Icon of coals in a grill from above (dots in a circle)
Icon image of snake method - coals from above in a partial ring
Icon image of low and slow method with just a few lit coals in the center of the grill.

If you want to start cooking quickly for a high-temperature then you want all your coals to be lit as fast as possible and you want to feed them with as much air as possible. To achieve this, we suggest lighting 3-4 spots of your coal and making sure the air-vents are fully open.

TIP: Start by lighting the rear portion of your grill and make your way to the front. This way you don’t have to reach over the burning coals.

WHAT’S IT FOR? This is ideal for high temperature grilling, like hamburgers and steaks.

Picture of about 7 burgers with lettuce and cheese
Image of meat being smoked over coals
For Grilling and Barbequing

SNAKE METHOD: To cook at a low temperature, you can either control the air-flow or the amount of coal you have burning. Unless you have a high-end grill like Big Green Egg with then controlling the amount of coal that is burning is an easier way to keep the temperature down. With the Snake Method, you set up your coals around the perimeter of the grill and light the end. The burning coals will slowly move from one end to the other, keeping your fire going for a long time at a lower temperature. If you want to add extra smoke flavor to your cooking then you can always add wood chunks to the coal.

TIP: You can experiment with lighting either end of the ‘snake’ for a slightly higher temperature.

WHAT’S IT FOR? This is ideal for ‘low-n-slow’ recipes like pulled pork, bbq ribs, chillie, roast lamb, and beef brisket.

Lighting a single spot at the center of your coal is another way of starting your grill for a low temperature cook. With this method, you light about 2”-3” of coal and then let the coals slowly burn from the center to the outside. It is still important to control the amount of oxygen that you are feeding the fire. Too much air-flow might cause the coals to burn faster than you would like and your temperature to go higher than you intend.

TIP: We prefer lighting a smaller amount to start. You can always choose to light more or add oxygen if you want a higher temperature but it’s hard to go the other way around.

WHAT’S IT FOR? This is ideal for ‘low-n-slow’ recipes like pulled pork, bbq ribs, chillie, roast lamb, and beef brisket. The set-up is easier than the snake method but you have a little less control of your temperature over time.

Image of raw meat on a plate being sprinkled with salt