Wait until your charcoal is as burned to an even temperature before placing any meat on the grill grates. When the charcoal firsts turns white, it is hot on the outside, but still cool on the inside. You want to wait until at least 2/3rds of the charcoal have turned white and the charcoal has stopped smoking.
Just because the charcoal has turned white, doesn't mean that it is time to cook. Placing hamburgers and steak on the grill as soon as the charcoal ashes, will only sear the outside of the meat. When this happens, you will need to leave the meat on the grill longer to ensure the inside is cooked thoroughly. This could potentially leave you with a charred outside and undercooked inside or even a "hockey-puck." Follow these simple steps to ensure that your charcoal is ready for grilling and that your steaks and burgers come out grilled perfectly.
When is Your Charcoal Ready?
Use a grill tool to move the charcoal around. You will want it evenly dispersed throughout the basin for an even heat.