How to adjust Weber kettle vents

Written by marc chase
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How to adjust Weber kettle vents
The vents on the kettle grill alters the flame on a charcoal grill. (gemenacom/iStock/Getty Images)

The vents on Weber kettle grills regulate air flow into the grilling chamber and thus control grilling temperatures. Knowing how and when to adjust the vents and understanding the cause and effect of widening and narrowing the vent openings are key to regulating heat for various charcoal cooking times and starting charcoal fires.

Things you need

  • Weber kettle style grill
  • Large bag natural lump charcoal
  • Electric charcoal starter
  • Desired meat or poultry
  • Protective grilling gloves or hot mitts

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    Starting charcoal fires

  1. 1

    Remove the kettle lid and grilling grate, and open the vents on the underside of the kettle wide for maximum air flow. On basic Weber Bar-B-Kettle varieties, turn all circular vents on the underside until vents are fully open. On One Touch varieties, adjust the swivelling handle until all vents are fully open.

  2. 2

    Pour enough lump charcoal onto the charcoal grate to completely cover it with one layer of coal.

  3. 3

    Huddle the charcoal into a mound in the centre of the coal grate and bury the electric starter in the coal before plugging in the device.

  4. 4

    Unplug and remove the electric starter after eight to 10 minutes and use the starter iron to redistribute the coals for direct or indirect grilling.

  5. 5

    Replace the cooking grate, open circular vents on the kettle lid wide and fit lid tightly onto the grill.

  6. 6

    Allow charcoal to smoulder another 10 minutes before grilling to ensure all coals thoroughly ignite.

    Regulate grilling heat

  1. 1

    Add meat to the cooking grate and close the lid.

  2. 2

    Wearing protective grilling gloves or mitts, adjust the top and bottom vents to achieve desired temperatures inside the kettle. In general, wider vents mean more air flow, inducing higher temperatures. Narrower vents limit air flow and lower temperatures.

  3. 3

    Consult grilling cookbooks or websites for optimum grilling times and temperatures based on meat type and grilling technique.

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