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How to Use a Weber Charcoal Grill?

How to use a Weber charcoal grill

It wouldn’t be wrong to say, Weber charcoal grills are the best type of grills to prepare a barbecue. But, everyone doesn’t know how to use a Weber charcoal grill!

This is something that might confuse a newbie before preparing any type of meal on it. They might have a fear of burning or leaving a meal pink. They may also find it difficult to add sufficient charcoal or set the right temperature. All these things could get perplexing.

It is very disheartening to not acquire the right taste after spending hours in a barbecue. So, here we are with a little help.

In this post, you are going to learn Weber charcoal grill tips and tricks and how to cook using a Weber kettle.

How to cook using a Weber Kettle?

Though it seems difficult, it involves simple steps to cook your meals on a Weber kettle.

The first task is to prepare the kettle for preheating. For this step, you will need to keep the dampers on the bottom and lid fully open. Now, remove the top cooking grate. You can hang it off the handle.

The next step involves filling up the chimney starter halfway with charcoal. If you are confused about quantity, it is appropriate to add about 50-60 briquettes. You will need to place two lighter cubes under the chimney starter using the bottom grate.

After lighting them, the charcoal will take around 10-15 minutes to ash over completely.

Now, the next stage comes; it involves preheating the kettle. You need to put the charcoal over the charcoal grate evenly.

You can spread coals all over the grate surface. You can also put them on one side to leave the other one as a safe zone. After placing a cooking grate, you can put the lid of the kettle. However, it is crucial to check if the vents are completely open. This step will take around 10-15 minutes.

As the kettle is preheating, you can utilize the time by seasoning the meat. Now remove the lid and place your food over the cooking grate.

You need to set the timer after closing the lid. 3-4 minutes’ time is enough.

How to use a Weber charcoal grill

After this time, you can remove the lid and flip the meat. Now check the cooking level of the meal with the help of an instant-read thermometer and keep the meat on the grate until you achieve your desired temperature.

This is a simple way of how you can cook using a Weber kettle. Well, there are a few other methods. It involves using different heat types to obtain the required flavor. In the following sections, we are going to discuss these methods:

Low-temperature indirect cooking setup

It might feel tricky for a newbie to understand how to use a Weber charcoal grill for indirect cooking. Let’s first discuss what indirect cooking is. The indirect cooking method, as its name says, sends heat in an indirect way. In this method, the heating source is placed either at one side or two sides of the grate. The center part of the grill is kept free of burning coals.

Which foods qualify for indirect cooking? All those meat which are nearly more than 2 inches thick! Also, tough meat parts and delicate food items that take longer are good on indirect cooking setup.

So, in a Weber kettle, for low-temperature indirect cooking, you need to keep the temperature around 225-250 degrees. How?

Choose only a few hot coals coated with white ash. However, you will also need unlit coals to supply fuel. This small setup will reach the temperature of 225-250 Fahrenheit and would burn for around 4-5 hours.

Here’s a pro tip…

The more unlit coal you add, the more time you will get for heating without adding more. The more burning coal, the higher the temperature you will attain.

Low heat direct cooks

Many pitmasters think direct cooking can only be done with high heat. It is not true. You just need to use a simple trick for this purpose. So, how to use a Weber charcoal grill for low heat direct cook?

Here is the method:

You will need to perform a similar process that you did for simple cooking. However, coal selection would be different. If you want your meal to be cooked directly but with a slow heat, arrange the heat and fuel source. Burn some coals until they have a white coating all over them.

Now spread them over a charcoal grill sparingly. You need to place unlit coals between the burnt one. You can take around 50 unlit coals for the purpose of supplying fuel. Now, you can place a cooking grate over it. Whatever food type you are making, you can place them over the coal set-up.

If coals tend to reach a higher temperature, you can control it using the lid. Using this method, you can prepare a meal within 30 minutes without burning them.

Using the vents to control the temperature

Besides adjusting the temperature with the number of coals, you can use vents to manage the heat as well. So, how to use a Weber charcoal grill by means of the vents for temperature control? Here is the method:

You first need to arrange the burning coals and unlit ones to serve as a heat source. For a long and slow cook, around 5-6 burning coals are enough. However, to attain more heat, you will need to add around 30 or even more coals. It will depend on the temperature you need.

In order to use vents, you first need to stabilize the temperature. If the temperature inside the kettle is not stable, it would be hard to achieve the target accurately.

Conversely, if it is stable, only a slight change in vents will increase or decrease the temperature. Moreover, the newer value will take 15-20 minutes in order to stabilize itself because the coal will take its time to change the temperature. Once they are done, you will be able to enjoy the steady heating again.

Weber charcoal grill tips and tricks

Few are experts in making scrumptious meals, while others are not very good at cooking. The basic method of cooking is the same, but the things that bring taste are simple tips and tricks.

