Kettle Pitmaster BBQ

How To Use The Vents on a Weber Kettle Grill to Control and Change the Temp




Charcoal Amounts and Vent Settings for Weber Charcoal Kettle Grill


How To Use The Vents on a Weber Kettle Grill to Control and Change the Temp


Using the Vents to Control the Temp


(Is Your Weber Kettle Grill Lid Thermometer Opposite The Vent?)

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The charcoal amounts and vent settings on this page are what I use when using the heat control method shown in this video; Watch on YouTube. Results will vary because some grills or more air tight than others. However, these amounts/settings will get you in the ball park then you can experiment and see what works best for your kettle grill.


Aluminum Foil Note:

The amounts of hot coals shown below were used with foil under the meat, opposite the coals.  If you are not using foil you might need to start the cook of with more hot coal, or open the vents more.


I found the key to using the vents to change the temp is first making sure the temp in the kettle is stabilized. If the temp is not stabilized you will not be able to target a new temp accurately (see the home page for info on how I get the kettle to stabilize at a targeted temp). For example; if the temp has been constant at 300 degrees for 30 or more minutes then the coals are burning constant so the temp is not in the process of climbing or dropping. If the temp is stabile just a slight change to the top vent (open or closed by about 1/8) will change the temp plus or minus 10-15 degrees. And every time a change is made to the vents it takes about 15-20 minutes for the kettle to restabilize at the new temp. This is because the coals have to either perk up or cool down. And a dial or lid thermometer will also need to adjust to the change in temp which can take 15-20 minutes or so. Dial thermometers are mechanical so they do not respond to changes in temp instantly like digital thermometers.


My rule of thumb for vent settings is: For cooks of 275-350 degrees I normally start the cook with both vents set at half. This way once the temp stabilizes I can fine tune using the top vent. The bottom vent I use if I am unable to get enough of a temp change from the top vent. I also use the bottom vent towards the end of a cook if the heat starts dying. If I need to open the bottom vent fully it's a sure sign the heat is dying and if the cook is not about done it's time to add more coals.





Download a PDF hard copy of these charcoal amounts & vent settings shown below




225-250 DEGREE F. LOW & SLOW For Ribs
(107-121 Celsius)


225-250 DEGREE F. - LONG LOW & SLOW For Pulled Pork (107-121 Celsius)


Note: The setup for this cook is different than the rest because it’s a much longer cook. The hot coals are placed beside the fuel pile instead of on top. See this vid for the setup.


275 DEGREE F. COOK (132 Celsius)

Brand of Charcoal: Kingsford Original Briquettes



325 DEGREE F. COOK (163 Celsius)


350 DEGREE F. COOK (177 Celsius)


400 DEGREE F. COOK (204 Celsius)


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YouTube Channel


How Much Charcoal to Use When Grilling or Barbecuing.


Weber Kettle Grill Vents - How to use the vents on a Weber Kettle Grille.