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Everything You Need To Know About Lighting A Charcoal Grill

It's not hard, but it ain't exactly intuitive.

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Charcoal grills have a lot going for them. They add just the right amount of smoky flavor...

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Learn how to make the world's best cheeseburger here.

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...and red-hot coals create a perfect, crispy char that's near-impossible on a gas grill.

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Pizza crust cooks on the grill in less than 5 minutes. Get the recipe here.

Lighting a charcoal grill can be daunting, but it's actually pretty straightforward.

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1. First, you need a grill chimney and charcoal briquettes, plus newspaper and a stick lighter or matches.

Get a chimney here and the briquettes here.

2. Crumple a couple sheets of newspaper and stuff them into the bottom section of the chimney.

Christine Byrne / BuzzFeed
Christine Byrne / BuzzFeed

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3. Put a layer of coals over the newspaper, crumple a second sheet of newspaper on top of those coals, and pour a second layer of coals on the very top.

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4. Use a lighter or a match to light the newspaper.

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The newspaper will catch fire quickly and eventually the coals will catch, too. Make sure you light the newspaper at the bottom, because heat rises.

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5. As the newspaper burns the chimney will start smoking. Eventually the newspaper will burn up and the smoke will stop. This doesn’t mean you’re ready to go, though.

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6. Let the chimney continue to heat until the coals are RED HOT. They'll look like this:

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7. When the coals are hot, make sure the top grill grate is off and dump the coals on top of the bottom grate.

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If you want even heat all over the grill, spread the coals out evenly. If you want a hot side and a warm side of the grill, only pile the coals on one side.

Pouring the coals over the bottom grate instead of just directly into the bottom of the grill is important. It gets them closer to the food, meaning more direct heat. It also makes is much easier to get the used coals out of the grill later.

8. Put the top grill grate back on and let it sit for a few minutes to get really hot.

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Once it’s hot, use a grill brush to get it as clean as possible.

That's it. Happy grilling!

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

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