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How To Use a Charcoal Grill [Ultimate Guide]

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In this ultimate grilling guide, I’ll show you how to use a charcoal grill like a pro. You’ll be a backyard legend in no time with these helpful tips and tricks.

“Grilling and smoking with charcoal is not just another way to cook food…it’s a way of life!” – The Kettle Guy

Hello and welcome to the ultimate tutorial on charcoal grilling. While this guide is designed for beginners and people considering jumping in for the first time, it will cover plenty of topics that any Kettle Head would find helpful.

I know that cooking with charcoal can be a bit intimidating at first, but I promise that if you use the information presented here, you will be on your way to Grillmaster or Grillmistress status in no time.

Feel free to use the table of contents to skip around if you’re already a seasoned veteran.

This page includes affiliate links, which means I will receive a commission if you buy the products mentioned in this post.

I see a lot of beginners post the same questions in the social media groups I’m in, so I’ll be writing this guide as a conversation between myself and a fictional character we’ll call Novice Nate. Novice Nate just bought his first Weber Kettle Grill and isn’t sure how to get started. He also just broke up with his girlfriend and is going through a mid-life crisis, but that’s another story.

26 inch weber kettle grill
The 26 inch Weber Kettle is the most perfect grilling machine on the planet

While there are some things to learn, they can be mastered by anyone with some practice and as you’ll see in this guide, using a kettle grill really doesn’t take as long as you might think.

Novice Nate: Why should I use a charcoal grill? I heard they were hard to use and take a long time.

The Kettle Guy: Slow your roll Nate. You may be a fictional character, but I will fight you.

Why You Should Use a Charcoal Grill

If I had to choose the top 3 reasons to use a kettle grill, I would say they are as follows:

  • Flavor! There’s just no beating the taste of food that is cooked over a live fire and as I’ll explain in a bit, you can also turn your grill in to a smoker to make some real deal barbecue and other smoked delights.
  • Versatility. With the right equipment, there’s not much you can’t cook on a kettle grill. Of course, it can be used for grilling and smoking, but it can also be used for other cooking methods such as baking, roasting, deep frying, braising, boiling, steaming, poaching, stir frying, and sauteing. The list is as endless as your imagination. You can even turn your Weber in to a pizza oven, a Santa Maria grill, and a rotisserie.
  • The experience. Ask any true Kettle Head and they’ll tell you. There’s just something special about firing up the coals in anticipation of the perfectly grilled or smoked meats, seafood, or vegetables that await. The smell of charred meats and smoke are intoxicating (or is that the beer? There’s always beer) anyway where was I? Oh yes…the smell of charred meats and smoke. The sizzle of juices dripping down on to red hot coals. By now, all your neighbors are jealous (that’s right vanity plate Tesla guy…you ain’t gettin’ none of this) I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

Novice Nate: Wow, that does sound pretty awesome.

The Kettle Guy: Damn straight it does.

Novice Nate: What’s the difference between grilling, barbecue, and smoking?

Grilling, Barbecue, and Smoking

It might depend on who you ask and what part of the country (or the world) you’re from, but in general it breaks down like this:

Grilling

High, direct heat is used to cook foods that are directly over the coals for some or all of the cook. This is suitable for smaller, tender cuts of meat such as steaks, chicken breasts, and chops, as well as seafood and vegetables.

Fats will drip down and vaporize on the coals producing smoke that will season the meat further. There are times, like when you reverse sear a nice thick steak, where the meat starts away from the coals with the lid closed and is moved over the high heat at the very end. This produces a perfectly cooked steak at your desired temperature with minimal amounts of grey, overcooked edges.

Barbecue

This is suitable for larger cuts with more connective tissue to break down and fats that need to render out to produce tender, flavorful results. Classic barbecue meats such as brisket, pork shoulder, and ribs fit the bill. This is also how we can make perfect whole turkeys, chickens, or prime rib roasts that will blow your mind and your taste buds.

