There’s something about summer nights by a fire that just feels better than anything else. In the past, we would have found this feeling by lighting up a charcoal grill and roasting some hot dogs. While there is nothing wrong with that (in fact, we may do it again this summer), there is another way to achieve the same effect — and you don’t need to buy an expensive new accessory or upgrade your old grill to do so.
There are plenty of ways to use your charcoal grill as a fire pit, whether you have access to it year-round or not. This article will walk you through one simple way to make your charcoal grill into a fire pit with minimal effort and expense. If you have read our other articles on what to do with a charcoal grill, you may think this sounds redundant – but bear with us and see if there’s anything here that piques your interest! Here are 5 creative ways to transform your charcoal grill into a fire pit:
Add some serious heat to your grill
If you have a very large grill, you may be able to add a few logs to the coals and create an impromptu wood fire that you can use to roast marshmallows and make the best smores in the neighbourhood. If you have a smaller grill, you can still add wood chunks to your coals to increase the heat and turn your grill into more of a fire pit than a food preparation area. This will not only help to create a better ambiance but may make it easier to burn certain herbs and resins that you might want to add to the coals for smoky scents.
Light up some candles and incense
If you want to take your charcoal grill fire pit experience to a more traditional level, burning candles and incense is a great way to do that. You can either light up candles with the charcoal already in the grill or you can place the charcoal in a separate bowl and light that and then drop it into the grill. Either way, be sure to use caution and keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Carrying this experience further, it’s possible to use the grill to burn resinous herbs and woods that may contain oils that smell similar to certain scents and candles. To do so, you will want to place a few handfuls of your selected herb or wood into a small, open container and then place a piece of grilling screen (or a few crumpled balls of tin foil) on top of that to keep the wood or herbs from falling into the grill itself. This will allow the smoke to rise and permeate your surrounding area.
Turn it into a smoker
If you want to get serious about this transformation, you can turn your charcoal grill into a smoker for a very reasonable price. To do this, you will want to start by purchasing a smoker box or a smoker tray from a local home improvement or grocery store. These are fairly inexpensive and can be used for not only smoking but for steaming vegetables, herbs, and other foods. Once you have your smoker tray, you will want to cover the tray with tin foil. This will keep the tray from rusting and ensure that your charcoal doesn’t fall through. Once the tray is covered, you can add your wood chips and/or herbs to it. If you are using wood chips, you will want to make sure that they are thicker than a pencil.
Or you can use dry herbs and coffee grounds
If the above two methods don’t quite sound right to you, you can always try adding dry herbs and coffee grounds to your charcoal in lieu of other scents. You can use whatever herbs and coffee grounds you would like, but if you want your grill to smell like more than just burning wood, we recommend using herbs that have a strong scent and taste, such as cinnamon sticks, cloves, vanilla beans, cardamom pods, or even rosemary. Coffee grounds are another great way to add scent to your charcoal. If you go this route, be sure to use old grounds that have been sitting out for a few days. Fresh grounds will still be too strong and pungent, and will overpower your charcoal.
There are plenty of ways to use your charcoal grill as a fire pit, whether you have access to it year-round or not. This article will walk you through one simple way to make your charcoal grill into a fire pit with minimal effort and expense. If you have read our other articles on what to do with a charcoal grill, you may think this sounds redundant – but bear with us and see if there’s anything here that piques your interest!