Boiling water is such a common task that we usually do it at least once a day.
We need hot water for tea and coffee as well as cooking pasta, rice, potatoes, and soups. Also, when you are camping, you might need to boil some water to make sure it’s safe to drink.
Sometimes you don’t have access to a stove or electric kettle, or it’s just more convenient to try and boil water on a grill.
But can you use a grill for boiling water?
Yes, you sure can and it’s not very difficult. Yet, I recommend that you read this guide to learn some useful tips and tricks to make it faster and more efficient.
Here is a good example of boiling water on a charcoal grill:
So I was cooking lunch on our roof deck — I was about to prepare some grilled chicken on a stick with rice and salad.
The only problem was that our gas stove was all the way downstairs and I didn’t want to run back and forth between the grill and rice that would be boiling downstairs. So I decided to cook the rice right there on my Weber Go-Anywhere charcoal grill.
I simply put the rice and water in a stainless steel pot and placed it on the grill while I was preparing the chicken sticks and salad.
Compared to a gas hob, it took a bit longer to cook the rice this way but it turned out great. By the time I was done preparing the chicken and salad, the rice was almost done.
So why restrict yourself and use your grill only for grilling, when you can also use it for many other things like frying foods on a skillet or boiling water?
Can You Boil Water on a Charcoal Grill?
Boiling water on a charcoal grill is especially handy when you are camping and might not have other equipment available.
Maybe you need to cook some rice or potatoes, or simply boil some water for tea. Or perhaps you are out in the wild and caught some fresh fish and want to make a soup.
A charcoal grill is one of the easiest and most convenient options as long as you have a suitable pot or a kettle.
You can boil water on almost any charcoal grill as long it’s sturdy enough.
There are two important things to watch out for:
- The grill itself should be robust and well-balanced so it can carry the weight of the pot and water without tipping over or collapsing.
- The grill grate should be strong and properly attached or supported so it won’t break or fall under the weight.
You don’t want to try and boil water on a grill that only provides medium heat because it will take ages. The hotter your charcoal and the closer to it you can get the pot, the faster the water will reach the boiling point of 212 degrees Fahrenheit (or 100 °C).
So you can either lower the grilling grate or pile the charcoal so it almost touches the bottom of the pot to make things faster. And when the water starts boiling you need to either remove it from the heat or adjust the charcoal so it doesn’t boil over.
How to Boil Water on a Charcoal Grill
Follow these simple instructions to boil water on a charcoal grill:
- Light the charcoal and wait until you have a proper ember with high heat.
- Place a pot or kettle with water on the grate directly over the hot charcoal. Cover the pot with a lid.
- Wait until the water starts boiling. Don’t leave the grill unattended.
- Remove the water from heat or add rice, potatoes, or other food items you want to cook.
Boiling water over hot charcoal is actually quite efficient as long as your grill is hot enough and the bottom of the kettle is very close to the ember. And if you have a large grill you can boil the water on one side while cooking food on the other.
Can You Boil Water on a Gas Grill?
Boiling water on a gas grill makes sense especially if you are experiencing a brownout or a blackout.
Also, if you have a large and powerful built-in gas grill in your backyard and don’t want to run back and forth to the kitchen, you can boil water right next to the food you are grilling.
However, you should note that using a gas grill is not the most efficient way to boil water. It often takes a while to get the water boiling because grill burners are not optimally set up for using pots and kettles.
Usually, the burner flames will not properly heat the bottom of the kettle even when set on full power — at least when compared to using a gas stove.
If you need to boil water regularly on a gas grill, consider getting a unit with a side burner. There are some great options available even for under 1000 dollars.
How to Boil Water on a Gas Grill
Here is how to boil water on a regular gas grill:
- Put water in a stovetop safe pot or kettle and put a lid on it. Place the pot on the grill grate directly over one of the burners on your gas grill.
- Start the gas grill and turn the burner under the water on full heat.
- Wait until the water starts boiling. Don’t leave it unattended at any time.
In addition to boiling water on a regular gas grill, you can also use a gas griddle for boiling water.
What Kind of Pot or Kettle to Use for Boiling Water on a Grill?
You can use any stovetop safe pot or kettle to boil water on a grill.
Some great options include:
- Stainless steel pots and kettles
- Cast iron pots and kettles
- Aluminum pots and kettles
If you are using a pot that has plastic or wood on the handles on a charcoal grill with a woodfire, don’t put it there so that the flames will lick the sides. This can cause the plastic to melt and ruin your cookware.
Tips for Boiling Water on a Grill
Sometimes, boiling water on a grill makes sense because it’s the easiest option — or the only option. It’s not that difficult but there are a few things to consider in order to make things safe and efficient.
Check out these useful tips before boiling water on a grill:
- Make sure your pot or kettle is stovetop safe and can handle high heat.
- Don’t leave the grill unattended when boiling the water.
- Use a lid to trap the heat so the water will boil faster.
- Try to get the bottom of the pot as close to the flame or ember as possible to make things faster.
Have you already tried boiling water on a grill?
Please post a comment below and tell me about your experience and share your best tips!
And most importantly… Keep on grilling!