Grilling Tips from Weber

Approaching the grill for the first time? Or maybe you’ve grilled before but were less than thrilled with the results. Either way, relax. With these tips you’ll soon be brandishing the tongs like a pro.

Starting Up

Charcoal Grills:

Remove the lid and open all air vents before building the fire. NOTE: For proper airflow, remove accumulated ashes from the bottom of the grill if present (only after the coals are fully extinguished). Charcoal requires oxygen to burn, so be sure nothing clogs the vents.

Pile the charcoal into a Weber® RapidFire® Chimney Starter.

Place either lighter cubes (they are non-toxic, odorless and tasteless) or crumpled newspaper under the pile of briquettes and light. NOTE: We purposely left out instructions for using lighter fluid. That’s because we think the choices previously outlined are superior. Lighter fluid is messy and can impart a chemical taste to your food unless it is thoroughly burned off. If you choose to use lighter fluid, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and NEVER add lighter fluid to a burning fire.

When coals are covered with a light grey ash (usually 15 to 20 minutes), arrange the coals with long-handled tongs according to the cooking method you are going to use.

For additional smoke flavor, consider adding hardwood chips or chunks (soaked in water for at least 30 minutes and drained) or moistened fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, or bay leaves. Place the wet wood or herbs directly on the coals just before you begin cooking.

Gas:

Open the lid of your gas grill and make sure all control knobs are in the off position.

Slowly open the valve on your propane tank all the way or turn on the gas at the source and then wait a minute for the gas to travel through the gas line.

Light each burner individually following the owners guide instructions for your grill model

Close the lid

Preheat the grill for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the grill’s thermometer registers 500° to 550°F.

Brush the cooking grates with a stainless steel grill brush to remove any leftover debris

Adjust all burners to the temperature noted in the recipe, close the lid, and allow the grill to come to the proper temperature

Note:

  • Always keep the bottom tray and grease catch pan of your gas grill clean and free of debris. This not only prevents dangerous grease fires, it deters visits from unwanted critters.
  • If a flare-up should occur, turn all burners to OFF and move food to another area of the cooking grate. Any flames will quickly subside. Then, light the grill again. NEVER USE WATER TO EXTINGUISH FLAMES ON A GAS GRILL.
  • Do not line the funnel-shaped bottom tray with foil. This could prevent the grease from flowing into the grease catch pan. Grease is also likely to catch in the tiny creases of the foil and start a fire.

Proper Grilling Form

Direct vs. Indirect Method

Weber charcoal grills and gas barbecues give you great grilled results every time because they are designed to give you ultimate control of your grilling temperature and cooking method. Here we explain the secret to great grilling. (Remember, whether you’re cooking by the Direct or Indirect Method, always grill with the lid on.)

Direct Method

The Direct Method is similar to broiling. Food is cooked directly over the heat source. For even cooking, food should be turned once halfway through the grilling time. Use the Direct method for foods that take less than 25 minutes to cook: like steaks, chops, kabobs, sausages and vegetables. Direct cooking is also necessary to sear meats. Searing creates that wonderful crisp, caramelized texture where the food hits the grate. It also adds nice grill marks and flavor to the entire food surface. Steaks, chops, chicken pieces, and larger cuts of meat all benefit from searing.

To grill by the Direct Method on a charcoal grill, spread prepared coals evenly across the charcoal grate. Set the cooking grate over the coals and place food on the cooking grate. Place the lid on the grill and lift it only to turn food or to test for doneness at the end of the recommended cooking time.

To grill by the Direct Method on a gas grill, preheat the grill with all burners on High. Place the food on the cooking grate, then adjust all burners to the temperature noted in the recipe. Close the lid of the grill and lift it only to turn food or to test for doneness at the end of the recommended cooking time.

Indirect Method

The Indirect Method is similar to roasting, but with the added benefits of that grilled texture, flavor, and appearance you can’t get from an oven. Heat rises, reflects off the lid and inside surfaces of the grill, and slowly cooks the food evenly on all sides. The circulating heat works much like a convection oven.. Use the Indirect Method for foods that require 25 minutes or more of grilling time or for foods that are so delicate that direct exposure to the heat source would dry them out or scorch them. Examples include roasts, ribs, whole chickens, turkeys, and other large cuts of meat, as well as delicate fish fillets.

To grill by the Indirect Method on a charcoal grill, arrange hot coals evenly on either side of the charcoal grate. A drip pan placed in the center of the charcoal grate between the coals is useful to collect drippings that can be used for gravies and sauces. It also helps prevent flare-ups when cooking fattier foods such as goose, duck, or fatty roasts. For longer cooking times, add water to the drip pan to keep drippings from burning. Place the cooking grate over the coals and place the food on the cooking grate, centered over the drip pan or empty space. Place the lid on the grill and lift it only to baste or check for doneness at the end of the suggested cooking.

To grill by the Indirect Method on a gas grill, preheat the grill with all burners on High. Then adjust the burners on each side of the food to the temperature noted in the recipe and turn off the burner(s) directly below the food. For best results, place roasts, poultry, or large cuts of meat on a roasting rack set inside a disposable heavy-gauge foil pan. For longer cooking times, add water to the foil pan to keep drippings from burning.

NUMBER OF BRIQUETTES

To maintain a proper grilling temperature during longer cooking times, add charcoal to your Weber Grill as listed below.

Direct Grill Diameter Weber Briquettes Needed Charcoal Briquettes Needed
Go anywhere 12 16
14″ (37 cm) 25 30
18 Compact 30 40
18″ (47cm) 30 40
22″ (57 cm) 40 50
26″ (67cm) 65 80
37″(95cm) 115 150
Summit 48 60