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How to Put Out Your Charcoal Grill (Without a Lid)

How to Put Out Your Charcoal Grill (Without a Lid)

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Cooking food out on the grill is something that a lot of people love to do. It’s an especially appealing way to make dinner when the weather is nice during the spring and summer months.

You might like cooking burgers and hot dogs, but you can make many other things as well. It’s easy to cook veggies on the grill and you can truly have a remarkable meal if you’re willing to put in the effort.

Using a charcoal grill is going to give you a really nice flavor overall. It’s also fantastic that they aren’t that expensive when you get down to it.

If you have an older charcoal grill, then there’s a chance that you might not have a lid for it any longer. This is unfortunate since it can make putting out the fire a bit more problematic.

How can you put out a charcoal grill without a lid anyway? Keep reading to learn more about what options you have when you find yourself in this situation.

Simply Allow the Coals to Burn Out

One of the easiest ways to put out a charcoal grill that doesn’t have a lid is to simply allow the coals to burn out. This might be less than ideal for a few reasons, though.

You aren’t going to want to leave an open grill unattended when the charcoal is still hot and possibly even burning. If something goes wrong, it could wind up starting a fire.

It might be wise to place the grill somewhere that you think is as safe as possible. You want the grill to be away from the grass, plants, and any tree limbs that it might be able to catch on fire.

Even if it seems unlikely that a hot piece of charcoal could start a fire, it’s going to be wise to err on the side of caution. You should never take risks when you’re dealing with fire-related topics.

To allow the coals to burn out, you’re going to need to open the vents on the charcoal grill. Keep them fully open so that the coals will be able to burn out successfully.

You want to allow the coals to burn down until they are nothing but ash. While you’re letting this process play out, it’s going to be wise to keep your kids away from the area.

It would be horrible for one of your kids to touch a hot grill and get hurt. You should also keep pets away just to be safe.

Once the charcoal has burned out and nothing but ash is left, you’ll be able to start cleaning up the grill as normal. Most people would agree that this is the safest method for putting out a charcoal grill so long as you’re paying attention.

However, it is a bit time-consuming and you’re going to need to pay attention to the grill the entire time to keep things safe. You won’t run the risk of damaging your grill if you do things this way, though.

Take the Charcoal Out and Smother it Somewhere Safe

Another option to consider involves taking the charcoal out of the grill. This might seem kind of crazy at first, and it certainly isn’t a very safe option when compared to just allowing the charcoal to burn out naturally.

This idea is about trying to carefully remove the charcoal from the grill so that you can smother it elsewhere. The best thing to do is probably going to be to place it in a metal trash can that has a lid.

How are you going to remove the charcoal from the grill without burning yourself? Well, very carefully or else you’re going to have a bad time.

To get this done you’re going to need to have a metal shovel or some type of handheld gardening shovel that is made out of metal. It’ll be easier to use a metal shovel that is full-sized in some ways because you’ll be able to carry more charcoal at once.

However, some grills are a bit tiny and you might not be able to get a good angle to scoop the charcoal up using a large metal shovel. In some cases, using a handheld gardening shovel is going to be more practical.

It’s also absolutely necessary to use heatproof gloves of some sort to protect your hands. The charcoal is going to be hot and you don’t want to take any unnecessary risks while doing this.

Heatproof barbecue gloves should do the trick nicely. They don’t cost that much cash and many people use them when they’re grilling just so that they won’t have to worry about burning their hands if they make a careless mistake.

When you’re ready, remove the grates and any other things that are in the way of you being able to access the coals. Wear the gloves while doing this since the grill is still hot.

Now grab your shovel and start shoveling the coals into a metal trash can. Once all of the coals are safely in the trash can, you’ll be able to put the lid on it.

This will put the coals out eventually since the fire needs oxygen to keep going. Putting the lid on the trash can cuts off the oxygen so that you won’t have to worry.

The downside to this is that the coals won’t go out right away. It’s going to take some time for this to finish up and you’re going to need to find a safe location for the trashcan.

It’s possible that it could take up to two days for the coals to be completely extinguished. If the trash can isn’t heavy enough, then it could become a fire hazard if it tips over while you’re not around.

The trashcan needs to be high quality so that it can withstand the heat as well. An inexpensive low-quality trashcan might not work for this method.

