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. 



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





Hasty-Bake Charcoal Grills is excited to announce their sponsorship with Johnny Herrera Racing. Johnny Herrera partners with Hasty-Bake Charcoal Grills to benefit Steve King Foundation during the 33rd Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals.  

“We’re very excited to partner with Hasty Bake this year and really looking forward to being able to work with them to benefit the Steve King Foundation. Everything they do for drivers and their families when someone in this sport gets hurt, the entire King family goes above and beyond,” commented Herrera. 

Johnny Herrera is known as Mr. Hollywood. This is Johnny Herrera 9th time to compete at the Tulsa Expo Raceway. He began his racing career in 1985 in Albuquerque.  In 1986 Johnny was named World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year.  In 1991 he was named World of Outlaws “Most Improved Driver”, he continued to run with the World of Outlaws off and on while he ran other series.  He ran a total of 13 years full time with the World of Outlaws.  In 1995, Johnny won the sprint car championship at Knoxville Raceway.  Johnny won the 1996 King’s Royal race with a collapsed top wing, where he won the $50,000 winner’s purse by leading all 30 laps.  In 2002 & 2003 Johnny drove the 2W for former NASCAR crew chief Billy Wilburn and won the first night out in the car during a preliminary World of Outlaw race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. 

Johnny has driven in several different race series, in 2007 he drove the SCOA (a winged sprint car series based in Arizona) where he was the points champion.  He was also the Hollywood Hills Speedway non-winged class points champion that same year.  In 2011 Johnny joined the ASCS National Tour where he continued to run fulltime until the end of 2018. 

He has had over 140 victories in various forms of Sprint Car racing. 2019 season marks 35 years if racing for Johnny Herrera. Also in 2019, Johnny took a job as crew chief for Harli White.  He will compete in 15-20 races throughout 2019 including the Chili Bowl Nationals.

For more information on Johnny Herrera Racing can be found at

More information on the Steve King Foundation can be found at