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How To Use The Napoleon Charcoal Tray

How To Use The Napoleon Charcoal Tray

You don't need a charcoal grill to have the flavor and fun of cooking over charcoal - although we do have a number of fun-tastic charcoal grills if you love the idea of having one of each. If you have a Napoleon Gas Grill, you can use our Cast Iron Charcoal Tray instead.

How To Set Up And Use A Napoleon Cast Iron Charcoal Tray

  1. Remove the charcoal tray from the packaging.
  2. Remove the cooking grids and sear plates from your grill, placing the charcoal tray on the burners. Fill the charcoal tray with a layer of lump charcoal. Replace the cooking grids on your grill.
  3. Light the burners underneath the charcoal tray, turning them on to high. Allow the gas burners to light the charcoal.
  4. Once lit, turn the burners off and close the lid on your grill and wait for 10 to 30 minutes, until the charcoal has ashed over as you normally would.
  5. Use your grill like you would with the gas burners, the only difference is now you're cooking with Charcoal.
  6. When you're done grilling, remove the food from the BBQ and clean the cooking grids as you normally would. Close the lid and allow the charcoal to burn itself out, letting the charcoal tray to cool completely.
  7. Once burnt out and completely cool, use some heat resistant gloves, in case there are still some hot coals, to move the cooking grids, then remove the tray and the used charcoal from the grill.
  8. Place the spent charcoal into an ash bucket - metal receptacle with a lid that is stored safely away from flammable objects. If the charcoal tray is cool enough to touch, it should be stored indoors as it is cast iron, if not, store on top of your cooking grids until completely cool.

Tips & Tricks

Using a charcoal tray is fun and easy. Here are some tips and tricks to make using this interesting grill accessory even more exciting.

  • Adding wood chips to your charcoal tray will add to the smoky flavor in whatever you are grilling up. Do this after the charcoal is lit and ready to cook on, by adding them directly to the coals, or soak them in cold water and add them to the smoker chamber on the tray before lighting the charcoal.
  • Use high-quality lump charcoal instead of briquettes. Briquettes are coated with chemicals to help them ignite and tend to burn faster and hotter than lump charcoal. This can be less than ideal for your grill.
  • Speaking of less than ideal, Charcoal Trays get nice and hot, that's what they're designed to do, however, using two would be too hot to handle for your Napoleon Grill. Besides, one tray is the ideal setup. You have two-zone heat, perfect for direct and indirect grilling!
  • Only use the Cast Iron Charcoal Tray on a Napoleon Grill. Our grills are built and tested for the intense heat generated by these charcoal trays.
  • Remember to practice charcoal safety, store charcoal in a cool and dry place where it will not get wet. Keep spent charcoal in a metal bin with a lid, and keep that away from the house, in a sheltered area. Always allow charcoal to completely extinguish or burn itself out before moving.
  • Always use heat protection like our Heat Resistant BBQ Gloves to handle anything that can possibly be hot.

Are you excited about trying something grilled over charcoal or do you prefer to just stick to the gas grill? Tell us your opinion on gas vs. charcoal grilling on our social outlets like Facebook and Instagram using the hashtags #napoleongrill and #cookingWithCharcoal or #cookingWithGas.

Happy Grilling!