Why Won’t My Charcoal Grill Get Hot (Reasons) – GrillHub

“If your grill isn’t getting hot, it could be a number of things. Check to make sure that the coals are ignited and that there’s enough airflow. You may also need to add more charcoal.”

– Chef John

As the warm weather approaches, many of us start thinking about firing up the grill. But what happens when your grill won’t get hot? This can be frustrating, especially if you’re trying to cook for a large group.

In this article, I will share everything you need to know about Why I won’t my charcoal grill get hot?

Why Won’t My Charcoal Grill Get Hot – Comprehensive Guide

If your grill isn’t getting hot, there are a few potential reasons why your grill isn’t getting hot. they are:

6 Main Reasons

  • The coals are too old
  • The coals aren’t hot enough
  • The grill is dirty
  • The vents are blocked
  • You’re using too much charcoal
  • The grill isn’t assembled correctly.

Let’s take a closer look at all of these factors one by one.

1) The Coals Are Too Old

If you’re using charcoal that’s more than a few weeks old, it might not be as hot as it once was. Even if the charcoal is still in good shape, it might not light as easily or burn as hot as fresh charcoal. If your grill isn’t getting hot, try using some fresh charcoal.

2) The Coals Aren’t Hot Enough

If you’ve just lit your grill and the coals aren’t yet covered in ash, they probably aren’t hot enough to start cooking with.

It can take 15-20 minutes for the coals to get hot enough to cook on. If your grill still isn’t getting hot after 20 minutes, try adding some more charcoal to the fire.

3) The Grill Is Dirty

If your grill is dirty, it can affect how well the heat gets distributed. If there’s a lot of built-up grease and grime on the grate, it can insulate the food and prevent it from cooking evenly. For best results, clean your grill before you start cooking.

4) The Vents Are Blocked

If the vents on your grill are blocked, it can prevent the fire from getting enough oxygen and cause the grill to smoke excessively. To avoid this, make sure that all of the vents are clear and open before you start cooking.

5) You’re Using Too Much Charcoal

If you’re using too much charcoal, it can smother the fire and prevent it from getting hot enough to cook. When lighting the grill, only use as much charcoal as you need to cover the bottom of the grill.

6) The Grill Isn’t Assembled Correctly

If your grill isn’t assembled correctly, it can prevent the heat from reaching all of the food. Make sure that all of the pieces of your grill are in place and that there are no gaps where heat could escape.

By following these tips, you should be able to get your grill hot and start cooking delicious food in no time!

How Can You Troubleshoot And Fix The Issue Yourself

The following are some tips on how to troubleshoot and fix the issue yourself:

  • Check if the charcoal grill is properly ventilated. If not, then open up the vents to allow air to flow through and ignite the charcoal.
  • Make sure that you are using enough charcoal. If not, then add more to the grill and try igniting it again.
  • Check if the problem is with your lighter fluid. If so, then change brands or soak the charcoal in water for a few minutes before adding the lighter fluid.
  • Try using a different ignition method such as a match or a torch to light the charcoal.
  • Ensure that all of the ash has been removed from the previous grilling session as this can block airflow and prevent the grill from getting hot.
  • If none of the above troubleshooting tips work, then you may need to call a professional technician to come and take a look at your grill.

Are There Any Tips Or Tricks That Can Help You

The followings are some tips or tricks that can help you get your charcoal grill up to cooking temperature more quickly and easily:

  • Use a chimney starter to light the charcoal. This will help get the coals hot quickly and evenly.
  • If you don’t have a chimney starter, then use a metal bucket to hold the coals while you light them. This will also help get the coals hot quickly and evenly.
  • Once the coals are lit, wait for them to turn white before adding them to the grill. This will ensure that they are fully heated and ready to cook.
  • If you’re in a hurry, you can use a hairdryer or a fan to help speed up the process. Just be careful not to blow the coals out of the grill.

By following these tips, you should be able to get your charcoal grill up to cooking temperature more quickly and easily.

Safety Tips

The following are some safety tips to keep in mind when using a charcoal grill:

  • Never leave your grill unattended while it is lit.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of an emergency.
  • Be sure to keep children and pets away from the grill while it is lit.
  • When you’re finished cooking, be sure to let the coals cool completely before disposing of them.
  • Never dispose of hot coals in a trash can or dumpster as this could start a fire.

By following these safety tips, you can help prevent accidents and injuries while using your charcoal grill.


If you’re having trouble with the grill not heating up enough, make sure to check the vents, use enough charcoal, and ensure that the grill is assembled correctly.

Always remember to prioritize safety when using a grill and keep a watchful eye on it while it’s lit, never leaving it unattended.


Do you leave the lid open or closed when heating charcoal?

It is best to leave the lid open when heating charcoal as this will help the coals to heat up more quickly.

Is it better to use lighter fluid or a match to light the charcoal?

It is best to use lighter fluid as this will help to prevent the charcoal from tasting of chemicals. If you don’t have any lighter fluid, then you can try using a match or a torch.

Can I use a fan to help speed up the process?

Yes, you can use a fan to help speed up the process, but be careful not to blow the coals out of the grill.

What should I do if my charcoal grill won’t get hot?

If your charcoal grill won’t get hot, then check the vents, make sure you’re using enough charcoal, and try using a different ignition method. If none of these tips works, then you may need to call a professional technician to take a look at your grill.

When is the food done cooking on a charcoal grill?

The food is done cooking on a charcoal grill when it reaches the internal temperature that is recommended for that particular type of food. For example, the chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.