How BBQ Grill Vents Work

- 2021-09-28-

Bottom Vents

The dampers on the bottom of most charcoalBBQgrillsor along the lower half of smokers have exactly one function: to fuel the fire with oxygen. Think of them as intake ports, sucking in fresh air to replace the oxygen burned by combustion. The more air, the hotter the fire. The less air, the cooler the internal temperature of the grill. No air and the fire goes out. On my Weber kettle, I always start with all three bottom vents open. Then I close each partially to get the charcoals burning at the rate for the type of fire I want.

Top Vents

Think of the dampers on the lid like you would a chimney. They vent hot air and smoke out of the top of theBBQgrill, which then pulls fresh air through the bottom grill vents. Because this exhaust is critical to how much air comes into the grill, the top vents are more important than you might think. Close them and, with a well-sealed grill, you’ll kill your fire. In most