King of the Grill apron

Grill Master. King of the Grill. Chief Griller in Charge. Dad is all of these and more when it’s comes to grilling up the most delicious feasts. And as much as he makes it all seem so easy, how does he do it? The answer: it’s all about the technique.

Here are some insider tips on getting the charcoal grill primed and ready for a magnificent Father’s Day BBQ. Plus, we’ve included some of our favorite recipes, too.

The Charcoal vs. Gas Debate

Most grill masters will tell you that charcoal is always the way to go. The smoky, rich flavors that the charcoals produce add a robust taste that simply can’t be matched through any other cooking vessel.

However, beginner grillers tend to feel a bit intimidated by charcoals because they’re not sure how to heat them up. Fear not! With the right approach, you can get those charcoals ready in no time – and your taste buds will certainly thank you.

Choosing Your Charcoal

First off, it’s essential to choose the right charcoal. Contrary to popular belief, all charcoal are not created equal and choosing the best ones can make a huge difference in capturing the tastiest flavors.

Many tend to gravitate towards the “instant” light charcoal briquettes. Steer clear of this at all costs. These are typically doused in lighter fluid, and as much as they do light right away, they tend to leave somewhat of an odd taste on your meats.

If you’re looking to get the most authentic flavor from your grilling experience, hardwood lump coals are easily your best bet. They have the appearance of charred wood chips and you can get them in hickory and mesquite for added flavor. Plus, sometimes they’re even cheaper than briquettes.

personalized cutting board and spatulaHeating the Coals to Perfection

Once you’ve chosen your coals, it’s time to heat them up. There are few different methods you can use to do so, but if you’re looking for the most effective way, go with a chimney starter. You can find one at your local hardware store for around $20.

These cylindrical metal containers, with a grate on the bottom, and a handle, will get those coals hot and ready in about 15 minutes. And you won’t have to use a single drop of lighter fluid. (Always be sure to take the necessary precautions as mentioned in the instruction manual when lighting and transferring the coals to the grill.)

After the coals turn ashen white, perhaps with a slight red glow, they’re ready to place on the grill.  Lay them down flat and even throughout the entire grill. If you want to control the temperature, open up the holes at the top and bottom to let more air flow in.  The larger the opening, the hotter it will get.

Tasty Recipes

With all of this talk about firing up the grill, it’s time to bring on the recipes! Here are some of our top choices for this Father’s Day.

Video: Five Spice Grilled Chicken 

Recipe from Southern Living: Bacon-Wrapped BBQ Burgers 

Recipe from Food Network: Sweet Cola Ribs 

Taste of Home Recipe: Grilled Salmon Fillet