How Do You Put Out a Charcoal Grill: Safety Grilling 101

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While grilling during outdoor events can be a pleasant pastime, it’s not always the safest. Properly learning when and how do you put out a charcoal grill is vital to keeping a secure environment. There are so many possibilities and risks if you don’t put out the smallest spark, which is why we’ve made a guide to help you learn how to extinguish your grill properly.

How Do You Put Out a Charcoal Grill?

Charcoal is specifically designed to last for long periods so that your grill won’t run out of fuel while cooking. The remaining charcoal briquets can still keep the heat up for at least an hour or so after you stop grilling. The problem with this is that the airflow and oxygen can help reignite the ashes, causing a huge problem.

If you want to keep the venue and the surrounding people and guests safe, it’s best to be prepared. The charcoal should be put out and extinguished before you even begin enjoying your meal. The problem is that some briquets can take multiple hours to finally cool down, which is why you need to use the following methods to help prevent a huge fire:

  1. First, take a pair of oven mitts and place them on each of your hands. The thicker, the better, as you don’t want to burn yourself accidentally while trying to put out the grill.
  2. Take the lid and cut off the airflow through the vents by turning them down so that there’s no way any air can escape.
  3. Press the lid and ensure that the charcoals are being smothered underneath. This process could take up to 48 hours if you’ve used a lot of charcoal.
  4. Once the grill is fully cool after 48 hours, you can take out the charcoal and dispose of them in the trash.

Other Methods

If you can’t possibly keep an eye out on your grill and you want a faster method of getting the charcoal extinguished, then you can also take these steps:

  1. Get a big bucket of cool water and place it directly beside the grill.
  2. Transfer each briquette of charcoal from the grill to the bucket by using a thick and strong pair of long-handled tongs.
  3. Be very careful as you do this since the hot briquet may cause splashing, which can be unsafe and cause burns.
  4. Once you’re done transferring the briquets, place the lid back on the grill and close the vents. This will ensure any leftover flames won’t be reignited while you’re cleaning up.
How Do You Put Out a Charcoal Grill

What About Fires?

If your briquet is going to set aflame or set something else on fire, you’re going to want to use a fire extinguisher to help take out the fire. Using any class B, ABC, or K units will help prevent grease fires and help extinguish the briquets that have likely already had fat and oil dripping on top of them.

However, if the fire is not looking like it’s about to go out, it’s best to evacuate the area and call the fire department instead. Don’t risk trying to solve the issue yourself, as you may get burned by the fire or injured from the existing flames.

Also, never touch a hot grill with your bare hands, as this can result in some severe burns. Your first instinct when putting out a fire is to either pour water on top of the grill or to try and close it, although this will only result in injury. The best method is to calmly walk away and ensure that no children, pets, or guests end up injuring themselves.

Tips For Safety

You can never be too safe, so it’s best to take all the necessary precautions to ensure that the coals are completely extinguished.

  • Always keep a garden hose nearby while you’re grilling. That way, you can easily escape the flames and keep the fire from spreading in your yard.
  • Dress for the occasion, literally. Wear short sleeved shirts and ensure that nothing is dangling over the fire. Long sleeves, jewelry, or even accessories have a high chance of either catching fire or will heat up and injure you.
  • An apron can do more than protect you from food spills, as manufacturers create aprons that are fireproof and can protect you from the flames.
  • Always keep a class ABC fire extinguisher near you while grilling, even if you don’t think there will be much risk.
  • If there’s a small fire, you can use a pack of baking soda to help extinguish the fire and prevent it from injuring anyone.


Safety while barbequing is highly recommended if you don’t want to injure or damage the surrounding venue or your guests. While you can yield a bunch of delicious food from grilling, always ensure that you’re only using enough charcoal as needed. Using extra can cause an accident and keep the flames burning for a longer time.

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