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Putting out a charcoal BBQ after use can be intimidating, especially if you’re not sure of the best way to do it. But don’t worry. We’ve got all the information and tips you need for safely putting out your barbecue in no time. Whether it’s dousing the flames or disposing of ashes correctly, this guide will make sure that nothing goes wrong when you put out a charcoal bbq. So get ready to learn how to confidently tackle any situation while barbecuing with safety as your priority.

Table of Contents:

Safety First

When it comes to BBQs, safety should always be your number one priority. After all, you don’t want a small flame to turn into an out-of-control inferno. Here are some tips for safely putting out a charcoal BBQ:

Wear Protective Gloves

Before you even begin the process of extinguishing the flames, make sure that you have protective gloves on. This will help protect your hands from any sparks or embers that may fly up while putting out the fire.

Use a Fire Extinguisher

If available, using a fire extinguisher is often the safest and most effective way to put out a charcoal BBQ. Make sure that everyone in your group knows how to use it properly before attempting this method.

Always make sure to read the instructions of your charcoal BBQ carefully, and take all necessary safety precautions before you start cooking. Once you have done that, it’s time to learn how to properly douse the flames.

Dousing the Flames

grilling beef using charcoal bbq

When it comes to dousing flames, there are two main methods: water and sand. Both can be effective in smothering the fire, but one is better than the other.

Using Water – Water is a more common choice for putting out fires because it’s readily available and easy to use. To extinguish a flame with water, pour or spray it onto the burning material until the fire has been completely extinguished. Water works best on small fires that involve combustible materials such as paper or wood but not on electrical appliances or flammable liquids like gasoline.

Using Sand – Sand is an alternative option when dealing with larger fires that involve flammable liquids or electrical appliances since water could cause further damage in these cases. Sand should be poured directly onto the flames and left until all of them have been put out before removing any remaining sand from around the area where you were fighting the fire. This method takes longer than using water but will help ensure that no additional damage occurs due to contact between liquid fuel and electricity sources during your attempt at putting out a blaze.

Cleaning Up

Cleaning up after using a fire pit or fireplace can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right tools and techniques, you can make quick work of the mess and get back to enjoying your outdoor space in no time.

Brushing Off Excess Ash

The first step is to brush off any excess ash that may have accumulated on the surface of your fire pit or fireplace. A stiff-bristled broom works well for this task; make sure not to press too hard, as you don’t want to scratch the surface. You should also wear gloves while brushing off the ash, as it can irritate the skin if left on for too long.

Wiping Down Surfaces

Once all of the excess ash has been removed, use a damp cloth or sponge with mild soap and warm water to wipe down surfaces such as metal grates, stone walls, etc., paying special attention to areas where soot may have built up over time. If necessary, use an old toothbrush dipped in soapy water for those hard-to-reach places like between bricks or around rivets on metal grates. Rinse with clean water afterwards and allow everything to dry completely before putting away any cleaning supplies used during this process.

Vacuuming Ashes

After wiping down surfaces with soap and water, vacuum out any remaining ashes from inside your fire pit or fireplace using an appropriate shop vac (or similar). Be sure not only to remove all visible ashes but also those that are hidden deep within crevices – even small amounts of leftover ash can create smoke when lit again. When finished vacuuming out ashes, dispose of them properly by placing them into a sealed container outdoors away from flammable materials until ready for disposal at an approved location such as your local landfill site.

Finally, inspect your fire pit/fireplace area one last time before storing away any tools used during cleaning up – you don’t want anything getting left behind. Taking these steps will help ensure that you keep both yourself and others safe while enjoying fireside fun year-round.

Key Takeaway: Cleaning up after using a fire pit or fireplace doesn’t have to be difficult. Brush off excess ash, wipe down surfaces with mild soap and warm water, vacuum out ashes, and then inspect the area before storing tools away for safety.

FAQs in Relation to How to Put Out a Charcoal Bbq

Can I pour water on my charcoal grill?

charcoal bbq on fire

No, you should not pour water on your charcoal grill. Doing so can cause the fire to flare up and create a dangerous situation. Additionally, it will put out the coals, which could lead to uneven cooking temperatures or even food that is undercooked. It’s best to let the fire burn down naturally and use a metal brush or scraper to remove any excess ash before adding more fuel.

Should you let the charcoal burn out?

No, it is not recommended to let the charcoal burn out. Charcoal can be dangerous when left burning and can cause a fire hazard. It is best to extinguish the charcoal with water or sand before disposing of it in an appropriate container. To ensure safety, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the use and storage of charcoal products. Additionally, never leave burning charcoal unattended and always keep it away from flammable materials.

How long does charcoal take to burn out?

Charcoal typically takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour to burn out, depending on the size of the charcoal pieces and how much air is being supplied. The larger the pieces, the longer it will take for them to burn out completely. Additionally, if there is not enough air supply or ventilation, this can also increase the burning time. In general, charcoal should be fully burned out within an hour’s time.

Do you leave a charcoal grill open when done?

No, it is not recommended to leave a charcoal grill open when done. Charcoal grills should be extinguished and cooled down before being left unattended. This can be done by closing the lid of the grill and allowing all of the heat to escape through any vents or openings in the lid. Once cool, ash residue should also be removed from inside the grill using a brush or scraper for safety purposes. Finally, ensure all charcoal has been completely extinguished before leaving your grill unattended.


Putting out a charcoal bbq after use is an important part of the process that shouldn’t be overlooked. Safety should always come first, so make sure to douse the flames and dispose of any ashes before leaving them unattended. Finally, don’t forget to clean up your area afterwards – you don’t want any surprises when you go back for your next cookout. So remember: put out a charcoal bbq properly every time for safe and successful barbecuing experiences.

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