Putting the fire out...
Now that I've started using wood and charcoal, I'm reminded of my father's grilling practices. He was a chimney man - he had fashioned a chimney charcoal starter before they were commercially available. His was about 3 feet high, which he stuffed with newspaper, blow down twigs, used charcoal (more on this..), and 'new' charcoal. He'd light it, much to the consternation of the neighbors, because it made a hell of a lot of smoke. But it would be ready in 20 minutes and we'd grill. But....as soon as the food was off the grill, he'd grab the watering can and extinguish the fire. We all thought this was the height of stupidity, as a) we were dining not 10 feet from said grill and airborne ash really flies and b) why not just let it burn itself out? It's Kingsford, for Chrissakes. We can afford it. His rationale was that the used charcoal had value. My dad is, and still is, a cheapskate (it must be genetic...I'm pretty cheap myself, as are my brothers...). He said that 'used' charcoal started faster, and helped the new stuff go up. Even at our tender young ages, we could see that reasoning (must have been the genes kicking in..). But, we pointed out, he'd even made whole new fires out of used charcoal (we saved it in a large bucket..). Then he discovered propane, bought a series of cheap gas grills and never looked back.
So....now I, after years of gas grilling (and a couple of gas smoking), have returned to my wood/charcoal roots. The chimney turned out to be totally correct. But putting the fire out instead of letting it burn itself out? Dopey or what?
If you can't be a good example, then serve as a horrible warning....