When most Americans think of barbecue (or BBQ), they think of ribs, pulled pork or brisket covered in a red sauce of some sort. Barbecue, however, can be anything that is cooked indirectly for a long period of time. How long depends on the cut of meat.

Smoking

This is where it can get a little tricky because both grilling and barbecuing can involve smoke. There are some charcoal guys and gals that don’t cook anything without adding some wood smoke.

If I’m grilling chicken, salmon or most other things, I’ll usually throw a bit of wood on. Anything that is being cooked “low and slow” gets a good amount of smoke. Of course, traditional BBQ is always smoked and it’s tough to beat a smoked whole turkey.

Smoke can even be added to some things you might not think about with amazing results such as queso, beans, salsa, and even desserts.

Novice Nate: This is starting to make more sense and I can’t wait to get started. What type of charcoal should I get?

The Kettle Guy: Great question Nate. Let’s take a closer look.

Charcoal Basics

Like with most things these days, it’s gotten a little crazy with people trying to reinvent the wheel. There are all kinds of new fancy charcoal on the market, but I’m going to stick to the two basic types. Lump charcoal and briquettes.

Both types of charcoal are made essentially the same way. Wood is slowly burned down in a low oxygen environment until only carbon is left. The material that is leftover is called char (or lump charcoal). Briquettes are made by mixing char dust with binders and additives such as starch, borax, sodium nitrate, and sawdust and then pressed to its signature pillow shape.

Lump Charcoal

When it comes to lump charcoal, there’s three groups of people. Those that always use it, those that never use it, and those that use it situationally. I’m squarely in the latter group. In general, lump charcoal burns hotter than briquettes. For this reason, it’s ideal (though certainly not required) for searing steaks. The higher heat is also great when making pizzas on the grill.

Like briquettes, lump charcoal is not “supposed to” add flavor to your food on its own, but lump is known to impart a slight wood smoked flavor. This likely happens when the wood that is used to make it is not fully carbonized.

In addition to the higher heat and flavor potential, people feel that since lump charcoal has no binders, it burns “cleaner” than briquettes. While this may be true, there are many all-natural briquettes available with very few binders.  

lump charcoal
Lump Charcoal

There ARE a couple things I don’t like about lump charcoal.

First, I don’t like how pieces of lump can vary so greatly in size, even within the same bag. This can make it harder to control temperatures and can cause small pieces and dust to fall right through the grill grate or through the chimney as you’re trying to light it. There are pieces so large that would just be awkward to use so they need to be broken up.

Also, lump charcoal is more expensive to use than briquettes both from an up-front cost, and because lump burns faster which makes it harder to reuse partially spent coals. If you grill often, these costs can really add up.

Charcoal Briquettes

With briquettes, as with most things, you get what you pay for. That said, there’s nothing wrong with going with whatever is on sale. Any of the major brands such as Kingsford, Royal Oak, etc. will do nicely. My favorite is Royal Oak Chef’s Select. It burns clean and has a small amount of all-natural binders.

Briquettes are the clear choice for low and slow cooks due to their long, consistent burn times and temperatures.

They are great for hot and fast cooks too, particularly when you’re really loading up the grill. The consistent size will lessen hot spots and the long burn time will prevent you from having to add charcoal mid-cook.

close-up picture of charcoal briquettes
Charcoal Briquettes

You can even get briquettes with wood added to them for smoke flavor. I’ve used these in a pinch while on vacation and they seem fine, but I would much prefer to add my own chunks of smoking wood to control how much smoke I’m getting.

Lastly, I want to mention match light charcoal. These are briquettes with an added accelerant (lighter fluid) which is easy to light, even without a chimney starter. JUST DON’T DO IT. There is no bigger sin in the grilling world than letting lighter fluid anywhere near your food. Some people say it burns off and you can’t taste it…..those people must not have taste buds!

