See full disclosure. **Note** This email might be in your 'Promotions' folder. You should not play with the exhaust vent unless you are unable to hit those temps by adjusting the bottom vent alone. Temperature control is important for longer cooks (smokes). Both approaches will work, and it’s up to you to experiment. But if you learn the right techniques, with a little bit of practice you can master the art of temperature control and start impressing your friends and family with your caveman skills. The set up is a little different to cooking over direct heat though: Place the unlit coals in a pile on one side of the coal grate You can still use a charcoal chimney to light your coals when using the minion method, just flip the chimney and use the smaller chamber to light the coals. The key to successfully cooking low and slow on a grill is largely in the setup. If you want to stop grilling your food, or wish to cook it indirectly, simply move the food across to the side of the grate without coals underneath. You should have received an email from us asking you to "Confirm your subscription". But it doesn’t have to be that way. The air vents control the amount of air let into your barbecue… Light enough coals to bring the grill up to the desired temperature. Ribs, brisket, and pulled pork take hours to smoke properly, so adding more … So, here is what you should be doing; Increase and Decrease the Airflow with the Help of the Vents How do you control the temp on your charcoal grill? Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Not accurate enough for me. Most of our charcoal grills have two dampers - a top lid damper and the dampers on your bottom bowl. So should you adjust the bottom intake damper or the top exhaust damper? SmokedBBQSource is supported by its readers. If you haven’t already, check out our new Weber Briquettes here! To cook indirectly on a grill you still need to control the amount of lit coals you use. Join the discussion today. Make sure that you are taking note of how long it takes for your charcoal smoker to get to the ideal smoking temperature and if it gets out of control, adjust it via the air vents. Please be sure to let us know in the comments section below. Pour some lighter fluid on your charcoal pyramid, strike a match, and let … You can easily control the grill’s temperature by controlling the charcoal, the oxygen, or both. I'm sharing everything I learn along the way on my journey from amateur to pitmaster. “As you try to master your cooker and calibrate your system, you are best advised to leave the exhaust damper open all the way. Then you can move your food between the hot or cooler parts of the grill as needed. It is one of the easiest ways to regulate the temperature of a grill. Its tempting t… That's a magic number at which a lot of foods cook best. On a charcoal grill you push the coals to one side. The expression "low and slow" is used by barbecue pit masters to describe the smoking process, in which meat is cooked for hours at a temperature of 200 to 225 F. You need to know the temperature at the grill surface where the food is actually cooking. At AmazingRibs.com they recommend the first option. I wrote a post on how to use the air vents on a charcoal grill and this is basically what I also do to keep my grill on 225 degrees Fahrenheit. By now, you already know one of the ways to regulate temperatures is adjusting the dampers. Set up a 2-Zone Grill. Which vent should be used to control the temperature? Depending on how you use your grill, you’ll probably end up relying mostly on one or two of these methods. Grills have vents at the bottom and the top. Thanks for subscribing! Unlike smokers, charcoal grills need a special set-up to create the low cooking … Use the Charcoal Grill Vents. how much charcoal you need in your hot zone, The Best Smoker Thermometers for Mastering Temperature Control, Smoking Your First Brisket – Advice From Aaron Franklin, Place all your coals to one side of the coal grate, Spread them evenly across ½ to ⅔ of the area, Leave the exhaust damper on the lid fully open and control the airflow with the bottom intake damper. Many people think it's the amount of charcoal you use, but the answer lies with the air dampers. The logic behind using this method is as follows: If you put a whole chimney load of lit coals in your grill, the temperature is going to start quite high and you will be struggling to bring it down before you can even start to think about introducing food. Do not guess, but try to set a starting point for your vents. 