How to Put Out a Charcoal Grill | 4 Easy Steps

Many at times, after grilling, we often pour water on our charcoal to put it out. While using water may be the most effective method to put out the fire, it renders the charcoal almost unusable in the future. So, if you don’t know how to put out charcoal grill the right way, this review is for you. You’d also get to learn many other grillings with charcoal tips. So, after grilling with charcoal grills, it doesn’t end there; you still need to put out the charcoal. 

Why Put Out a Charcoal Grill?

There are so many reasons you should put out a charcoal grill, but one of the most important reasons is to prevent hazards. Charcoal can burn for more than 24 hours before fully coming down. Leaving your charcoal grill unattended to while still burning hot exposes you and your environment to hazard. Children can playfully pick up the charcoal, which can cause several burns. Pets can also playfully crash into the grill, spilling the hot charcoal everywhere. It takes only a few lit charcoal embers on dry grass to cause a serious fire. Moreover, if you don’t put out your charcoal, you’d be burning unnecessary carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide into the atmosphere. Not to even mention, lump wood charcoal is not cheap.

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Step by Step Guide: How to Put Out a Charcoal Grill?

charcoal bbq grills

Follow the steps below to put out charcoal grill fire:

Step 1: Close Lid and Vent

Unlike gas grills or electric grills, you can turn off easily with a push of a button or turning a disk; charcoal grills are more difficult to extinguish. Rather than using water to extinguish your charcoal grill, shut the lid and vent. Fire, in general, needs oxygen to burn. Cutting off the supply of oxygen will put out the fire. Charcoal grills have vents and dampers for air intake to keep the charcoal burning. The air vents also come in handy to regulate the temperature of the grill. When you close the lid and dampers, you cut off all the supply of oxygen for the charcoal, which indirectly outs it out.

Step 2: Wait 48 Hours for Charcoal to Cool Down

While cutting off the oxygen supply to your charcoal grill puts out the fire, it takes a long time for the charcoal to cool down. It can take as long as 48 hours to cool charcoal properly. While you wait for the charcoal to cool, it’s best to separate the charcoal embers and far apart from each other as possible. Use a tong or something metal to scatter the charcoal ember. While you wait for the charcoal to cool down, keep the charcoal grill in a safe location out of harm’s ways or blocked off.

Step 3: Scoop Out and Dispose of Ash and Use Charcoal

After waiting for the charcoal to cool down properly, dispose of the ash. Grills with an ash dump will come in very handy in this step. Get as much ash as you can out of the charcoal grate into the ash pan. Dispose of the ash properly to avoid littering. You can wrap the ash in a large aluminum foil to reduce the chance of any still-live ember setting anything on fire. It only takes a tiny live ember to ignite the trash. After, scoop whatever is left in the grate into a large aluminum foil sheet.

Step 4: Savage any Unused Charcoal

Before disposing of the remaining ash and charcoal, you scooped into the aluminum foil, sieve through it for unused charcoal. If there is any unburnt charcoal in the ash, it can be used again, so pull them out before you throw everything away. But to be safe, use a metal tong and not your hand to savage the unused charcoal. If you have a heatproof BBQ glove, that also comes in handy when savaging through the charcoal. After you get all the charcoal out, you should save them in a fire-proof container for next time use.

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How Can You Save Unused Charcoal?

put out charcoal grill

Now that you know how to put out a grill fire, after grilling with charcoal, the next thing to do is save up those unused charcoal you savaged. Any charcoal that isn’t used up is worth saving. As said, you should store them in an airtight, fire-proof container to make them suitable for use again. The best way to save unused charcoal is by keeping it in an airtight bag. Before placing it in the bag, you need to check and check again to ensure all the charcoal’s live ember is appropriately out. Seal the bag to avoid the charcoal from absorbing moisture. It is also a great idea to place the bag in a metal bin with a cover. The idea is to ensure you store the charcoal as far from water as possible.


In summary, it is essential to know how to put out a charcoal grill that is important when grilling with charcoal. Enjoy the tasty meals of a charcoal grill, and be prepared to put out your grill the right way. Don’t forget to save unused charcoal the right way as well. We’ve got lots more information on charcoal grilling and smoking for you here. So, feel free to poke around the site and bookmark the stuff you like.

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