THE FINAL VERDICT

Personally, I use briquettes almost exclusively. They are convenient, cheap, and work great for all cooking styles, but you can honestly use whichever you prefer. When it comes down to it, the fuel you use is not a major factor in the results.

Novice Nate: I’m pumped. Let’s cook!

The Kettle Guy: Not so fast Nate. We’re going to need some equipment first.

Novice Nate: Ok, what equipment do I need for my charcoal grill?

Required Grilling Gear

I have to admit it.

I love going to home improvement stores or Walmart and walking down the BBQ isle. I’m always on the lookout for a new grilling apparatus or toy.

Most things fall under the totally unnecessary or “want but don’t need” categories and it would be easy to blow a bunch of money that could be spent elsewhere. That said, there’s several things that I would consider required or at least really useful.

Charcoal Chimney – I’m putting the chimney first because if I could keep only one thing on this list, it would be my Weber Charcoal Chimney Starter. Technically, this handy little item is not a requirement, but I wouldn’t want to live without one (or three). In my opinion, it is absolutely worth getting the Weber chimney for its quality and size as well as the conical shaped bottom.

weber-charcoal-chimney-starter

Multi-Probe Thermometer – This is the MOST important tool a Kettle Head can own. You can get good ones very affordably, or you can spend an arm and leg, but I’m a huge fan of this 4 probe thermometer from ThermoPro. It has good range and the app is great. At a minimum, you’ll want two probes. One will be attached to the grill grates which will give you an accurate temperature at food level. The other probe will be inserted in the food so you can get an accurate internal temperature for perfect results every time. You would use this more often for low and slow cooks or larger cuts of meat.

thermopro-4-probe-thermometer

Instant Read Thermometer – If you wanted to, you could use your multi-probe thermometer for any temperature readings, but a good instant read pen is standard for quick temp checks. It’s much easier to poke a chicken breast or other small, grilled item with one of these guys. This is one thing I don’t recommend cheaping out on.

Sure, you can get a $10 one at Walmart, but in my experience, they crap out fast and aren’t always accurate. A great option is this one from ThermoPro.

thermopro-instant-read-thermometer

Grill Scraper/Brush – This one is a no brainer, but you may want to consider a no-bristle brush. Thankfully I don’t have first-hand experience, but I’ve read stories about wire bristles finding their way into food causing mouth and throat injuries. Yikes! Better to be safe than sorry. While I do own a no-bristle brush, I have to say it doesn’t do quite as good a job as my Weber Three Sided Brush

Heat resistant gloves – If you look on Amazon, you’ll find probably a hundred different kinds of BBQ gloves. Just about any of them that are resistant up to 932 °F will do but there are a couple considerations. I really like these waterproof BBQ gloves. They work well enough to handle hot coals, pans, grill grates or even burning logs for a few seconds. You really want gloves that are water resistant (or boiling hot brisket juice resistant. Ask me how I know). I also like that these gloves provide forearm protection and are slip resistant. The cheapo silicone gloves are water resistant but most are only good up to about 500 °F which is not enough protection around burning hot coals.

heat-resistant-bbq-gloves

Fire Extinguisher – Every home should really have one or two of these rechargeable fire extinguishers in each area, but I highly recommend keeping one handy by your grilling station.

Tongs – You’re going to want two sets of long metal tongs to prevent cross-contamination. One for raw food and one for taking the cooked food off the grill. If you only have one set, you’ll need to wash them one or more times during the cook if they touch raw meat.

Sharp Knife– It’s easy to go overboard here, and a nice set of knives CAN be a great investment, but this very affordable boning knife is great for trimming briskets and other meats as well as slicing steaks and deboning chicken thighs. I have this knife and I can tell you it stays really sharp.

Weber Charcoal Baskets – These come in really handy in lots of different cooking scenarios. Check’em out on the Weber Amazon store.

weber-charcoal-baskets

Disposable Pans – These are used as drip and water pans as well as for serving and transporting food. Just be careful if you get them from the dollar store if you’re carrying something heavy as they tend to be a bit less sturdy.

