Charcoal Grilling Basics

Grilling season is here! Set your grill up and grill along with us all season! If you’re new to grilling, make sure you are making the most out of your grill this summer by following these tips.

First, start with a clean grill to prevent flare-ups and sticking. Clean grills make better grill marks, as well!

Start your charcoal about 30 minutes before you intend to cook. Once it’s warm, you can use a stiff wire brush to clean off the cooking area.

To help light charcoal grills, invest in a charcoal chimney.

Lighting your charcoal with chemicals such as lighter fluid, gasoline, kerosene, or mineral spirits adds chemicals to both the smell and the taste of the meat. Stay away from easy lighting charcoal, as well. It’s soaked with chemicals.

We know you prefer the flavor of the meat, the grill, and your spices.

Open up the vents on the charcoal chimney wide and stuff the lower section with newspaper. Add your charcoal to the top section and light the newspaper below.

Give it about 5 minutes. Then, using a glove, pick up the chimney by the handle and shake, so the unlit charcoal on top will filter down to the bottom to be lit by the heat of the burning newspaper.

You’re ready to grill when the charcoal turns white.

Make sure to set the chimney down on a non-flammable surface after you dump the coals, and keep it away from children until it cools.

Charcoal Grill Cooking

Next, remember that controlling the temperature on the grill will be the key to success.

You can grill pretty much anything you can think of, from pizza to grilled cheese, steaks to whole chickens, but everything should be cooked at a specific temperature range, not just on high.

Thin cuts of meat, like burgers, pork, lamb, and beef, should be cooked hot and fast to avoid drying them out. Fish, chicken, vegetables, and other delicate items should cook at medium. Larger, thicker, denser cuts of meat, such as whole chickens, will cook at lower temperatures.

If you are grilling with rubs, marinades or sauces, remember that sugar burns at 265 degrees F. Your grill temperature will need to be below 265 when using sauces, marinades, or rubs that contain sugar. If the grill temperature rises above 265 while cooking, the outside of your meat will scorch and blacken.

You should also have a meat thermometer. It’s a bad idea to cut into meat on the grill to determine whether it’s done, since it will dry out the meat. You can find a valuable meat temperature chart here.

Remember that cooking at lower temps will take longer, but the meat will be juicier and more flavorful when cooked at the right temperature.

Are you still deciding between charcoal and gas? Check out the most detailed comparison here.

Check back with us throughout grilling season, as we provide tips, recipes, and our own grilling experiences!

Send us your grilling recipes, tips, and pictures in the comments!  We’d love to hear from you!

Behind the Scenes with RK Tractors

On March 20, one building of our Waverly, OH warehouse was converted into an assembly facility for our brand-new RK Tractors! Check out our behind-the scenes photos as Rural King begins this exciting new venture!

RK Tractors will be sold in 7 pilot stores beginning April 1.

The 7 pilot stores will be Mattoon,IL, Waverly, Circleville, Heath, and New Philadelphia, OH, Parkersburg, WV, and Ashland, KY.

Our professionally-trained associates and service technicians skillfully assemble all RK Tractors.

In addition, each of the pilot stores will be a dedicated tractor center. Each store has sales and fully trained service teams ready to serve you.

Never worry about finding parts! A complete stock of replacement parts is available from the Waverly, OH assembly facility within 2 days.

RK Tractors offer ten models in the sub-compact, compact, and utility sizes, from 19HP to 55HP.  They feature cab and open station models, hydrostatic and shuttle shift transmissions, and more standard features than any other brand.  Our tractors will come with everything you need, from standard rear remote hydraulic valves to front and rear work lights, and don’t forget our superior power and performance.

Prices range from $8299 for the 19HP RK19 Hydrostatic sub-compact to $26,799 for the 55HP, Turbo-Charged RK55 Hydrostatic utility tractor with full HVAC cab. 

In the photo below, you can see various states of assembly, including the backhoe attachments (left), the cab tractors being prepped for tires (middle), and ROPS tractors with tires installed (right).

Available attachments include RK Tractors backhoes, front loaders, and mid-mount mowers. All standard 3-point implements, including our exclusive RK by King Kutter implements, also work seamlessly with these tractors.

You can see several of the models in the photo below. All are cleaned, inspected, and ready to help you get the job done!


RK Tractors ship to our pilot stores to launch on April 1. They’re arriving just in time to help you with all of your spring and summer projects!  Please see your local pilot store for details and financing options.

Please see our Tractor Attachments FAQ for more details.

Click here for specs on RK24, RK37, and RK55:  Hand Outs

Pesky Fruit Flies

20150603_115751 It’s summer time! And we all know what that means, fruit flies in the kitchen! Now you can always use a small container and put in apple cider vinegar with a few drops of dish soap, then cover with saran wrap and poke a few holes in there. Once they get trapped they can’t get out.

However Ruralking now has this cute little apple that is much more appeasing to the eye then a bunch of visible dead bugs in a container and its only $6.99! You can easily refill it as needed.