How Do I Grill with Charcoal?

If it’s your first time trying to grill with charcoal instead of gas, you’re probably more anxious than you need to be. Some people find it daunting to work with charcoal grills but once you actually go through the process you’ll be amazed at how easy, convenient, and effective charcoal grilling can really be.

The first step is to learn how to prepare your grill for cooking. We recommend using hardwood charcoal which you can then light using our Firelighters without the need for lighter fluid. Fill half of your firebox with your charcoal, then, once the coals have reached your desired heat level, you can spread them around as desired.

Once you’ve mastered these techniques you can move onto more important lessons like learning how long to grill a steak (4-5 minutes on each side will give you a beautiful medium-rare) and trying your hand at smoking and baking.

For more help, watch our video guide on how to light your Hasty-Bake grill.

Does Briquette Type Matter When I Grill with Charcoal?

There are a great many debates over what type of fuel source is best when you choose to grill with charcoal, but at Hasty-Bake we’re big fans of hardwood charcoal. Also called lump charcoal, this form of fuel is often considered the purist because it’s made simply by burning wood while it’s not exposed to oxygen. As a result, the final product has no extra chemicals or additives, it burns faster, the fire it produces is often hotter, and once you’re done grilling the used charcoal leaves relatively little ash.

Briquettes, on the other hand, are known for being a bit more affordable and they can be very easy to find, however it’s hard to know exactly what you’re getting. That can make for an inconsistent product that is hard to use with confidence. Some people also find that the by-products added to briquettes give off an off-putting chemical smell.

For more answers to common grilling questions, browse through our FAQ.

Where Can I Find Tips on How to Grill with Charcoal?

Learning how to grill with charcoal only takes a little bit of effort up front and the rewards are monumental. Once you get in the rhythm of topping off your charcoal, lighting the grill, and spreading the heat around to the desired areas, you’ll be able to cook for your whole family without breaking a sweat. In fact, one of the best thing about grilling is that it’s not as labor intensive or distracting as constantly manning a four-burner stove, especially since you can be outside with your guests while you’re doing it.

At Hasty-Bake, we’re helping our customers master the charcoal grilling learning curve by providing how-to guides that showcase our grill anatomy in detail. By getting to know your grill, you’ll understand how each element works and how you can use those components to your advantage while cooking. Start your pre-grilling studies by watching our videos.

Can I Use a Smoker to Grill with Charcoal?

You can’t necessarily use all smokers to grill with charcoal but you can use Hasty-Bake’s charcoal grills to smoke! One of the reasons our charcoal ovens are so popular is that they’re incredibly versatile. You can grill, bake, and smoke your way to unique menus full of everything from smoked macaroni and cheese to turmeric roasted carrots to toasted angel food cake topped with grilled peaches. That kind of versatility is priceless and you’re only as limited as your imagination – and the awesome array of ideas you can find on the internet, of course.

One of the best ways to learn everything from how to cook ribs on the grill to smoking an entire fresh salmon is to read through our list of recipe

Hasty-Bake 9 BBQ + Grill Tips in 90 Seconds by ArnieTex. 



Backyard Grill Idea – Buy a Hasty-Bake Hastings 290 on Cart by ArnieTex. When designing an outdoor cooking center, the Hastings is the ideal choice for those who want a charcoal grill with the ultimate custom built-in look.

Like all cart-mounted Hasty-Bake ovens, the Hastings Signature Series is excellent for slow, indirect cooking as well as conventional grilling. Every Hasty-Bake charcoal grills are handcrafted with only the finest materials available.

Model 290 Specifications (Stainless Steel) Surface Cooking Space: 1,194 square inches Base Dimensions: 44"L x 21"D x 52 1/4" H Materials: Stainless steel primary cooking surface Combination of 16 and 18 gauge stainless steel 18 and 12 gauge stainless steel lift and fire box Weight: Hastings cart 330 lbs., Hastings grill head 225 lbs. Two Individually Controlled Fireboxes allows for Direct and Indirect Cooking Methods Simultaneously Efficient use of Charcoal Heat Requires use of Only One Firebox for Smoking on the Entire Grill Secondary Warming Rack can Easily be Removed to Accommodate Even the Largest Cuts of Meat New Rollback Hood Design Allows for Unobstructed Access to Entire Grilling Area Dual Thermometers Guaranteed to be within 99% Accurate Cart Model has Folding Stainless Steel Side Tables and Ample Storage Space in the Cart Warranty: 10 Year parts/workmanship

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Learn tips and tricks to create BBQ smoked-kissed beef ribs by the one and only ArnieTex. With any Hasty-Bake Charcoal Grill, you can grill, bake, or smoke all on the same unit. Learn more about Hasty-Bake Charcoal Grills at




The perfect holiday recipe for how to brine and smoke a turkey on a Hasty-Bake Charcoal Grill by ArnieTex. You can even use a Hasty-Bake Rotisserie when smoking a turkey on your Hasty-Bake grill.  

