How to keep the embers of a barbecue

If lighting a barbecue and getting the embers for some people is complicated, it is even more difficult for many to keep the embers. But with the tricks and tips that we are going to explain, you will not have many problems to know how to keep the embers of a barbecue. Keep reading and leave your friends and family at the next BBQ!


    Why is it so important to know how to keep the embers?

    Unless you plan to cook some food that takes very little time to be ready, it is very important to know how to keep the embers on a barbecue.

    Think that, as time goes by, the coals are consumed and extinguished . When you go to prepare the next batch of food, you may no longer have embers to work with. Therefore, you need to know how to handle them correctly.

    Types of fuel

    As you know, in traditional barbecues there are two types of fuels to get embers:

    • Carbon

    It is the most used, because of its calorific value and because it generates very good embers. In addition, it takes longer to consume than wood, so it is always a better choice than betting on firewood.

    • Firewood

    On the other hand, firewood is always good for cooking a good barbecue. In addition, having so many types of wood in the market, you can get very good results when cooking.

    How to keep the embers on a charcoal barbecue

    First of all, there is the charcoal barbecue. Is it easy to keep the embers? Yes or no. It all depends on how much you are interested in these and in the way you want to cook.

    Remove the embers well

    When you are cooking, depending on how the embers are located, they will be stronger or weaker. By being separated, they can be turned off quickly, but offer indirect cooking. On the other hand, if they are close together, they will last longer , but they will be too hot and you will have to be very aware of the food. What can you do?

    Add more coal at the right time

    If you do not want to stay hanging in the middle of preparing one of your dishes, you will have to add charcoal at the right time . What will that be? Well, at the moment when the first batch of coal has already turned into embers .

    That will be the signal for you to add more coal. While this is being consumed, you can prepare some foods without worrying too much. Of course, do not ech a lot, or you will end up eliminating the oxygen that is in the embers , which would cause as a consequence that they go out. If you put it in the corners, it will be better for your dishes.

    Combines with wood

    Another solution would be to add some wooden trunks or twigs to get some more life in the embers at the same time you add the charcoal. In this way, you will get it to become embers before.

    Does it hit? That if you simply use firewood it takes a little longer to burn, and you'll have to be sure that it integrates well with the embers so it does not spoil the fire.

    How to keep the embers on a wood barbecue

    This part can be very simple, or very complicated. Everything depends on the time you want to devote to watching the embers so that they are not consumed.

    More firewood does not mean more embers

    Do not go wrong when you start your barbecue. That you put a lot of wood does not mean that you are going to have more embers and that these turn out to be better.

    On the contrary, you will prevent the fire from igniting. And in the case of lighting, this would take too long to become embers so you can cook.

    The time to add the firewood is ...

    Remember that when you want to add wood to the coals of your barbecue this has to be very dry. Just have the first coals ready, add a little , but only a little, of wood to give something more life to the fire.

    So, as this wood is consumed, the embers are gaining some power . You can set aside some embers on the side, put twigs of firewood there and let them go.

    The great advantage of this is that it is at this time that you can combine the wood you use with another type. This way you will achieve that every dish you cook has a very special flavor.

    Homemade tricks to keep the coals of a barbecue

    Would you like to know some tricks to get the most out of the embers of your barbecue? Well, write down these, because they will be very useful for you.


    First of all we are going to talk about the use of oil. An ingredient that is used in the preparation of all kinds of delicacies, and that to maintain the embers is a great ally .

    You know why? Well because it is an accelerant. Since the wood takes a long time to burn, when you want to keep the coals of your barbecue, and in the process get some extras , you can use it.

    You just have to sprinkle the firewood that you are going to barbecue with oil, which can be olive oil, and throw it on the barbecue. In a few minutes you will see how it burns and it will not take long to become fantastic embers.


    How can French fries help you keep your embers? Well it's no joke, they work as well as if you were using the oil.

    The reason is that bag fries are a great accelerator. In fact, its capacity is greater than that of an ignition pill for barbecues , and when you see that the embers are turning off, they can be very useful.

    Put a little pile in a corner and you will see how in a short time you get a fabulous flame with the embers to work. Ideal for those logs of firewood or coal that costs so much to burn.


    The pineapple, which is usually used to light the barbecue , can also be used to keep the embers in any type of barbecue.

    Unlike other elements used for barbecue, such as pills or liquid fuel, it takes a long time to be consumed, so it will ensure a good fire throughout the cooking process.

    When you notice that you are consuming the ones that are together with the embers, then add a couple more together with the charcoal or firewood. In this way, the embers of your barbecue will not go out and you can cook everything you had in mind.


    If you know someone who usually does barbecues, he will have told you to be careful with salt. Especially because it causes food to sweat and release water that can be turned into fats.

    It's true, but thanks to salt you can also control the embers and flames in your barbecue . When you will see that the fire is too strong, and you do not want to lose embers, add a little salt to the food. This will sweat and reduce the flame a little.

    Other tips so that the coals of the barbecue last longer

    Do not you have enough with all the tricks that have already been mentioned? Okay, here are some tips that will help you:

    • Do not use spark plugs or fuel . The first ones will not help you much so that the embers last longer and the second will only wet everything inside the barbecue and will cause more flame, but will not keep the embers burning longer.
    • It is very important that the wood is well dried before pouring it into the embers that are already on the barbecue. Only that it is a little wet can ruin the ones you already have lit. So be careful.
    • Once the embers are lit, do not use newspaper again to light the wood or charcoal you are going to use later. It is not necessary, since, if the embers are well lit, it will be enough if you add them to burn .
    • If you need to add something to keep the embers, the pineapples are better. Although smearing the wood with oil may sound perfect, you could burn yourself without realizing how quickly you burn the wood. Be very careful.
    • The situation of the barbecue will also play a fundamental role in what the embers will last. Avoid being in a windy area . Better one in which the sun shines. For safety, remember that there should be no plant material nearby, since embers, especially coal, tend to jump when they are heating. You do not want to start a fire by accident.
    • Do not be fooled. Some embers obtained with ignition pads or combustible liquid do not last longer . In fact, they will last longer if you use some pineapples or some fried potatoes, since they take much longer to consume. In addition, they are much healthier than using any of these materials.
    • Limit the use of salt. It is true that it will help you control the level of the flame, which will allow you to regulate the power of the fire. But the fat that will release the meat or the water of the vegetables, will cause that a lot of smoke forms when dripping in the embers. It must be your last resort.

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