4.1 How To; 5 3) Check the Distance from the Meat to the Heat The less air going into your grill, the cooler it will get. But, how do you control the temperature on an outdoor grill that uses charcoal and fire to heat rather than electricity or gas? In order for the coals to remain lit, they need oxygen. A charcoal or wood cooker has two fuels, the combustible material (charcoal or wood) and oxygen. Adjusting the air dampers will increase or decrease your temperature. The air vents on your smoker will need adjusting constantly, as the rate of airflow through the dampers will fluctuate wildly over the several hours of cooking time that you need. On a gas grill … If you are wondering how much charcoal you need in your hot zone, we share some tips in our separate post on the matter. While many excuses are thrown around, the main reason people give up on their charcoal grill are due to an inability to control the temperature. Gas grill automatic temperature control is easier than figuring out how to control temperature on charcoal since gas grill knobs can adjust the heat (simply turn up/down as needed) fairly quickly and easily. This will result in even cooking of the meat both inside and out, not just on the surface. Top or bottom, or both? Riding high on the praise, Smokedbbqsource.com is a participant of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program – it is designed to provide an aid for the websites in earning an advertisement fee – by means of advertising and linking to Amazon.com products. If you can cover all those bases, then you will have no problem getting the result you … Spread unlit coals evenly on one side of the coal grate. 1. Some grills have adjustable cooking grates which make life easy. Playing with both vents at once is like trying to control the speed of your car by using both the gas pedal and the brake at once.”. However, I’m sure you’d agree that there could be no better time to hoe into some succulent, The ability to cook tasty ribs is a skill that can give you legendary status amongst your friends and family. Here we are going to explain how to control temperature on a charcoal grill … In fact, there is not much you can’t cook on a grill. If I’m going to sear and grill a couple of steaks, I might put in a little more charcoal and get the Egg nice and hot. These vents take the smoke away, like a chimney. Even so, it’s worth knowing every option. A charcoal or wood cooker has two fuels, the combustible material (charcoal or wood) and oxygen. In many cases, you’ll need to cook with the lid on and with a one or two zone cooking surface. The Chimney Starter and Lighter Cubes are a must for charcoal grills as well. If things are cooking quicker than expected and you need to do something about it fast, you can make a shield of aluminum foil to block the heat. Slip it under the piece of food that is about to burn. For the more experienced griller, you can also regulate heat on a charcoal barbecue by considering the amount of air circulating in the barbecue. Limited oxygen decreases cooking temperatures and lets the coals burn more slowly. Unlike gas grills, charcoal grills require some skill to control the temperature. All good charcoal grills will have at least two air vents: one on the bottom half of the grill… And if you found this article useful, be sure to share! For Grilling and Baking, I fill the charcoal chamber to about 3/4 full to the line between the two pieces of the BGE. If you learn how to control it correctly and to get the most out of it, you can always achieve the best results without trouble. The air vents on your smoker will … Another popular option is the Snake method, which we discuss in more detail in this guide. Whichever way you want to cook, you need to look at things a little differently: Lit coals are the heat source, and unlit coals are the fuel source. The four methods described above will work great when grilling at high temperatures. Allow the charcoal to heat. Ways to Control Charcoal Grill Temperature. A charcoal grill utilizes two different types of fuel, oxygen and charcoal. Pour some lighter fluid on your charcoal pyramid, strike a match, and let … Quick-cooking foods like hot dogs, hamburgers, and many vegetables can be cooked over an open grill. The secret lies in being able to control the temperature of your grill. Now that you are a certified charcoal grill expert, let the good times and smoke roll! Adjusting the air dampers will increase or decrease your temperature. This gives you control of oxygen flow and that gives you control of temperature. When cooking with charcoal,  more airflow = hotter grill. High is 1-2 seconds 450-600, medium-high is 2-3 seconds 400-450. If you want to cook at a higher temperature, increase the amount of lit coals. Just like with grills, smoker air vents play a crucial role in staying on … Like any fire, charcoal needs oxygen to survive, and if you can control the amount of oxygen that gets to it, you can effectively control the temperature. Copyright © 2020 Weber, All Rights Reserved. And low temperatures is adjusting the vents opened fully when starting your grill can quickly the! Limited oxygen decreases cooking temperatures and lets the coals is now your grilling, or both is open oxygen... A certified charcoal grill this page of coals, then adding unlit.... Setup a grill you still need to how to regulate temperature in a charcoal grill the temperature has been stable for around 20-30 minutes before start... And great deals sent straight to your charcoal grill expert, let the good and. Or Letting it Starve might be in your 'Promotions ' folder when fat from... 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