4 Best Techniques To Cool Down A Charcoal Grill During Cooking?

Grilling and smoking with charcoal is a good and proven method of making delicious meat for your friends and dears.

If you are a beginner, you will take a little time to learn how to cool down a charcoal grill. Experienced and enthusiastic grilling people can handle this method quickly and control the temperature instinctively.


Though you will find it hard in the beginning, soon you will realize that it is straightforward to reduce the temperature of the charcoal grill with complete accuracy. Here, I will tell you what you need to do to cool down your grill after grilling and many other things.

How To Control Heat On A Charcoal Grill?

You can control the grill’s temperature according to your requirements. However, some steps before starting the process can help you manage the temperature accurately. 

Before grilling, place your grill on a high temperature because it’s easier to increase the temperature than to reduce it. The technique is to set your grill rack. Many grills allow you to select the grill racks differently.  

Another simple way to shield your food from excess heat is to protect your food with the grill shield. For that purpose, place a two-folded aluminum paper under the food. It will protect your food from burning if the grill temperature becomes out of control. 

You can also reduce the temperature of the charcoal grill by decreasing the amount of charcoal used.

Over time, you will know how much charcoal has to be used and how long it takes a charcoal grill to cool down. It will be a deciding factor, but every time it’s unnecessary to add an entire packet of charcoal. 

Cooling Down The Charcoal Grill During Cooking


Adjust The Position Of the Grill Grates

This method will prove the most effective if you want to cool down your grill quickly after the grilling. In this process, you need to adjust the temperature by adjusting the position of the grill grates. 

It is common sense that the closer the food is to the coals, the higher the temperature will be, and the temperature reduces when the distance between the grill and the coals increases. 

For example, if you like to boost up the temperature, move your grill closer to the coals, and similarly, to reduce temperature, move the grill away from the coals. So, if you buy a grill, buy an adjustable grate grill.


In the beginning, finding the best place to place the grill may be challenging, but the issue will resolve soon. But you should know that the trick will work only if your grill has adjustable grates. In contrast, you can choose the other methods that are discussed below.

Use Vents To Control Airflow

Coals need air for burning. The more air available, the more the coal ignites. And as a result, the hotter your grates. This is the most commonly used way of controlling the temperature. 

All the charcoal grills come with air vents to control the temperature perfectly. It is the best feature of such grills as it allows you to manage your grill. To cool down the grill, you must close the air vents. 

Lower vents

The lower vents are also known as intake dampers, and their primary function is to provide airflow to the coals. But by adjusting the lower vents, you can understand how to cool down a grill quickly. But keep in mind that the fire will extinguish if you close the vents as it will cut off the air contact. 

Top Vents

The upper vents, also known as exhaust dampers, remove the smoke. It will encourage airflow if you keep them open. There is no need for these vents till you need carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide that will take off the oxygen that supports burning. 


I recommend you control the grill’s temperature by using only the bottom vents and keeping the top vents intact. However, it is not essential, and you can experiment by moving the upper vents.

Create Varying Heat Zones

Another essential method pitmasters recommend is introducing a varying fire zone in your grill. You can perform this method by laying your coals in such a way that they form different heat zones, such as high, medium, and low.

Zone 1 (High Heat Area)

That is where you can place every kind of food you want to cook at a high temperature. First, put two layers of coals in that area and then rack them out. It is an exceptional zone for soaring and sealing your food. 

Zone 2 (Medium Heat Area)

Create a single layer of coals in this place and lay them flat. You can cook all the food here that needs medium heat for grilling. 

Zone 3 (Heat-Free Area)

Since you want to keep this area heat-free, do not lay coals. This area will help you to readjust the temperature and act as a resting area for your food after/before cooking. The food which needs slow smoking can be placed here.  

You can create two fire zones instead of three zones. You must fill half the grill with coals and keep the following half coal-free. The first half, filled with coals, acts as a hot side and is best for direct cooking, while the coal-free side provides indirect grilling. 

Make A Grill Shield

Sometimes, creativity makes your process easy. This method can reduce the temperature by placing a barrier between the food and the fire. It does not mean that heat will come to food but it will ultimately hamper speed of the  process. 

Prepare a charcoal grill shield by folding the aluminum paper. Now, place this shield below your food. This method will prove helpful in the emergency case, where you will need to cool down the grill quickly or want to protect your food from burning. 

How To Cool Down A Charcoal Grill After Cooking?

After grilling, you need to cool down your food before storing it. It is easier than grilling, so let’s discuss it:

  • Step 1: Take out your food from the grill with the help of a tong along with the grates. Then, place your food in a dust-free area. 
  • Step 2: To disperse heat, spread the coals in the firebox using the same tong. 
  • Step 3: Close all the vents so the air contact becomes cut off, and the charcoal extinguished. 
  • Step 4: Open the exhaust dampers after precisely 15 minutes. At this point, the coals will almost go off. Spray water with the help of a bottle to extinguish them entirely and stir them continuously.
  • Step 5: Continue stirring and spraying water until the coals become completely cool down. 

Note: Avoid applying too much water quickly, as this might cause the coals to release steam quickly, scalding you or damaging your grill.


Frequently Asked Questions

By adding the water showery over the charcoal and stirring it continuously, you can cool down the ash entirely and rapidly. By this, you can also eliminate the possibility of re-igniting the coals.

Be careful while adding water because hot steam will instinctively rise. Make sure that you are prepared to keep yourself safe from it.

Once you have removed the food from the grill, use long tongs or a stick to lift the grate away. Place the grates in a safe area. Make sure the coals are mixed as much as possible using tongs or a stick.

As a result, they become more able to release heat and break it up into smaller pieces, resulting in faster cooling.

While preheating the charcoal grill, it is necessary to keep your dampers open. You can provide more oxygen to your coals during igniting coals. So, if your grill is not hot, check whether the dampers are open or closed.

Mostly, the charcoal grills have vents at the top and bottom. You have to ensure that the vents are open while igniting coals. By opening the vents, the coal burns hotter, and you will get more heat. Close the vents so the air connection will cut off to cool down your charcoal grill.  

Final Words

Cooling down a charcoal grill is easy when you know which steps you need to take. You can practice making a fire, controlling the temperature, and also learn how to open a lid without getting burnt. To make your charcoal grill a part of your household, you must master these processes. So, why wait? Start now.

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