How To Control the Heat on a Charcoal Grill?

If you are planning a BBQ party with vintage music in your backyard, then knowing how to keep the charcoal grill hot will help you get the maximum out of your fuel. While igniting the coal, you will go through many things, especially when cooking for many people. 

Nothing is more frustrating than burning food when guests are in your house for a barbeque plan. To save yourself from this mess, you need to maintain the temperature of your charcoal grill. 

I know it requires skill to keep the temperature of the charcoal grill consistent, but the tasty food you get after that will be the reward for your efforts. With my methods to control the heat on a charcoal grill, you will be able to do that.

Lit Charcoals Using A Chimney Starter

You can burn coals on the charcoal grill in multiple ways, but a chimney smoker is my favorite technique. For a barbecue to get started, burning coals with a charcoal chimney is the safest method. It ensures the balanced distribution of coal, so the grill gets a hot temperature till the end.

If you have never seen a chimney starter, then let me tell you that it looks like a giant coffee mug vessel. There are three special benefits of using a charcoal chimney: 

  1. For igniting coals, it provides a space with proper ventilation. 
  2. Its shape makes it perfect as the smoke from the burning coal goes upward to cook the food properly.
  3. Moreover, it saves the coal from everything that can extinguish its fire.
How To Keep Charcoal Grill Hot

How To Keep Charcoal Grill Hot? – A Step By Step Guide

The following steps will show you how to regulate the temperature in a charcoal grill:

Source A Decent Thermometer

Understanding whether the charcoal grill is sufficiently hot will come in handy to take the necessary steps for maintaining the grill temperature. My experience says a good quality thermometer for measuring the temperature is beneficial as you will detect when the temperature falls below or rises above the level. 

Unlike gas grills, charcoal grills do not come with a thermometer, so you must buy them separately. If you are health conscious, I suggest investing in a probe thermometer. It is helpful for you to check whether the internal temperature of the food is appropriate so that the food does not stick to the grill grates. 

Some charcoal grills offer thermometers, but they are shit. They are not reliable and inaccurate means you will either get dry or improperly cooked meat in the end. A grill thermometer is also a good option if you are unsure about the air probe, as you can install it on the grill lid.

probe Thermometer for grill

Open Dampers

The oxygen ventilation is crucial for the charcoal to burn evenly because if there is no airflow oxygen in the chamber, the fire will extinguish in seconds. As a beginner grilling enthusiast, you should keep this thing in mind your charcoal grill needs two fuels for functioning: coal and oxygen. Let as much oxygen go into the chamber as possible for undisrupted cooking. 

Before you start grilling, I suggest you position your grill damper, which must be two. 

  1. Intake damper: It is generally in the grill base close to your coals.
  2. Exhaust damper: It is usually in the grill lid. 

These two dampers ensure the ideal ventilation in your charcoal grill. The intake damper provides the necessary oxygen inside the grill, and the exhaust damper pulls it out from your grill. Open these dampers before burning the coals. Afterward, you can adjust them according to the requirements. 

vents-of-charcol-grill

Put In Extra Coal If Temperature Drops Down

You need to add more coal depending on what you are cooking and at what temperature. As the cooking session reaches a certain level, the temperature drops to what you need to cook correctly. It is not because of poor ventilation but due to the small amount of burning coal left in the grill. 

You can add more coal in a couple of ways: one is putting it directly in the chamber, or the second is evenly burning it in the charcoal chimney and then adding it to the chamber. Never pour in too much new coal inside the chamber, as it will impede the heat emerging from the already burning fuel. Wear gloves while doing this to protect your hands from the burning charcoal.

Put In Extra Coal If Temperature Drops Down

Adjust The Damper

You need to adjust the dampers for proper ventilation. I know you might be wondering why the adjustment as both dampers is open, right? Whenever the temperature deviates from the required level, you can adjust your dampers to get the ideal temperature for cooking. 

You can adjust both dampers, but I will not recommend it because it can sometimes be tempting. Leave the exhaust damper open and only make adjustments with the intake damper. Check the thermometer after 5 minutes. If you see the temperature goes down the line, you should slightly open the intake damper.

adjusting-upper-vent-of-weber-grill
adjisting-lower-vents-of-weber-smoker-grill

Eliminate The Ashes

As I said above, adequate airflow inside the grill chamber is necessary for the consistent temperature to cook without a slight margin of error. You know that as the coal burns during the grilling session, it will produce too much ash after burning. These ashes settle down in the bottom and make the burning coals smooth and eventually can result in their fire extinguishing. 

For easygoing, you have to remove ash from the grill. Some top-notch charcoal grills come with ash disposal, which will help you dispose of the coal residue after burning. If yours did not have this, you need to do the manual job of removing the ashes using the scoop. Eliminate the ash every 30 minutes and prevent overdoing it because it can disrupt the cooking temperature.

elemiate the ashes from grill

How To Lower Temperature On Charcoal Grill?

You can lower the temperature on a charcoal grill by adding more charcoal and closing the vents. The lower the heat, the less time you need to cook your food. It takes longer to cook at a lower temperature than at a higher one, but these steps will help you achieve it:

  • Step 1: Place four pieces of unlit charcoal into your grill.
  • Step 2: Close all of the vents except one on either side of the grill.
  • Step 3: Place a lit briquette on top of each piece of unlit charcoal and wait for them to light up before adding more briquettes to further ignite them if necessary.
  • Step 4: Close all of the vents except one on either side of the grill again and watch as flames appear around each lit.
  • Step 5: Use a pan of water under your charcoal grill so that it can absorb some of that heat if needed and help keep things cooler than if there was nothing there at all.

How To Keep Charcoal Grill At 225 degrees?

Charcoal Grills are the best grills for cooking food. They have a lot of features and can be used for various purposes like grilling, smoking, and baking. If you want to keep your charcoal grill at 225 degrees, then you should follow some important steps. Here is how you can keep your charcoal grill at 225 degrees:

Ensure that your grill is clean before putting it on fire. You should also clean it regularly so that there is no dirt or dust on its surface. If there are any particles, then they will reflect heat, and this can lead to uneven cooking results while cooking food on it.

How To Keep Charcoal Grill Hot

Preheat the grill before starting any cooking process on it. It helps in keeping the temperature constant throughout your cooking process as well as improves its efficiency. Place some foil or parchment paper over each burner plate of your charcoal grill so that it does not get too hot when you start putting food on it for the rest of the cooking session. 

Use the probe thermometer to check the temperature inside the grill thoroughly, so you can adjust it accordingly. If you get the indication from the thermometer that the temperature is down, then you can open the lid for proper airflow to raise the temperature. You can add more coal as a remedy for the low temperature of your charcoal grill.

Final Words 

How To Keep Charcoal Grill hot? Some charcoal grill masters believe that controlling coal temperature is an art. I believe the most efficient way to keep your charcoal hot is by using the right gear, like a probe thermometer and chimney starter. Moreover, it will save you from the difficulty of holding the lid and cooking at the same time.


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