How to Troubleshoot a Gas or Charcoal BBQ

2 mins read

Charcoal grills are a favorite among grilling enthusiasts. They give an authentic BBQ taste and require nothing extra save a simple BBQ and some charcoal briquettes.

First, make sure the BBQ itself is in great working order. Open up all air vents before lighting up the charcoal. The charcoal in the BBQ needs oxygen to feed the fire, and if the air isn’t allowed inside, the fire will extinguish. Twist the air vent dial at the top to make sure it is opened up, and before grilling, make sure accumulated ashes from the previous grilling has been cleaned out from the bottom for better circulation.

Then, make sure the BBQ is heated up properly. Heat the grill and start the fire at least 30 minutes prior to grilling. The food will not brown or cook properly in a cold BBQ. Only when the charcoal briquettes have achieved a light gray ash color on their outsides may they be spread out for use in grilling.

Make sure you are using proper cooking techniques during grilling, such as turning properly. Space out the food that is being grilled. Food that is too bunched together will not heat properly around the sides. There should be at least a one inch space all around the food, including sides and top, for proper grilling. Use tongs instead of a tuning fork to turn food over. Piercing the skin of poultry or steaks will allow inner juices to flow out of the food and into the fire. This may cause fire flare ups, and will cause the food to dry out.

Gas grills are a time-saver in the backyard cooking kitchens. They virtually run worry free, and can provide many hours of trouble free cooking. The only thing to check on with gas grills is the heat source, which is usually a propane tank. Make sure it is filled and attached properly, and that the igniter system is working.

Check to see if the igniter switch for the gas grill is completely engaged. If the igniter is not lighting a flame, but still can be lighted with a match when turned on, then the igniter switch isn’t engaged properly. Make sure the control panel is tightly in place. Sometimes, the control panel will be slightly off after home assembly preventing the ignition from fully clicking. Refer to the model’s manual for specific instructions on ignition and control panel assembly.

Fill the propane tank up properly, or use a brand new one. If the gas grill is empty or low on gas, the grill either won’t engage a flame after ignition, or the flame will go out during cooking. If that happens, remove the food from the grill and properly cook it to doneness inside the home in the kitchen. Wait for the grill to cool down, then clean the areas that came in contact with the food and attach a full propane tank.

Ensure the seal to the propane tank is tight when hooking up a full propane tank. If the seal isn’t firmly in place when the tank is hooked up, then the gas can leak or escape once the gas is turned on. Always screw down the knob attachment is turned tightly to create a tight seal, but not too tight to strip it or prevent the canister from being removed.

Clean the cooking grates to the grill often in between cooking. At the same time, make sure the tubes to the burners are not blocked by food, debris, or even bits of food. This will prevent the flame from taking hold of certain areas and can create cold spots on the grill during cooking.

These easy tips will provide many years of trouble-free cooking on both your gas or charcoal BBQ grills.

Agnese is an Italian author and researcher. She has worked in the publishing industry for many years and has written several books on various subjects. Her latest work is a research project on the history of the book in Italy. Agnese is also a regular contributor to several journals and magazines.

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