Depending on the wood your using or the way you started the fire or even the size of the grill is self, there could be many reasons why your grill is smoking. In this artic;e you will find out why your grill is smoking and how to prevent it from happening. Let’s dive in
Of course, since you’re closing the lid of your grill and allowing the heat to gather inside, smoke is guaranteed to come out due to the burning fats and oil dripping from the meats onto the coals.
White smoke means good: it means that your food is grilling as it should be, and you as well as your guests will be having a great, barbequed lunch. However, the problem is when the smoke that comes out is colored black.
Black smoke means bad– it means that there may be flare- ups currently happening inside your grill (and potentially burning your food, turning your food black even, if you haven’t moved it away yet), or that your grill might be in need of some readjustment.
What causes all this black smoke to come out?
There are many factors that come into play here, and most (if not all!) are issues that can be easily resolved by taking a few cautionary (but necessary) steps. Some of the reasons black smoke might be coming out of your charcoal grill are:
- It’s your first time using this charcoal grill:
When a grill is brand new, it is prone to producing some smoke, so don’t worry too much about it! Especially from in between the lid and bowl, brand new grills are expected to let out smoke since the mentioned areas don’t form a tight seal.
- Your thermometer is not tight enough:
Whether your grill is brand new or already used, sometimes smoke escapes from the openings of the thermometer.
- You have placed too much food on top of your grill grates:
By placing too many items on top of your grill grates at once, you’re over- crowding it and it would be too much for the grill to handle, thus releasing smoke.
- There is burnt food/ leftovers on top of where you’re grilling:
Maybe you didn’t notice it, or maybe you simply left it to be burnt off by new fire you put up, but leftover dried food and excess grease do happen lead to a smoking grill.
- There are too many liquids on top of your grill grates:
Whether already dry from a previous time, or wet from the current grilling session, too much fats, oil, and grease lead to smoking and flare- ups (which can be hazardous).
- Your food is burning:
If you’ve left your food unattended for a long time under a closed lid without checking on it every now and then, chances are your food might have already burnt because of being left alone for too long, or maybe because of flare- ups.
- You’re using quick- start charcoals:
Using quick- start charcoals, like briquettes, can be messy and burn not as hot but twice as fast- which is why many make the mistake of using them.
How can I stop your grill from smoking to much
As we mentioned, a smoking grill is not an ordeal that is unheard of- we’ve all dealt with this pesky issue once or twice before in our lives. Since we’ve given you the reasons that are most likely behind the sudden smoking, you might have noticed a pattern: many of the issues mentioned are things that are under your control. So, let’s talk about the preventions, shall we?
- Give your grill some time:
This specially refers to those with brand new grills; since the closure of the lid and bowl don’t form a perfect tight seal as we mentioned before, smoke does escape through it. However, this is something that is not quite under your control like other issues because this one fixes by its’ own: over time and over use, carbon will form its own natural seal for the lid- and- bowl problem, and smoking from in- between that area will be something that happens only seldom.
- Adjust your thermometer, and/ or any sort of loose part on your grill:
For grill beginners and long- time users: this one’s for you! Sometimes, upon being bought, you will find that smoke is sneaking out through a gap in the thermometer of your grill. This can easily be fixed when you tighten it as tight as possible. Same goes to any other part of your grill that is loose and you might be noticing smoke coming out of.
If you’re still doubtful of your work tightening it, don’t be! Much like the lid- and- bowl ordeal, carbon will also form around the thermometer to form a tight seal.
- Don’t overcrowd your grill grates:
I know the temptation to finish the grilling and sit down with your guests to enjoy your time might be hard to resist- but for the sake of your grill: you’ve got to do it. Over- crowding your grill with all meats at once will lead to excess smoking, which is not an enjoyable taste when it exceeds the smokiness it should have. Also, your food might not cook as quick and as well as it could if the meats were placed sparsely, since they’d be put close together to fit more onto the grills.
- Wipe down your grill before working with it:
Even if you cleaned your grill right after using it the last time, or you just gave it a thorough cleaning last week: go over where you’ll be cooking and wipe it clean for any dust; also go over it with a grill brush to get rid of any residues you might have missed, like a pesky spot of dried grease, or a sauce that refused to go away no matter how hard you scrubbed. Leaving them to burn off might lead to excess smoking, which could hurt the flavor of your food, and grease can lead to flare- ups, which can burn your food.
- Don’t put too many liquids:
If you’ve just cleaned your grill, take a quick look over it to make sure all spots are completely dry (if you find a wet spot anywhere, simply dry it well with a towel or tissue before resuming your work).
We know that fats give the meat a great taste, but you know what fats can also cause? Excess smoking, which damages the amount of smokiness you were going for. You’re going to have to go a little easier on the oiling and cut down on some of the fat from now on to make sure that your grill and coals aren’t overwhelmed by the amount of liquids dripping onto them.
- Don’t leave your food alone for too long:
Since you’re closing the lid of your grill to let it do its work on the food, you might forget about it, or feel unsure as to how long it would take for the meat to cook through without having to constantly open the lid to check on it.
We suggest you invest in a thermometer to check the temperature inside the meat; or, keep your eye on it every now and then, as tedious as it can be, to make sure there are no flare- ups happening or burning your food.
Remember to move your food away from direct heat if the heat is too strong or flare- ups are happening, and lower the temperature if possible (closing the vents will also lower the temperature inside your grill).
- Invest in some good charcoal to use:
- Hand selected Large Chunks of Hardwood Lump Charcoal
- Delicious Hardwood Smoked Flavor
- Lights quickly and burns hotter and longer
- Restaurant Quality
As mentioned, quick- start coals do get their job done: they start quick. But they also burn faster, not as hot, and can be messy to deal with. We recommend using coals like lump charcoal and other of the like, seeing as they are known to burn hotter and be cleaner.
Another tip regarding the coals is that you should make sure they are fully lit before you start piling up the food on top, since charcoals tend to smoke a lot when they are lighting up and warming up. Once they are completely lit (you can know that the coals are hot and running by placing your hand above the grill; 6 seconds: the coals are at low heat- 2 seconds: they are at high heat), there shouldn’t be any smoke coming directly from them, except for when the drippings hit the coals and cause minor and/ or major flare- ups.