Table of Contents

Open top vents

You can open the top vents to allow more oxygen into the grill. This will help get your charcoal burning faster, and it will also help keep your food from sticking to the grate.

If you want to increase airflow even further, open both sets of bottom vents at once.

You should also keep in mind that when you’re grilling with indirect heat (which we’ll cover below), opening all three vent holes will prevent flare-ups by allowing too much air in contact with the charcoal or wood chips.


Adjust the upper vents in the process

You may think you know how to control the temperature of your grill, but in reality, it’s a bit more complicated than just opening or closing the vents. You see, there are two types of vents: bottom and top.

The top ones control how much air gets into the grill and how much smoke is released from it (and therefore how fast it cooks). The bottom ones only control how much air flows through from below. So even if your bottom vents are completely closed off and your top vent is wide open, which would give you high heat. You won’t get anything close to searing temperatures unless there’s enough oxygen going into your firebox.

Adjusting the upper vents is the best way to control a charcoal grill’s temperature because they allow less oxygen into the firebox than lower vents do. This means that by adjusting them alone without touching lower-level airflow controls like draft dampers or damper flaps (if applicable).

You can achieve any desired level of heat with greater precision compared with other methods like closing off all three levels at once or just using one set of controls exclusively throughout cooking sessions.”

Adjust both vents

To get started, you will need to use a chimney starter to light the charcoal. While some grills have built-in starters, others require an external device like this.

Once the coals are ready, it’s time to adjust both vents: open one fully and leave the other partially closed until it burns down completely (or until there is smoke coming from that vent). This will create an even temperature across your grill surface and allow for better control over how hot your food gets as well as when it gets done.

Close the vents to put out the fire

If you’ve got a handle on the fire and just need to put out the flames, close the vents. This will cut off oxygen flow and extinguish any remaining embers. If you have a fire extinguisher handy, spray it in short bursts over the burning coals.

If you don’t have an extinguisher, use water from a hose or bucket of sand or dirt to smother hotspots when they flare up.


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