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How to Control the Temperature of Your Charcoal Grill

Written by

Sean Mathy

How do you control the temp on your charcoal grill?

Many people think it's the amount of charcoal you use, but the answer lies with the air dampers. Adjusting the air dampers will increase or decrease your temperature. The more air going into the grill, the hotter the grill will get. The less air going into your grill, the cooler it will get.

Most of our charcoal grills have two dampers - a top lid damper and the dampers on your bottom bowl.

We suggest leaving the bottom dampers fully open and using the top lid damper to control the temperature. Factors such as the temperature outside, how windy it is, how clean (or dirty) your grill is and even the food you are grilling can affect the temperature of your grill, but these are the top lid damper settings we suggest to achieve different temperatures on your grill: 

Damper Settings:

High heat (450-550°F) – Fully open

Medium heat (350-450°F) – ½ open

Low heat (250-350°F) – ¼ open

Low and slow/smoke zone (225-275°F) - 1/4 - 1/8 open 

Off – Fully closed

Remember to keep the inside of your bowl and ash catcher clean to promote good air flow throughout your grill.  If those bottom dampers get clogged up it can affect the performance of your grill. Check out our simple tips for keeping your grill clean

The lid thermometer, if applicable, registers the overall ambient temperature of your grill. If your grill doesn't have a lid thermometer, you can use the ambient probe on our iGrill app-connected thermometer to register the temperature of your grill. 

If you haven’t already, check out our new Weber Briquettes here! The Chimney Starter and Lighter Cubes are a must for charcoal grills as well. Now that you are a certified charcoal grill expert, let the good times and smoke roll!