Cast Iron Pan or Dutch Oven – Using cast iron can seem daunting if you’re not familiar with it, but it’s really not as bad as you might have heard. Just don’t leave it out in the rain like I might have done (more than once). A cast iron pan is so versatile and really allows you to get creative with your kettle grill. I’ve done everything from chicken marsala to s’mores skillet cookies in mine. A Dutch oven is similar and is perfect for things like smoked chili and fried chicken. When you compare Lodge Cast Iron to a cheaper option, you can really feel and see the difference in quality.

head-on shrimp cooked in cast iron with lemon
Cast iron is incredibly versatile and is great on the grill!

Novice Nate: OK, my Amazon Prime boxes are here. We HAVE to be ready to cook now right?

The Kettle Guy: Yes! But we need to clean the grill first.

Novice Nate: Grrrrrr!

3 Reasons to Clean Your Charcoal Grill

Flavor

Besides being totally gross, leaving your grill grates dirty with rancid grease and food will not taste good. The same goes for the inside of the grill. When old, rancid grease burns, it produces thick, acrid smoke.

This type of smoke can easily ruin the flavor of your food. Whenever possible, we want to see thin blue smoke.

Airflow

It’s imperative that you clean the ash from the bottom of the kettle and the ash catcher in between cooks (be sure to give it a day or so first as the coals can smolder for quite a while).

You also want to clean anything stuck on to the ash cleaning blades if your grill is equipped with them. Proper airflow will ensure consistent and effective temperature control.

Safety

Leaving grease to build up over time is a great way to ruin a cook at best or burn the neighborhood down if things get out of control. (this is why I recommend a fire extinguisher).

This happens more often in gas grills, but it can easily happen in kettle grills too, especially if you cook a lot of high fat foods like skin-on chicken or burgers.

If you do have a fire that gets out of hand, try to put the lid on if you can and close the vents if you can do it safely. This will starve the cooking chamber of oxygen and the fire should go out. If you don’t want to risk putting the lid on, you can dump a bunch of baking soda on the flames which should extinguish them.

How to Clean a Charcoal Grill

One thing I discovered on social media is that there’s a die-hard group of kettle owners who scoff at the idea of cleaning their grills. They say that the carbon, creosote, and grease build up is “seasoning”. I personally don’t agree but hey….you do you.

Cleaning a charcoal grill can seem like a dirty, time-consuming chore, but it’s really not as bad as all that. With a little regular maintenance, it can be a breeze.

If you have the discipline, the best time to clean the grates as well as the inner walls of the kettle is right after the food comes off. With everything nice and hot, you can hit the grates and walls with a grill brush and make easy work of it. I hate to say it, but I’m not that guy. As my wife will tell you, I’m lucky if I remember to bring in all the dishes and seasonings after I cook.

What I do is before I fire up my coals, I will scrape the inner walls with my grill brush and a plastic putty knife (these are a game changer) and then sweep all the ash from the last cook and whatever I got off the walls into the ash catcher which gets emptied into a plastic grocery bag.

dirty Weber Kettle grill
This grill is overdue for a good cleaning!

Occasionally I will do the same to the lid and inside the ash catcher itself which can get gunked up after a particularly greasy cook or if it gets wet.  

That’s really all there is to it. A little regular maintenance and then once or twice a year, I will give my grills a deep clean with soapy water and a steel scrubby to really bring back the original shine. If you’re not a fan of elbow grease, you could also take your grill to the do-it-yourself car wash or use a pressure washer.                                      

Novice Nate: Listen here Kettle Guy…I’m getting hungry. We need to cook NOW!

The Kettle Guy: You’re right. You’ve been a patient fictional student. It’s time for fire this thing up, but first….

Novice Nate: Don’t even say it!

The Kettle Guy: We need to talk about lighting charcoal.

How to Light a Charcoal Grill

When it comes to lighting charcoal, there’s only two rules.

