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1911Ron 03-30-2013 06:07 PM

Temp control W/Kettle
I just purchased Weber's "A Way To Grill" cookbook and leafing thru it, i came across temp control for longer cooks. The author says to control temps with the top vent and leave the bottom one fully open, so you can sweep the ashes mid-cook.

The way i had learned was to open the top vent all the way and control temps with the bottom, is what he saying wrong or is this another way to do it? P.S I am still a newbie to cooking in general and kettles in particular:oops:

JMSetzler 03-30-2013 06:25 PM

Either way will work. The simple fact of the matter is that the airflow has to be controlled. I don't find it necessary to sweep ash in my kettle during a cook, even on longer cooks. Those air vent holes on the botom are large enough that ash falls through and doesn't clog them up. I'd prefer to NOT sweep ash during a cook because it stirs it up and it ends up on my food.

landarc 03-30-2013 06:25 PM

He is giving advice based upon how someone who designed the cooker, but, has no understanding of smoke views controlling the cooker. You can sweep the ashes with a One-Touch kettle just as easily while using the bottom vent for heat control as the top vent. Just note where the vent is set to, sweep and return within 10 minutes to the proper setting. Smoking is not a process measured in seconds or millimeters.

He is not wrong, but, you will get better results not trapping heat and smoke in the cooking chamber. Let is flow out freely.

benniesdad 03-30-2013 07:50 PM

Jamie Purviance is without a doubt one of the great experts on using kettle grills. He says the same thing in his other book "Charcoal Grilling". He prefers to control the temps with a kettle with the top vent even though on the very next page is describes how the WSM is controlled in exactly the opposite manner. As stated above, it all about airflow and how you control it. Personally, when I do low and slow on the kettle I set in mainly through the bottom vents, but I also adjust using the top vent as necessary, in particular if I have overshot my target temp. When going high temp direct or indirect grilling, I always leave the bottom and top vents 100% open. I adjust to the temps I need by other means such as building multi-zone fires, adjusting the amount and placement of coals, as well as the decision to use lump vs. briquettes.

ButtBurner 03-30-2013 07:52 PM

In all my years of using my Webers I have never, ever had to sweep the ashes during a cook.

Vision 03-30-2013 07:54 PM

You don't want to sweep ashes during a cook unless something is foiled.

1911Ron 03-31-2013 02:37 PM

Ok thanks all of the info has cleared it up, i kinda thought that you wouldn't need to sweep during a cook.

Trumpstylz 03-31-2013 02:43 PM

I was under the impression that keeping the bottom open and top closed caused more creosote. I may be completely wrong though.

1911Ron 03-31-2013 02:47 PM


Originally Posted by Trumpstylz (Post 2430400)
I was under the impression that keeping the bottom open and top closed caused more creosote. I may be completely wrong though.

Same here.

Bludawg 03-31-2013 03:42 PM

All these Self proclaimed big time Foodie experts don't know squat 95% of the time, so don't believe everything you read in some Overpriced book that is designed to separate yo from your hard earned cash. I have 3 BBQ cook books that where gifts that have been collecting dust in the same spot for over 20 yrs. The vent thing comes from Weber. They build good stuff it's a shame they don't know how to use it.

Desert Hawg 03-31-2013 03:59 PM

[QUOTE=Bludawg;2430449 The vent thing comes from Weber. They build good stuff it's a shame they don't know how to use it.[/QUOTE]Gasp:shock::shock:

Grain Belt 03-31-2013 04:12 PM

I have cooked on kettles for over 20 years and use the top vent to control temp. I usually cook between 275-350 depending on what I am making. I also always place the top vent opposite the wind and the leg without the wheel into the wind. Works for me. Going to put on a chicken in about 10 minutes.

Brian in Maine 03-31-2013 06:15 PM

I think that if you are cooking indirect on a kettle and not using any wood for smoke it is OK to control the heat with the top vent, but if you are smoking I would use the bottom so that the smoke can exit freely.

Grain Belt 03-31-2013 09:59 PM

So I just cooked a beautiful 5.5 lb. chicken indirect on the kettle with apple wood chunks. I used Kingsford blue, and started with the bottom vent open and the top vent open 3/4. It ran 340 for an hour and then I opened the vent all the way and it finished at 340 at the 1 1/2 hour mark when the thigh hit 175. I rested the bird for 15 minutes and it was great! I have cooked chickens this way since the early 90's. If the BBQ police come and get me for doing wrong, I have a succulent thigh to offer them to convince them that it tastes pretty damn good!

mbshop 03-31-2013 10:21 PM

this is an arguement that will never die, never. best is to try both and then cook the way that floats yer boat. me? i use the lower vents to control the temp and the top to micro manage if needed but the top is never closed more than 1/3rd. i first used the top vent but found i had a hard time controling the temp. if that was so, why all the vents ? to me and i was the first to mention it is to cover the lower coal grate with foil so you don't mix hot and cold air together. to me that is a big differance in controlling the temp.

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