4 Ways To Control The Heat On A Charcoal Grill

Mavis Loh Blog

Do you struggle with controlling the heat on a charcoal grill? Although charcoal (or wood fire) can be relatively volatile in nature, there’re 4 effective ways to control your BBQ heat.

Control the airflow

Most charcoal grills have vents on the bottom. So, next time you want a hotter fire, open the vents wide and let more air in. Alternatively, close the vents partially to allow less air through and thus a cooler fire. Simply make sure that your BBQ vents are open when you light your charcoal and set up the grill. If you find yourself having trouble starting a charcoal grill, check the vents out – they may be clogged with ash.

Distance between your BBQ foods and the fire

Well, simply put, the closer you BBQ your foods to the fire, the hotter the heat will be, resulting in quicker cooking. Some BBQ charcoal grills have grates you can raise or lower to bring the food closer to or farther away from the fire. Alternatively, if your grill has a fixed grate, you can mound the coals higher toward the back of the grill and control the heat by moving your BBQ foods closer or farther from the fire.

Build a two/three-zone fire

Another way to control the heat is to rake out the coals in varying thicknesses. For this, you simply need to section your BBQ firebox into halves or thirds. Arrange a double-thick layer of charcoal over one section of the firebox (preferably on either ends) and this will be your hot zone for searing. Rake out the remaining coals in a single layer in the center of the grill, effectively making this your moderate zone for cooking. Leave the remaining section of the grill fire-free as your cool or safety zone. By moving the food from the hot to the medium to the cool zone and back, you can effectively control the heat over which the food is grilling.

Make a grill shield

If your food starts to cook (or burn) more quickly than you desire, make a grill shield by folding a piece of heavy-duty aluminium foil in thirds, the way you would fold a letter, and sliding the shield under the food. The shield will block the heat, slowing the cooking process. A shield also works well for keeping the exposed ends of bamboo skewers from burning.

Still not confident in handling the BBQ heat? Fret not! Simply reach out to us for BBQ chefs who will make your BBQ party a pleasant experience. Furthermore, you can always opt for omakase where you leave it up to our professionals to decide the BBQ foods for you. It’s that simple! What are you waiting for?