  1. Use a chimney starter whenever possible.
  2. Never use lighter fluid or quick light charcoal. It WILL impart a terrible flavor on your food.

As we talked about earlier, the chimney starter is the one piece of equipment I really wouldn’t want to live without. It makes the entire process of starting your charcoal grill faster and easier.

When the coals are ready to use you can dump them wherever and however you want. I recommend wearing a glove and shoes. Grill barefoot long enough, and I guarantee you’ll figure out why you should wear shoes eventually.

As for how to light the coals, I like using either paraffin wax cubes, or tumbleweeds.

You can also DIY some great starters by filling a pickle or mason jar full of cotton balls and isopropyl alcohol.

Just place the starter on the lower grate in your grill (where the charcoal goes), light it, and place a chimney full of coals directly over it. The chimney is designed to promote air flow and will have your coals ready to use in about 20-25 minutes. Alternatively, you can light your coals with balled up newspaper, paper towels dipped in olive oil or bacon fat, or any other paper or cardboard product, but I like the consistency and ease of the starter products.

Pro Tip: do this step FIRST. Then, as your coals are getting happy you can head inside to do any prep work, seasoning, etc, and by the time your prep is done, you’re ready to cook. This is why I say that charcoal grilling really doesn’t take much time. Once the coals are hot, it doesn’t take any longer than propane.

Novice Nate: So, how much charcoal should I use?

The Kettle Guy: I’m so glad you asked Nate. As with a lot of things grilling and BBQ related, the answer is “it depends”.

How Much Charcoal Should I Use?

Hot and Fast Grilling

Regardless of which grill you have, a full chimney of either lump or briquettes is usually perfect.

If you’re only cooking for one or two people, you could use a bit less, but it’s better to use too much than not enough. Plus, if you have any coals left when the food is done, you can save it for your next cook by closing the vents on your grill. They will go out quickly when starved of oxygen and can be reused.

If you’re cooking for a crowd and one chimney is not enough, you can dump a full lit chimney on top of a layer of unlit coals which will extend the cook time. You really shouldn’t need to add charcoal for a standard cook, but if for some reason you do, you can add it on top of the burning coals you have.

Low and Slow Cooking

This can be a bit tricky, but it becomes easy with some practice and once you get to know your grill. When you’re using a Weber Kettle to cook low and slow, there are two methods which are very popular. They are The Snake Method and The Minion Method.

The Snake Method

This method gets its name because it resembles a fiery snake slithering along the edge of the charcoal grate.

2x2x1 charcoal snake about to be lit in a weber kettle grill
A charcoal snake about to be lit in a 26″ Weber Kettle grill

Depending on the desired temperature and the size of your grill, you carefully layer coals in specific amounts next to and on top of one another so that it slowly burns down like a long fuse. Anywhere from 8 coals to a half-chimney are then lit and placed on the “tail” of the snake which starts the slow chain reaction.

A 2×2 snake means two coals on the bottom layer with two coals stacked on top. A 2x2x1 snake is the same with an additional single row on top. Wood chunks are then placed on top which will burn as the lit coals reach them and produce smoke.

This is my preferred method for its ease and consistency. With the snake almost forming a full circle, you can hold those low and slow temps for several hours.

If you’re cooking a full packer brisket and want to go 15-18 hours, you can safely add more unlit coals to the “head” of the snake and rotate the cooking grate so that the meat is opposite the hot coals.

The Minion Method

This method gets its name from Jim Minion, who, as legend has it, accidentally invented the technique one day in a BBQ contest when using a new Weber Smokey Mountain smoker. It works on the same principle as the snake in that a small amount of lit coals act as a fuse for the unlit coals. In this case though, the unlit coals are put in a vessel such as baskets or the Slow ‘N Sear and the lit coals are placed either on top or underneath.

You may want to try out both methods and see which you like best.

Novice Nate: So THAT’s how I turn my grill into a smoker! That’s really cool, but how do I make sure my barbecue comes out perfect every time?

