How to Use Weber Grill Holes

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George Stephen designed the original Weber kettle grill in 1951. Using two halves of a buoy, George created a grill capable of radiating intense heat onto all sides of the food. This intense heat seared the outside of the meat, locking in juices. However, this intense heat is only achievable with the addition of air vents located on the top and bottom of the grill. These grill holes allow oxygen into the kettle to keep the coals burning and producing that wonderful heat.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Steel brush
  • Hand trowel or hand shovel
  • Chimney starter
  • Clean any ash from the bottom of the grill. In order for the grill holes to work properly, they must be clear of any leftover ash. Remove the lid and hang it on the side of the grill using the hook in the lid. Remove the metal grilling rack and the charcoal rack under it.

  • Use a hand trowel or hand shovel to scoop out ash from the bottom of the grill into the bucket. Place the bucket under the grill holes in the bottom kettle and open them completely. Use a wire brush to scrape the last of the ash through the holes and into the bucket. Completely clear the holes of ash buildup.

  • Use a chimney starter to prepare charcoal briquettes for grilling. Replace the charcoal rack. Once ready, empty the chimney onto the charcoal rack and add briquettes. Place the lid onto the bottom kettle and open the top grill holes completely. All grill holes should remain completely open while the grill is heating to allow oxygen into the kettle.

  • Use the grill holes for cooking. The amount of oxygen entering the kettle depends on how open the grill holes are; the more oxygen, the hotter the grill. For short cooking times (cooking steak), leave the vents open during cooking. For long cooking times (cooking brisket or ribs), close one of the bottom grill holes to reduce airflow. This will allow enough oxygen into the kettle to keep the coals burning but keep the heat low enough to prevent burning the outside of the meat.

  • Close all grill holes when finished cooking. By closing the grill holes, you stop the charcoal from burning. Let your kettle cool completely before cleaning.

  • Photo Credit Andreas Brandt/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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