Houtskool barbecues

Houtskool barbecues: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Using, and Maintaining Your Charcoal Grill

We are excited to bring you the comprehensive guide to houtskool barbecues. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about this classic method of grilling, from choosing the right houtskool to cleaning and maintenance. We will also share some delicious recipes and tips to help you get the most out of your charcoal grill.

Section 1: What is a houtskool barbecue?

Houtskool barbecues, also known as charcoal grills, are a popular way to cook food outdoors. They use charcoal as the fuel source, which is lit and then used to heat the grill grates. Charcoal grills come in various sizes, shapes, and styles, from small portable models to large, heavy-duty units.

Section 2: Choosing the Right Houtskool

Choosing the right houtskool is essential for achieving the perfect flavor and temperature for your food. There are two main types of houtskool: briquettes and lump charcoal.

Briquettes are made from compressed charcoal dust and other fillers, which makes them burn more slowly and evenly than lump charcoal. They are also cheaper and easier to find in most stores. Lump charcoal, on the other hand, is made from natural wood, which gives it a more distinct flavor and burns hotter than briquettes.

When choosing houtskool, look for high-quality brands that are free from additives and chemicals. Also, consider the size of your grill and the amount of food you will be cooking. Generally, a 20-pound bag of houtskool should be enough for several grilling sessions.

Section 3: Preparing and Lighting Your Charcoal Grill

Before lighting your houtskool, make sure the grill grates are clean and free from debris. This will help prevent flare-ups and ensure even cooking. You can clean the grates using a wire brush or crumpled aluminum foil.

To light your houtskool, you can use several methods, including a chimney starter, electric starter, or lighter fluid. A chimney starter is the safest and most effective way to light your houtskool. Simply fill the chimney with houtskool, place a crumpled piece of newspaper or lighter cube in the bottom, and light it. The houtskool will be ready in 15-20 minutes when the coals are glowing orange.

Section 4: Cooking on Your Charcoal Grill

Now that your houtskool is lit, it’s time to start grilling! One of the most significant advantages of houtskool barbecues is their versatility. You can cook a wide range of foods on a charcoal grill, from steaks and burgers to chicken and vegetables.

To achieve the perfect temperature, it’s essential to know how to control the airflow in your grill. Most charcoal grills have adjustable vents on the bottom and top, which you can use to regulate the temperature. Closing the vents will reduce the airflow and lower the temperature, while opening them will increase the heat.

Section 5: Cleaning and Maintenance

After you finish grilling, it’s crucial to clean and maintain your houtskool barbecue properly. This will help extend its lifespan and prevent rust and corrosion.

Start by removing the ashes and debris from the grill grates and ash catcher. You can use a small shovel or ash tool to scoop out the ashes. Next, clean the grates using a wire brush or scraper. If the grates are particularly dirty, you can soak them in warm, soapy water for a few minutes before scrubbing.

Finally, it’s essential to store your houtskool barbecue correctly. Store it in a dry, covered area, away from rain and moisture. You can also use a grill cover to protect it from the elements.


Q1: How long does houtskool take to heat up?
A1: It usually takes 15-20 minutes for houtskool to heat up and be ready for grilling.

Q2: Can I use lighter fluid to light my houtskool?
A2: Yes, but it’s not recommended. Lighter fluid can leave a chemical taste on your food and is also a fire hazard.

Q3: How do I know when my houtskool is ready to cook on?
A3: Your houtskool should be glowing orange and covered with ash before you start cooking.

Q4: Can I use my houtskool barbecue in the winter?
A4: Yes, but you may need to adjust the cooking time and temperature to account for the colder weather.

Q5: How often should I clean my houtskool barbecue?
A5: You should clean your houtskool barbecue after every use to prevent rust and corrosion.


Houtskool barbecues are a classic and versatile way to cook food outdoors. By choosing the right houtskool, preparing and lighting your grill correctly, and cleaning and maintaining it regularly, you can enjoy delicious grilled food all year round. We hope that this guide has been helpful, and happy grilling!