The Kettle Guy: Practice will definitely help, but it all comes down to time and temp.

Time and Temperature – The Twin Pillars of Low and Slow Cooking

While it’s true that time and temperature are important for all types of cooking, it is especially true when using a kettle grill.

We are cooking low and slow for smoky flavor, bark, and for tender, juicy meat. Cuts like ribs, brisket, and pork shoulder need to be cooked for a long time so that their connective tissues break down and the fat renders out, leaving behind a piece of BBQ heaven.

The temperature sweet spot for this style of cooking is anywhere from 225°F to 275°F. We also want to hit a certain internal temperature of the meat and that is where time comes in to play. Just like with an oven, a hotter grill will take less time to bring meat up to temp, which may or may not be what we want.

Since we can’t just push a button to set our desired temperature like our pellet grilling brethren, we need to have a plan and then monitor things to make sure we’re hitting our temps.

Running a bit hot? Maybe we need to close the lid damper some. Not hot enough? Perhaps it’s time to add coals.

This is where being a Pitmaster becomes an art form and is probably the trickiest part of live fire cooking. Environmental factors such as wind, rain, sun, snow, and ambient temperatures can also affect our cooking temps.

spatchcocked chicken with dual temperature probes
spatchcocked chicken with dual temperature probes

Fear not though my friends…I have some good news!

First, you don’t have to be exact. Your temps will fluctuate throughout the cook as coals and chunks of smoking wood ignite and burn down. You want to try to remain within 25-50 degrees of your target temperature without going below 225°F if it can be avoided.

Second, we have our handy-dandy multi-probe thermometer to guide us. One probe will get attached to the cooking grate so we know how hot our grill is running and another will be inserted into the thickest part of our meat, so we know the internal temperature. Never use the lid thermometer if your grill has one. It is not an accurate measurement of the temperature at meat level.

There are a few ways to adjust the cooking temperature up or down as needed.

How to Raise Temperature in a Charcoal Grill

Increase Airflow

If your bottom or top vents aren’t all the way open, opening them fully will raise the temperature due to increased air flow. If they are both open all the way, you can prop the lid open on one side with a small stick or rock (about ¼ to ½ inch thick) which will achieve the same effect. This is a bit like turning a cruise ship in that the temp does not change immediately and can take up to twenty minutes to take full effect.

Add Fuel

Adding more unlit charcoal will extend the cooking time of your fuel while adding lit charcoal will raise the temperature. If you’re following a decent recipe or have some experience you shouldn’t need to do this often, but it does happen from time to time.

Maybe the weather is killing your temps, or your mother-in-law decided to show up 3 hours early to Thanksgiving dinner. Whatever the reason, just know that it’s not an exact science.

You can start by lighting 10 coals in a chimney and then dumping them where your coals are already lit. If you were anywhere close to your target temps, this should get you back in range.

Since it’s easier to lower temps than it is to raise them, it’s better to run a little hot than too cold.

How to Lower Temperature in a Charcoal Grill

Reduce Airflow

I suppose you could remove lit charcoal from the grill if you really wanted to, but it’s much easier (and safer) to reduce the airflow by partially closing one or both vents.

Exactly which vent to close and by how much is a topic of much debate. Personally, I start by using the bottom vent and only close the top vent if things are still running too hot. I prefer to have as much exhaust as possible so that bad stuff like creosote has a place to escape. If you haven’t done so already, I recommend marking your bottom damper control with a permanent marker so you can easily set it to ¼, ½, and ¾ at the least.

bottom damper on weber kettle grill marked for temp control
Mark your bottom damper for easy temp control

TIME AND TEMP WRAP-UP

That’s pretty much the gist of it. Keep going until your desired internal temp is hit. Just know that it might take more or less time than you originally thought. Experienced BBQ guys will tell you to “cook to temp, not time” and I’ve found that to be true. Basically, they’re saying the meat will be done when it’s done which is not always when you want it to be. Follow some good recipes, and you shouldn’t have too much trouble.

