How to Properly Shut Down a Grill

Summer might be halfway over, but I’m determined to make this the season I finally invest in a grill for my backyard. After chatting with plenty of pitmasters, barbecue enthusiasts, and professional chefs, it seems like a charcoal grill is the way to go. (While I love the ease that a gas grill offers, you just can’t replicate that charred goodness a charcoal model can bring.) Still, I do have some hesitations about officially jumping on the charcoal bandwagon. How will I master that perfect char? Trial and error, I suppose. What about creating two cook zones? Looks like I’ll need to be strategic about where I place my coals. And what about putting out my charcoal grill? Oh, right. Though it might seem like a small step to wrap up your grill session, it matters.

“When cooking with fire, it’s very important that we’re responsible for the fire from the moment we start it until it’s fully extinguished,” explains Christie Vanover, pitmaster and owner of Girls Can Grill. “If not, we run the risk of catching something nearby on fire.”