You can’t cook without lighting the fire, while it is the most basic step in grilling, many people are still confused about the proper way to start the fire.   Following is a step-by-step guide to the process:

Charcoal Grill

  1. Remove the lid and open all air vents.
  2. Mound the briquettes into a pyramid-shaped pile OR pile the charcoal into a high capacity chimney starter.
  3. Place either non-toxic fire starters or crumbled newspaper under the pile of briquettes and light.
  4. When coals are covered with a light-grey ash (usually 20 to 30 minutes), arrange the coals according to the cooking method you are going to use.
  5. For smoke flavor, consider adding hardwood chips or chunks (soaked in water for at least 30 minutes and drained) or moistened fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme or lavender. Place the wet wood or herbs directly on the coals just before you begin cooking.

Gas Grill

  1. Open the lid. Check that all burner control knobs are turned to off and that your LP tank is not empty.
  2. Turn the LP Gas tank on.
  3. Light the grill according to the manufacturer’s directions, using either the igniter or a match, if necessary. Generally, when lighting a gas grill, only one burner should be turned on for ignition. Once the fire has begun, other burners can be turned on and the already lit burner will light the other burners.
  4. Close the lid and preheat until the thermometer reaches 500°-550° F. This will take 10 to 15 minutes. Before cooking, adjust burner controls as recipe directs.