Novice Nate: That seems pretty easy, but I need to know more about smoking meat. How much wood should I use? Is there a certain kind? Should I soak the wood in water first?

The Kettle Guy: Whoa there Nate, let me run through the basics.

How To Smoke Meat on a Charcoal Grill

As I mentioned earlier, you can add smoky flavor when you’re cooking low and slow, but also when you’re grilling directly over the coals. In either case, wood is added on top of burning coals. As the wood burns, smoke rises and some of it will stick to and flavor whatever you’re cooking. Most of it will go up and out your lid damper.

Smoking Wood Types

  • Fruit woods (apple, cherry, peach, etc) are considered light woods for smoking and impart a mild, sweet flavor profile. They pair well with chicken, seafood, and smaller cuts of pork like belly or tenderloin.
  • Oak, Pecan, and Hickory produce medium intensity smoke, with hickory being the strongest of the three. All of them are suitable for just about anything you want to smoke including whole turkeys, brisket, and ribs.
  • Mesquite is in a category of its own and is the big daddy of them all. Many people will not use mesquite at all due to its intensity, however there are famous BBQ joints across southern and western Texas that use it exclusively. Proceed with caution.

How much, and what kind of wood you use is a matter of personal preference. You can have fun and experiment with different combinations.

smoked meatloaf on a weber kettle grill
Smoked meatloaf with applewood. Delicious!

Smoking Tips

  • More isn’t always better. It’s quite easy to ruin an otherwise great meal by over smoking. If you’re grilling something hot and fast, a chunk of wood about the size of your fist, or a handful of chips should be plenty of smoke to add a nice flavor without over doing it.
  • Speaking of chunks or chips, they can both be used effectively, but most Pitmasters would opt for chunks for low and slow cooks. Chips can be great for quick grilling, but I personally use chunks all the time.
  • Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t soak your wood before putting it on the coals. Tests have shown that the water barely penetrates the surface of the wood and all it does is make steam and dirty smoke by choking the fire down.
  • Cold, wet meat attracts the most smoke so there’s no need to let your meat come to room temp before placing it on your grill. Spritzing or mopping your meat not only helps keep it moist, but it will help impart a smokey flavor.
  • It can be helpful to keep a BBQ/Grilling journal. Write down all the details of your cook including the weather, the amount and type of wood used, the temperature of your grill and meat at certain time intervals, etc. Afterwards, make a note of how it turned out and anything you think you can do to improve for next time.

Novice Nate: Thanks so much. I’ve learned a lot about grilling and BBQ from this conversation. I think I’ve got the basics down, but what if I want to pimp my grill?

The Kettle Guy: I’ve got just what you’re looking for. These accessories are a lot of fun and can turn out some great food.

Grilling and Smoking Accessories

Vortex – Turn your grill in to a super hot convection oven for the crispiest wings ever.

Slow ‘N Sear– This thing is great for low and slow cooks and has tons of loyal fans.

Kettle Pizza – Turn your kettle grill in to an 800 degree pizza oven and make amazing wood-fired pizza at home! This attachment is simply amazing. I recommend getting the deluxe package with the Prograte which makes it easy to add fuel as needed. I absolutely love mine – it’s a lot of fun and the family can get involved too.

deluxe Kettle Pizza attachment for weber kettle grills

Hunsaker Griddle– There are a few griddles on the market, but I love my 26 inch Hunsaker griddle and they are reasonably priced. I love making smashburgers and big family breakfasts on mine. Shown here is the 22 inch version.

22 inch Hunsaker carbon steel griddle top for weber kettle grills

Onlyfire Rotisserie– you’ll never buy a rotisserie chicken from the store again. For just a bit more, you can get the combo that includes a Santa Maria grill attachment.

Novice Nate: Let’s do this! All I have to do now is figure out what I want to cook first.

The Kettle Guy: Sounds good! I’ll bring the beer.

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