How To Put A Charcoal Grill Out? Safe And Effective Ways

How to Put a Charcoal Grill Out? After using it, there isn’t a switch to turn off the charcoal grill. The coals are scorching after you use them. They can take up to two days, approximately 48 hours, to completely cool off before you can dispose of them. So how to put a charcoal grill off?

Even if you leave the coals to cool completely for a few hours, they’re still too hot to touch. There are a few tricks to speed up the cooling process, but you must carefully handle them. The biggest mistake you can make is to leave them unattended to cool off. It can lead to starting a fire. Even when you’re throwing the coals, make sure that the dustbin is non-combustible so that it doesn’t catch fire.

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Why do you need to put out the charcoal grill?

Following are the reasons that make putting the charcoal grill out necessary.

  • When you’re done grilling on your coals, it doesn’t mean that you’re done with the charcoal grill. There may still be some charcoal lumps present between the ashes that are still lit. Those charcoal lumps will keep burning until you put them out yourself purposely.

  • Even if you leave your charcoal grill as it is for many hours and if it is not put out on purpose, it’ll still cause burn risk for kids and pets. Someone else might think that the coals are cold and may touch them. There are even chances that your pet may knock them over and spill charcoal everywhere. Even a few lit coals can start a serious fire if they fall on the grass, and they can even cause harm to your property. Kids might touch them accidentally, which can result in severe burns.

  • When the charcoal grill is burning, carbon monoxide is produced in the air, a very toxic gas for humans or any living species. Even though one charcoal grill cannot produce enough carbon monoxide gas, you shouldn’t leave it on after using it.

  • We all know that we can quickly start a fire even if the slightest air is provided to hot coals. So if we leave our charcoal grill without putting it out, the scorching coals can quickly start a fire with a strong blow-off wind.

  • It is pretty evident that it will keep burning if you don’t put out the charcoal grill. It means that the coals will be burnt entirely, and you won’t be able to use them for your next barbeque. In short, you’ll be wasting combustion fuel in the most non-eco-friendly way possible.

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Things you need to put out the charcoal grill

You need to put out a few basic things on a charcoal grill. These supplies are readily available in any household.

  • Heat resistant gloves or silicone gloves
  • Metal spoon
  • A bucket of water
  • Aluminum foil
  • Grill tongs or fire tongs
  • Grill brush

Cool old coals

If you want to reduce the possibility of accidentally starting a fire, you must extinguish old coals and ash. Here are a few methods with which you can extinguish old charcoal.

  • You can close the lid of your grill, close all the vents and leave it as it is for 48 hours so that the coals can completely cool by themselves.

  • You can also pour water on them or completely drown them in water. After that, coals will start squirting, and the coals will quickly cool down, and the chance of their reignition will lower to a greater extent.

  • You can also spray some water instead of drowning the coals in water to cool them. You should do this step before closing the lid of the grill.

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Dispose of old coals

Once you are done using the charcoal grill and cooling down the coals, they are ready to be disposed of. Ensure that the ashes and coals are cool to touch. We suggest wrapping them in aluminum foil before throwing them into a non-combustible or trash can. Make sure there is no plastic in between the ashes or not even a single piece of hot embers because then there will be a risk of ignition.

However, if the coals are not entirely used and burnt, you may give them another chance. To reuse the coals, don’t cool them down by drowning them in water. Instead of doing this, you can do the earlier step of spraying a little water on the coals to stop the burning process. Once the coals are completely cool, allow them to dry and then store them for another time.

Ways of Putting Out a Charcoal Grill

There are possibly two ways of putting out a charcoal grill. You can wait for them to cool by themselves, or you can do it yourself to make the cooling process quick. However, both methods are entirely accurate and depend upon personal preference.

Method 1

The first method is to let the coals cool down with patience. Give your coals some time to let them cool down by themselves. If you’re using a large number of coals, it will take much longer than 48 hours for them to cool down by themselves. However, you can make this process quick by another method.

Method 2

If you are a “get it done quickly” type of person and you can’t wait for several days for your charcoal grill to cool down, this method is just the best for you! It is a simple method and will make the cooling process about 10 to 15 minutes long.

  • When you are done using your grill, close all the vents and lid of the charcoal grill. This step will cause the flames to lower down. Make sure you close all the vents. Or else, instead of waiting for them to cool down, you can take out the charcoal briquettes to soak them. Take some cold water in a bucket and then place the charcoal briquettes in it one after another. You can take out the old ash by using a metal spoon. After taking out the ash, place it into a metal container. After using your tongs, make sure that you place your hot tongs on a non-flammable surface, not burning the surface on which you place them.

  • Don’t forget to clean your grill! After taking out all the coals and ashes and then disposing of them, you can scoop out the smaller bits and pieces out of the grill. Take your grill brush, dip it in some water and start scrubbing off all the leftovers out of the charcoal grill.

  • You can also use soap to clean your charcoal grill. If it has been a long time since you last used your charcoal grill, you should go with the soap option. Thoroughly remove and scrape off all the remnants and gunk with the grill brush. After doing it once with the soap, rinse it thoroughly and remove all the soap. Water will help dissolve and loosen up the food debris building up in the charcoal grill. Ensure you clean all the surfaces around the vents because the debris can clog the ventilation sites during the next BBQ. In the last step, let it dry completely. Once the charcoal grill is completely dry, take the charcoal you saved for next time and put it back in the grill to use in the next grilling session.

How to save leftover charcoal?

As mentioned above, you can easily save the leftover charcoal that isn’t completely burnt. However, even if you close the lid and all the vents, there are still chances that the coals will continue to burn. You can also use whatever’s left, but saving all of them isn’t that difficult. We have another tip for you if you want to use them in the next charcoal grilling session.

Take a metal bucket and fill it up with cold water. Wear heat-resistant gloves and take your grill tongs for assistance. With the help of the tongs, take out a piece of charcoal and then dip that coal into the cold water for about sixty to seventy seconds.

After that, put the extinguished charcoal onto a non-combustible surface. Repeat this process with every charcoal left or those charcoals that you want to save. Then allow this charcoal to dry in the fresh air. After they are scorched, store them in a non-flammable container.

Working with hot charcoal briquettes is always stressful in terms of safety because there is a high risk that you might burn yourself. However, we have guided you on how to put a charcoal grill out in the best way possible. The method that requires the coals to cool down for 48 hours is the best way and the safest way also.

Another critical point to ensure that you hold a safe grilling session is to keep your children and pets away from charcoal grills and never try extinguishing your coals when they are still on fire. Now that we’ve thoroughly guided you, you can enjoy a safe barbecue session.


Pouring water on your charcoal grill is not the safest option because when you pour cold water on a hot charcoal grill, it may damage the material of the charcoal grill. It will cause cracks and holes to appear on the surface of your charcoal grill and will also give you a hard time cleaning up your charcoal grill afterward.

After you’re done using your charcoal grill and leave it as it is, it will go down after some time. The charcoal will keep on burning until it’s completely burnt, and then eventually, the charcoal grill will go out.

A charcoal grill can take up to 48 hours to cool down on its own entirely. The safest way is to dig them out when they’re entirely cool after two days. Taking them out earlier when they’re still hot can increase the risk of starting a serious fire.

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