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Should the BBQ Grill Vents be Open or Closed? Read And Find Out

It has been estimated that 75% of Americans own an outdoor grill or a smoker. Also, on days such as the 4th of July, 87% of the population get their stoves out to cook some delicious barbecue (CNN). Hence, we can safely say that BBQ is very popular, to say the least.

It is an event which is looked forward by everyone from your toddler to your neighbors to even your dog! The least you can do is to fulfill the expectations of those looking towards you with watering mouths waiting for some perfectly cooked meat.

However, it is not possible if you do not know about some important aspects such as how to use a charcoal grill vent. Some people do not even know the difference between whether they should keep the BBQ vents open or closed. If you are one of them, I hate to break it to you, but chances are you are going to ruin your next BBQ. Don’t start screaming yet.

We are here to help you overcome your culinary deficiencies and once you read this article, you will go on and cook some BBQ which will keep the fortunate souls in your garden licking their fingers to the bone. If this sounds like something you want to happen, keep on reading!


First of all, it is important for you to understand that the aspects of open or closed BBQ vents are not something which you can take lightly. It can make all the difference in the world when it comes to areas such as BBQ vents open or closed.

Hence, you need to make sure that you know exactly what the difference between both is and what you need to do in order to make sure that the cooking conditions are in line with the nature of the meat you are cooking.

If you have some questions in your mind about the aspect of grills or dampers, or when grilling should vents be open, you are not the only one. In fact, the questions and queries about grills are one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to the art of cooking perfect barbecue.

Now that you are feeling a little better about yourself thinking that you are not the only one, it is time for some hard love. Without adequate knowledge about the subject of grills and vents, it is not possible for you to cook tasty barbecues. Hence, you need to make sure that before you head out to your next barbecue, you are fully aware of their functioning.

It may seem hard and complex on the surface, but once you start understanding it, it is anything but. Let’s start with some basics. The dampers which are at the very bottom are known as the charcoal grill bottom vent. Their only function is to carry the burning coals.

The air vent they carry is in order to provide the burning coals with the oxygen they need to keep burning bright. Hence, you only need open vents here in this case when you need a higher level of heat.

If the coals are not burning properly, or are still blackish, not only will they give out a lot of smoke, but will also ruin the cooking. Hence, it is important to make sure that you keep them open unless the coals are bright red.

Then, you can close the vents for some time until the coals start burning down. When you feel like the heat is dying down, you need to reopen these vents.

Coming Next

Next, come the top vents. The top vents are like chimneys and they play the same role. Their sole purpose is to make sure that hot air and smoke are given passage out before they ruin the taste of the meat being cooked. They also provide a much-needed supply of the fresh air which is important for qualities such as taste.

Many people fail to realize how important the top vents are. This leads to an ultimate disaster when it comes to aspects such as taste. The inefficient management of the top vents can easily lead to the meat being overcooked or under cooked.

Hence, this is another area of high importance which you need to focus on. Weber grill vents can be used here in this case.

Another very important aspect which you need to focus on in this case is that you need to make sure the right vent combination is being used according to the size as well as the nature of the meat.

We may have emphasized the nature of the meat, but the size of the meat is important as well. For example, you would need a different combination of open and closed vents for cooking steaks, then you would for small chicken bites.

Needless to say, you can do a lot better with some experience. So, next time you head out to the grill, make sure you closely observe and take mental notes on how the different vents work and at what time you need to open or close them. This will make your next barbeque even tastier than the previous one.

Final Thoughts

In the end, it can be concluded that you need to be proficient in the area of vents and their openings and closings if you want to achieve the title of an ultimate barbecue master. These are highly important for the nature of the cooking and any mistake here can cost you the taste of the meat you are cooking.

There is some margin of error, but you should always make sure that you are venturing to be the absolute best. There are also various other sources ( which you can read up on in order to further hone up your barbecue cooking skills.