You want to place the trashcan on a flat surface while ensuring that it isn’t surrounded by anything that will catch on fire. If all goes well, the trashcan will stay in place until the coals completely burn out.

Remove the Coals and Extinguish Them Using Water

The final big option to think about will be the most dangerous one yet in many ways. You could argue that it is less dangerous than keeping the coals in a trash can for a few days, though.

To put out the charcoal grill, you’re going to be removing the coals from the grill once more. The difference this time is that you’re going to be extinguishing them somewhere else using a water source.

There are a few different ways that you can do this, but the easiest is likely going to be to just use a bucket of water. You want the bucket to be made of metal just to be safe.

So, you’ll need the heatproof barbecue gloves for protection, a metal shovel of some sort, a sturdy metal bucket, and access to a hose. If you have all of these things, you’re good to go.

Once again, you need to remove the grates and anything else that is preventing you from reaching the coals. Keep the gloves on while touching the grill so that you don’t burn yourself.

Grab your shovel and place the coals in the metal bucket. While still wearing the gloves, you’re going to move the bucket to an area where you can attempt to extinguish the coals.

A good place to place the bucket might be in the middle of a sandpit or on a cement slab that is far enough away from your house and your garage. When the bucket is in place, you can start using the hose to fill the bucket with water.

The water will extinguish the coals, but this process can create hot steam if you aren’t careful. You should avoid putting your face or body anywhere close to the bucket.

It might be safest to stand a bit away from the bucket and fill it with water from a distance. If this isn’t possible, then at least try to keep your face away from the bucket while you continue to wear the heatproof barbecue gloves.

Some people like to slowly spray the coals using some type of water sprayer. It’s a bit safer to do things slowly like this, but it’s going to take much more time to accomplish.

You could try to use a slow misting setting on your hose to do this. Either way should be fine so long as you’re being very careful.

Just keep adding water to the bucket until the coals are completely extinguished.

You Could Buy a Lid for the Charcoal Grill

Did you know that losing your original charcoal grill lid doesn’t mean that you have to go without a lid forever? It’s actually possible to just go out and buy a charcoal grill lid that you can put on the grill right now.

It’s pretty easy to buy grill lids online and you can probably find them at various department stores and hardware stores as well. Try looking for grill lids anywhere that sells grills and grill accessories.

A replacement lid will be a good way to fix your charcoal grill, but you might have a hard time finding the exact right thing that you need in some cases. You can try going to the website of the manufacturer of your grill to see if you can order what you need.

You’ll often find that these companies will sell replacement parts for their grills. It might not even be necessary to try to buy a completely new lid because you might just need to repair your old lid.

For example, you could need a replacement handle so that you can actually use the lid properly. Whatever the case is, it’ll be good to look into whether you can replace the lid for the charcoal grill so that you can start putting the grill out very easily using standard methods.

Upgrade to a New Grill

Have you thought about just buying a brand new charcoal grill? Depending on how expensive your grill is, it might be a better idea to just buy a new grill than it would be to look for replacement parts.

If you have been using a common inexpensive grill, you could easily just buy a new one without spending much money at all. Many good grills can be purchased for under $100, and this means that you don’t have to be well off to make buying a new grill a reasonable option.

The convenience of having a lid is going to make putting out the charcoal grill that much better. Also, you might want to close the lid sometimes when you’re trying to grill certain things.

You might even be interested in upgrading to a much fancier grill than the one you have now. When you spend a lot of time grilling outside, it makes sense to have a grill that you really enjoy using.

Buying a new grill might be a worthy investment, but it’s really up to you to decide whether that’s a good choice or not. If you’d rather stick with what you have for right now, then you could always just use the methods that have been outlined above when you need to put the charcoal grill out.

Final Thoughts

Being able to put out a charcoal grill without a lid involves using certain techniques. Now that you know what you’re doing, it should be a lot easier to put the coals out.

You always want to try to do your best to do things safely. Ensure that you have gloves to protect yourself and try to approach putting the coals out cautiously every single time.

It would not be good to act carelessly and wind up getting seriously burned. Starting a fire could also be catastrophic.

So long as you’re using your head and following the advice above, you’re going to have an easy time getting things right. If it seems like too much of a hassle, you can always try to buy a new grill lid that fits your grill or you can buy a new grill entirely.


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