On Hasty-Bake Charcoal Grills can grill, bake, and smoke all on the same unit. To learn more about Hasty-Bake Charcoal Grills visit


ArnieTex walks you through his favorite Texas Brisket recipe on a Hasty-Bake Legacy 132 Charcoal Grill. The 132 Stainless Steel Legacy is the perfect size for larger families or anyone who truly enjoys entertaining. This unit offers all the standard Hasty-Bake features, and its 523 square inches of cooking space provide ample room to smoke a ham and a turkey at the same time!

On Hasty-Bake Charcoal Grills can grill, bake, and smoke all on the same unit. To learn more about Hasty-Bake Charcoal Grills visit



Since 1948, Hasty-Bake has mastered the skill of creating an innovative, and efficient charcoal grill. The distinctive design features allow grillers to cook an array of food at different temperatures. What makes Hasty-Bake stand out from the rest? The charcoal grills contain a lift mechanism, a ventless hood, and a fire door, allowing Hasty-Bake grills to be a leader in the industry.

The lift mechanism is the number one feature on the grill. Allowing 14 inches of travel, this device stops two inches below the food. Using indirect heat and a heat deflector, the lift mechanism turns the grill into a national convection oven. Lower the box to the lowest position possible and your grill will be the best charcoal grill on the market.

Hasty-Bake Owners Manual  (PDF Download)

Entrap heat and smoke with the ventless hood. Here, there is no room for a smoke stack or exhaust. The hood allows the temperature to stay consistent throughout every direction of the grill, front-to-back, and left-to-right.

Adding wood chips or charcoal has never been easier with the Hasty Bake fire door. The full access door allows you to maintain the fire without having the grill hood open.

Instructional videos can be found on our website.

Hasty-Bake is the best charcoal grill around because we have proven to stand through time. The durable features have lasted over ten years plus. “My dad had one then passed it down to me. The grill is over 30 years plus. It has seen many BBQ’s and smoking turkeys. It is still running strong.” – Monica and Phil Ramos, Thornton, CO.

Outdoor cooks rave about the ease of use of our products. “My only regret was waiting 25 years to purchase my Legacy model Hasty Bake. It was an instant success on my first cookout. While being an avid outdoor cook for years, the taste of the foods and ease of use of your grills is simply outstanding. That is why this oven is the king.” – Frank Morris, Tulsa

The Hasty-Bake charcoal grill is designed to cook a variety of foods. “I’ve had my grill for two months now. Every time I use it, I love it more. This thing is great. Requires a good bit of attention, but it cooks some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. I have been searching for the right charcoal grill for 20 years and have finally found it. Ribs, brisket, Boston butt, burgers or whatever, the food comes out great.” – Randy Clark

For more customer reviews, visit our grill review and testimonial page.

Test the power of this charcoal grill by trying some of these popular recipes. To cook Hasty-Bake Signature Chicken, utilize the lift mechanism to use indirect heat. Cook this delicious chicken in five easy steps. The complete recipe can be found here.

Grill Simple Smoked Salmon with White Wine Dill Sauce on your charcoal grill smoker. The delectable entrée is best cooked with cherry or apple wood. Control the fire with the accessible fire door. The full salmon filet recipe can be found on our website.

Charcoal Grill Rib Recipe

Dan Potter’s Hasty-Bake Barbecued Ribs and Spicy Rub are best prepared when the charcoal grill maintains a consistent temperature. The ventless hood comes in handy when smoking these tasty ribs on the grill. Step-by-step instructions for these savory ribs are listed on the website.

Finish off the perfect meal with Toasted Angel Food Cake with Grilled Peaches. The light and fruity cake can be prepared and baked in less than an hour. For more specifications, see here.

Hasty-Bake grills are available in eight different models. Sizes vary, as well as color. Shop our collection of Charcoal Grills online or visit our website to find a local dealer near you.