For many people, a backyard barbecue is one of the greatest joys of summer. The savoury smell of grilled food sizzling on the barbecue, the crackling sound of charcoal as it heats up, and the promise of spending quality time with friends and family are all reasons the barbecue is such a beloved fixture of Canadian culture.

However, if you’re serious about grilling, you know that hitting the right temperature can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are plenty of proven strategies to get your charcoal grill hotter, faster, and more consistently.

Getting your charcoal grill to the right temperature requires knowing how to control the heat best. The best strategies will help you get your grill hotter and keep the fire burning longer. With just a bit of practice, you’ll master the art of grilling on charcoal in no time!

With these ten tips, you can supercharge your barbecue skills and impress your guests with perfectly cooked burgers, ribs, and more. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie to grilling, this blog post will explain how to take your barbecue to the next level.

Use a Chimney Starter 

Using a chimney starter is a highly effective strategy for heating your charcoal grill. This handy tool lets you light your charcoal in a closed container, creating intense heat and starting your fire faster than if you simply pile the charcoal on your grill.

The chimney starter also helps ensure an even burn, which is essential for getting your grill hot enough to cook your food. Fill a chimney starter with your desired charcoal and place a few sheets of crumpled newspaper at the bottom for kindling. Light the newspaper on fire and wait for the coals to turn grey, indicating they are ready to be poured into the grill.

Add Larger Pieces of Charcoal 

Adding larger charcoal pieces to your grill will speed up heating. Choose quality charcoal for best results. Remember that larger pieces create more fuel, so you’ll need less overall. Charcoal briquettes are an excellent choice as they light quickly and burn evenly.

Control the Airflow Through Vents 

Charcoal grill vents are essential for controlling temperature. Keeping them open will increase airflow, allowing oxygen to reach the coals and helping your fire burn hotter and evenly. Check the vents regularly during cooking to maintain an optimal temperature.

Pile the Charcoal for a Hotter Fire 

When you’re ready to light your charcoal, pile it in an “upside-down pyramid” pattern. This ensures that the flames have plenty of fuel and can reach the maximum cooking temperature. For even heat distribution, spread coals evenly around the grill.

Use Charcoal Briquettes 

Charcoal briquettes burn slowly and evenly, creating a hotter, more consistent grilling fire. They’re also easier to light than traditional charcoal and can be combined with larger pieces for an even hotter fire. Charcoal briquettes are the way to go if you want a quicker and reliable heat source.

Use a Grill Windguard or Heat Deflector 

A wind guard or heat deflector is essential for controlling the temperature of your grill. It helps direct airflow around the coals and traps heat in the grill. This ensures your food cooks evenly and gets plenty of fire exposure. Place a wind guard or heat deflector around your charcoal before lighting it for the best results.

Use an Indirect Heat Method 

If you’re looking to cook larger cuts of meat or more delicate items, the indirect heat method is the ideal way to keep your grill hot and even. To do this, simply pile charcoal on one side of the grill and place your food on the opposite side. This will create a pocket of cool air around the food, allowing it to cook evenly without burning.

Close the Grill Lid to Trap Heat Inside

Sometimes, the simplest solution is the best one. Closing your grill lid traps heat inside and creates a sealed environment for cooking. This helps the temperature remain consistent throughout your grilling session and keeps all that delicious smoky flavour locked in.

Preheat the Grill Grate for at least 15 Minutes

Before cooking, it’s critical to preheat your grill grate. This helps your food cook evenly and won’t stick to the surface. Plus, it helps the grate retain heat when you’re ready to start grilling. Preheat your grill for at least 15 minutes before adding food to the surface.

Use a Grill Thermometer to Monitor the Temperature 

For precise grilling results, you’ll want to use a thermometer to monitor the temperature inside your grill. This lets you make quick adjustments if the heat is too low or too high and helps you get the most out of your charcoal. Investing in a quality thermometer is an excellent way to take your grilling game to the next level.