Grilling with charcoal is the purest form of cooking out there. Food grilled with charcoal is tender and has an authentic flavor and aroma. Once you have finished grilling your food, the charcoal lit in the grill will continue burning unless you extinguish it yourself.

Therefore, knowing how to put out a charcoal grill is vital in preventing a fire disaster. This is because a hot charcoal grill will cause severe burns to children or people who touch it. Suppose you left your grill burning, and an animal knocks the grill over spilling hot charcoal on your backyard? Avoid damaging your property or harming your family by following these steps on putting off the charcoal grill.

How to Put Out a Charcoal Grill: 5 Steps

What You Will Need:

  • Heavy-duty gloves
  • Long grill tongs
  • Bucket of water
  • Long handle wire brush
  • Baking soda
  • Fire extinguisher

Shut Down the Charcoal Grill

Put on the heavy-duty gloves when you have finished your grilling session to prevent getting burnt by the hot grill. Start by removing the rack from the charcoal grill and slowly closing the lid.

Shut Down the Charcoal GrillClose the two vents which are located at the top and at the base of the charcoal grill.

Closing of the vents will cut off airflow to the chamber, thus blocking oxygen from fueling the fire.

Leave the grill for 48 hours to cool down and so that all the embers are completely burnt. During this time, make sure your charcoal grill is safe out of harm’s way.

Remove the Ash and Briquettes from the Grill

After the 48 hours, your charcoal grill is now cold, and you should proceed to remove ash and briquettes. Some grills have ash dumps; use it to get out ash from the chamber. If not, scoop the ash with an ash-removal basket. Tip the ashes onto a sheet of aluminum foil to dispose them away.

Wrap the aluminum foil carefully and dispose it in the metal trash can as any burning ember can burn through a plastic garbage can. Use the long grill tongs when handling the wrapped aluminum foil to avoid getting burnt.

Place the bucket of water beside the charcoal grill, and use the long-handled tongs to place the briquettes inside the bucket.

Instead of waiting for the briquettes to cool off, you could remove it together with the ash and place it in an inflammable bowl. Do not put the briquettes and ash in the same bowl.

Avoid Water

Even though pouring water over the grill will put it off, you are not supposed to do that. Do not pour water onto your charcoal grill while it’s showing any signs of heat. Only use water if you must pack up your barbeque for camping.

Here is why you should not use water to put off the charcoal grill:

  • Pouring water on a hot grill causes thermal shock, which will make your grill crack.
  • Water creates a sludgy mess at the base of your charcoal grill, which clogs the grill vents and dampers.
  • Water creates a harsh cloud of steam, which causes severe burns.

Clean the Charcoal Grill

After removing the ash and briquettes from your grill, it now needs a deep cleanse cleaning. Cleaning the grill is essential in eliminating built-up grease and ash.

To clean the grill, follow these steps:

  • First, remove the grill grates and clean them with a grill brush.
  • Use a ball of aluminum foil to scrub off the remaining gunk on the charcoal grill grates.
  • Use a spatula to scoop remaining ash from the grill, carefully ensure there is no ash on the grill valves.
  • Clean the base of the grill using a brush to wipe any debris out of the grill. Use a bristle brush to scrape off grease from the lid of the grill.
  • You may spray the grill grates with silicone spray to prevent them from rusting.
  • Put the grill back together for another session of grilling.

Return Leftover Briquettes

When the hot briquettes have completely cooled down, put them back inside your grill using the long-handled tongs.

What to do with Coals after Grilling?

After grilling, Coal that is not used up is worth saving to the homeowner. If you want to be economical, follow these steps on how to reuse charcoal.

  • Fill up the metal bucket with cold water.
  • Put on heavy gloves, which are heatproof.
  • Use a long-handled tong to remove a single piece of charcoal.
  • Dip the charcoal in the water in the bucket for a minute.
  • Transfer the extinguished briquettes to a dry surface.
  • Repeat the process for each charcoal you want to save and arrange the cool briquettes in one layer.
  • Dry the extinguished Coal in the sun.
  • Once they are completely dry, store the charcoal in a fireproof container until the next grilling session.

Fill up the metal bucket with cold water.

For the best grilling results, mix the reclaimed charcoal with unused charcoal on your next grilling session. Cheap briquettes won’t be best to reuse since they crumble when they are wet.

After the summer, you may find yourself with a half-empty sack of charcoal. Since summer is over, you are probably wondering what to do with the charcoal. Please don’t throw it away.

Here is how you can use your unused charcoal:

Charcoal can be used as a fertilizer in your home garden. This is because charcoal has potash, which is an essential nutrient for plants.

  • Use the charcoal together with sand and rock salt during winter deicing your home. This is because charcoal absorbed the moisture and will keep the rock and salt from clumping.
  • Feed the unused charcoal to your compost pile to increase the carbon content.
  • Use the remaining charcoal as a natural air freshener. Put charcoal in your basement where the moisture creates a stuffy smell. The charcoal will keep the air smelling fresh.
  • Drop unused charcoal on the bottom of a flower vase for the cut flowers to last longer.


Knowing how to put off a charcoal grill will save you fuel considerably and keep you, your family, and your property safe from harm’s way. Enjoy a safe and frugal barbecue.