It will prevent your charcoal grill from ruin and potential damages of rusting. 

Final Word 

This was one of the safest methods to put out a charcoal grill and enjoy your future barbecue meals without worrying about the post-meal cleanup. Just follow the steps accordingly, and keep the do-not in mind.

Using a charcoal grill is a lot of fun, but it comes with responsibility and any carelessness in fluffing that can be expensive.

Not only can you mess up the grill, but you can end up hurting yourself, so keep everything mentioned above in mind. And do let us know how it went in the comments below. 

Categories BBQ
Jennifer Dumas

My name is Jennifer! Welcome to Dinners and Dreams. My goal here is to encourage you to try out recipes you never thought you could make at home. Furthermore, I also review products that I have used in the past or currently using to make every day buying decisions easier and to ensure you get the best value for your money.

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