How to make a fire for a barbecue

Barbecue Fire

How 2 make a fire for a barbecue

Having the rite ingredients to make a fire is very important,  it is very easy for anybody just to light a fire, and hope it will survive, unfortunately most of these people soon find that they are wasting precious time on trying to make a fire, while they could relax, and enjoy the barbecue.

It should be fun and enjoyable. If you are one of the people that goes “…aagghhh…” when it is barbecue time, then you are reading the correct article.

There are two items commonly used to make a barbecue fire, and it totally depends on personal preference witch one you would like most. After using both of these at least 5 times,  you will pretty much have an idea of witch one you would like to use in the future.  I’m going to start with the one that i like the least, but is comfortable with as I have made hundreds of successful fires with it.


To make a fire out of wood, may seem simple, and yet it is simple, but it can give you gray hair and a hate to barbecue if it is not used correctly.

I find that the best wood to use for a barbecue is Red Oak, because of its density, it is very heavy and last much longer while burning, so you will have enough time to finish the barbecue, and be able to roast practically everything that is passed at you behind the  fire. If you can’t find Red Oak, normal Oak will work just fine, you might just have to rush your barbecue to make sure you get everything done on time.

Ok, now how to make a fire with Wood

You might want to consider using firelighters as the fuel to start the fire, this is the most effective, and last much longer than paper.

First break of about four pieces of almost equal in size from the firelighter, and place them in a rectangular form in the middle of your barbecue machine.

firelightersNow out of the wood that you have, choose the two biggest pieces and place them on the left and the right side of the firelighters.

Wood next to firelighters

At this point, while there is still some space, you can use a lighter or matches to light the firelighters.

After all four of them are burning, you can start to put the wood on top of the other in almost the same shape as the # sign. Depending on the size of the wood, you can stack them in columns of three. In the image below, the lower black, brown and gray on top represent the wood.

stacked woodAs your fire progress you can choose to put more wood on the now already burning fire, to make sure you have enough coals for the barbecue. While there is still enough flames, place your roster on top of the flames, to burn it clean, and also kills all the germs that might be on it, while it is still hot you can rub onto the roster with some old newspaper to remove any dirt that might still be on it. As soon as all the wood starts to break into coals, and the flames calm down,  spread the coals flat to ensure a larger and even heat surface, now it is time to barbecue the meat.

Charcoal or Briquettes

Charcoal and briquettes is almost the same thing, the only difference is how they are produced, I prefer charcoal, as it allows for more heat, and also last longer. If you can’t find charcoal, briquettes will do just fine, but try not to buy briquettes that have been treated with any type of fluid, because this will cause an awful taste in your meat.

Both works on the same principle when it comes to making your fire.

First what you would do is place some firelighters in the same way that you would do with the wood.

firelightersLight up your firelighters, and then gently place charcoal on top and in between the firelighters with either your hand or an old barbecue pliers. when the firelighters is nicely covered, you can pour more charcoal over the the rest with the bag. when this is done, you can place up to four more pieces of firelighters on top of the charcoal in any place you like, light it up and cover it with some pieces of charcoal. Make sure that all the pieces of firelighters are still burning, if they are then you can leave the fire and it will continue to burn on its own. Make sure to return every 10 minutes to make sure that everything is still doing what it is supposed to do.

If your coals is turning into red hot balls covered in a grayish ash, without flames, you are now almost ready to start the barbecue. Spread your coals wide open and flatten them to make for a larger grilling area. You can now start to grill your meat.

Author: Johan Bosman

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  1. It is my pleasure. Thank you for your comment.

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