Here, we are going to discuss a few Weber charcoal grill tips and tricks. It will assist you in knowing more about grilling:

  • Preheating your grill with closed lid and temperature reaching 500 °F is recommended.
  • Untie the pieces of food hanging with the grate and brush off the grill. It will prevent your meat from sticking on the grate.
  • When hot, you can easily clean the grate with a stainless steel brush.
How to use a Weber charcoal grill
  • Replace the brush when you see its loose bristles on grates or brush.
  • It’s better to brush or spray the food with oil instead of brushing the grates. It will not only prevent the food from sticking but gives moisture and taste too.

Keep the lid on

You need to keep the lid on as much as possible during cooking. Why? Here are five reasons:

  • Keeps grates hot for food searing.
  • Prevents food from drying out.
  • Accelerates the cooking process.
  • Prevents juices and fat’s smoke from vaporizing.
  • Helps in avoiding flare-ups.

Some additional things to keep in mind

  • Cooking in a colder climate or higher altitude takes more time.
  • In the case of wind blowing hard, the temperature of the charcoal grill will rise as opposed to the gas grill.
  • Direct heat is suitable for small/tender food that takes less than 20 minutes to cook.
  • Indirect heat is great for tough and large pieces that take more than 20 minutes.
  • If you have a consistent heat source and proper venting, it is possible to maintain temperature effectively.
  • The dampers present at the top and bottom of the Weber grill are used to control airflow.
  • Usually, a typical charcoal briquette’s fire loses about 100 Fahrenheit in 40-60 minutes.
  • If you are unable to control flames, transfer the food to the indirect heat zone. Bring it back once everything gets back to normal.
  • In order to gain seared taste, maintain heat and control your urge to turn food repeatedly. This patience will bring multiple flavors and aroma to your food.
  • Chimney starters and lighter cubes are effective and cleaner. You should avoid using liquid fluids.
  • After taking food out of the grill, let it rest for about 20-30% of total cooking time. Like, if you cook food for 8 minutes, let it stay calm for about 2 minutes before cutting.

How much charcoal to use in a Weber grill?

Charcoal plays a key role in deciding the heat factor and cooking method. Therefore, it is important to choose the quantity in the right way. Many people think the quantity of charcoal might depend on the amount of food you are cooking. They think it also depends on the number of people for whom you are preparing.

But, it actually depends on other factors. One of them is the size of the Weber kettle. You need to cover the 2/3rd size of the grates with charcoal. Or, you can fill up the chimney starter to the top. For an average sized-grill, you should go for around 90-100 coals.

Besides, the quantity of coal also depends on the temperature you want to achieve. The more coal you use, the hotter will be the fire is. So, for simple food types like burgers, around 15-20 coals can do the job.

However, for blazing hot fire, you should put around double the number of coals. Also, for prolonged cooking, you will need to add more fuel with time.

How to use a Weber charcoal grill

How to cook a chicken on a Weber Charcoal grill?

Though you can make numerous dishes on a Weber charcoal grill, we are only going to discuss chicken here. So, how to use a Weber charcoal grill to make a chicken?

We are discussing the method to prepare a barbecue for indirect cooking over medium heat. It will have the roasting setting from 190 degrees to 230 Fahrenheit.

You will need to tuck the wings behind the back of the chicken. Coat the chicken with salt, pepper, and olive oil. You will need to cook chicken for 1 hour and 15 minutes over indirect medium heat. You need to keep the lid closed till the internal temperature is at 71 degrees.

How to check the internal temperature?

Insert the tip of the probe in the deep center of the chicken. However, it should not touch the cavity. The temperature will start rising gradually. The chicken will be ready once the temperature reaches 74 degrees. After taking the chicken off the grill, let it rest for 15 minutes before cutting.

How to use vents on Weber grill?

The dampers are present at the top and bottom of the grill. They help in controlling the airflow inside the grill. The temperature inside and the fire will increase if you allow more air to enter the pot. The hotter fire will lead to the need to refilling coals again. In order to slow the rate of fuel burning, you need to keep the top vent closed.

Here’s a tip… You should keep the top vent halfway open and lid covered as much as possible. However, the bottom vent should be kept open while grilling to keep fire burning.

It is very simple to open and close the vents. A Weber grill contains a handle for this purpose. Simply slide it in either way, and you will adjust the vent.


Weber is a leading brand when it comes to grilling gears. Their products offer versatility, convenience, and taste to your food. Well, they do have some finest items in the industry. But, many people don’t get the maximum benefit out of them. Why? They don’t know how to use a Weber charcoal grill.

Here’s is a fact: no one is perfect in cooking. Everyone attain grilling expertise with time and experience.

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