How to cook on a charcoal barbecue

The fool-proof way to cook on a charcoal barbecue

How to cook on a charcoal barbecue
  • About 30 minutes before you want to cook, remove the lid and cooking rack and open the vents in the base. Tip charcoal onto the bottom grate in an even layer. Space out 3-4 firelighters on top.


  • Using a long safety match, light the firelighters, then use tongs to pile the charcoal over the lit firelighters to light all of the coals. Leave to burn for 20-30 minutes.


  • The coals are ready when they have a light coating of grey ash with a red glow beneath (see picture, below). Its a good idea to arrange the coals slightly to one side, so there are different temperature cooking zones. Return the cooking rack.


  • Control the cooking temperature by moving the food or rack nearer/further away from the coals. You can also control the temperature using the vents in the base: keep them fully open for very hot coals or close them bit by bit for a less full-on heat.

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