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Old 04-06-2009, 07:43 AM   #1
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Dampers open or closed on Weber Grill?

I was wondering if anyone had any clarification on when and how to use the dampers on the weber kettle style grill. There are ones at the bottom that allow air flow, there are holes at the top, and there's the lid all together. My assumption is that more air flow allows for a hotter, faster burning fire.

Any help is appreciated.


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Old 04-06-2009, 07:48 AM   #2
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Yes. Not much more to add, enjoy your grill, we love ours!

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Old 04-06-2009, 07:49 AM   #3
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When smoking something using indirect heat and woodchips, do you tend to leave the dampers open or closed?
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:08 AM   #4
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The top "butter-fly' vents should always remain open while cooking...Use the bottom vents to regulate/control your fire...Wide open (bottom vents) will give you the hottest fire...barely open a cooler fire...
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:45 AM   #5
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Make sure the dampers are all wide open when you're starting the fire and getting the charcoal burning, regardless if whether you're building a direct or indirect fire. The charcoal needs the oxygen to burn. You don't need to open them further when you add charcoal to a good fire.

Once everything is covered with ash, partially close the bottom vents to adjust the heat -- but never close them all the way or your fire will go out when you put the cover on the Weber. Leave the vents wide open if you want a really hot fire, say for getting a nice char on your steaks. Leave them about 1/4 open if you're cooking something like chicken using the indirect method.

I disagree with Bob on one small detail -- I do (or did when I had a Weber) close the top vent partially if I want a really slow fire. It's all about air flow -- the more air, the hotter the fire. Watch your food, learn to judge the temperature with your hand, and adjust the vents and add charcoal as needed. To judge with your hand, hold it 6 inches to a foot above the grill; if you can't hold it there for more than 2 seconds, the fire's very hot; if you can hold it there for 5 seconds, it's medium; if you can hold it there for 8 seconds, it's low, etc. YMMV.
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:51 PM   #6
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I like to do whole chickens indirectly with mesquite chips. Wide open. I like to grill marinated lamb directly (bone out) bottom intake 2/3 closed, top on. Do what works for your recipe.
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