When starting fire in a charcoal grill you should use enough charcoal to cover the bottom of the grill in a single layer of briquets. A single layer provides consistent and even heat over the surface of the entire grill.
The charcoal should initially be stacked in a pyramid shape when lighting. Most charcoal also requires lighter fluid to help ignite the briquets. After the charcoal is stacked and lighter fluid applied, carefully ignite and leave the grill uncovered until the flames die down. Once the charcoal turns white with ash the pile can be spread out evenly in the bottom of the grill, and the grill is ready for cooking.