A delicious barbecue is the life of Get-togethers. It is fun and adventurous to grill the meat yourself. The smell in the atmosphere increases your appetite, and you think, “That’s real life.”
However, all good things come at a price. While grilling is enjoyable, it is not as easy as it sounds.
When grilling, do you cover the charcoal grill after lighting? Things like these are always on our minds because no one wants to spoil their grilling experience.
Today we are here to deal with all of your queries about covering the charcoal grill.
Should You Cover the Charcoal Grill after Lighting?
The straightforward answer is Yes! You should cover the charcoal grill after lighting.
The following reasons will help you understand why covering the lid is recommended during grilling.
Pro Tip: Whenever you cover the lid of the charcoal grill, always ensure that the vents of the grill are open. Read more on this below.
Reason#1: Covering Aids in Igniting the Charcoal
Prior to adding food to the grill, it is crucial to heat it up. Otherwise, the food will not cook properly. Covering the grill with the lid after igniting it allows the charcoal to heat up and become ripe.
Reason#2: Covering Helps to Maintain the Temperature of the Grill
The grill temperature is a significant factor in cooking the meat to perfection. Improper grilled meat will make the taste fade away, plus it will be a buzz kill. Covering the grill for the right amount of time will ensure adequate temperature.
Reason#3: Covering the Grill Will Save Food from Burning
Grilling meat on an open grill will allow excess oxygen to reach the coals, causing them to burn hotter than needed, which will result in burnt food. Therefore, it is necessary to cover the grill and keep the extra air apart.
Reason#4: Covering Ensures Fully Cooked Meat
Covering the lid balances the heat in the grill. This allows the meat to receive the right amount of temperature to get cooked from the inside. Thus, meat cooked on a covered grill will be cooked to the center and be more uniform in doneness.
We hope these reasons are enough for you to understand why experts recommend keeping the lid of the charcoal grill closed while grilling.
Now you would be thinking that covering the grill will do the trick for you. But do you know when to cover the grill or for how long?
Okay, for your ease, now let us tackle all such queries and make charcoal grilling fun for you.
Covering the Charcoal Grill – Queries and Answers
When to Cover the Charcoal Grill?
Instantly after lighting the charcoal, cover the grill with a lid and leave it for 10-15 minutes. When charcoal turns gray and ash-colored, understand that your grill grates are ready to cook juicy meat.
For How Much Longer Should You Cover the Charcoal Grill?
Covering time also depends on the meat you are dealing with. The harder the meat, the more temperature and time it will need.
It is better to keep the lid down for longer when grilling more enormous steaks, chicken, or entire roasts, especially if you’re using indirect heat.
Does Covering Charcoal Grill Make It Hotter?
The covering doesn’t make it hotter. As a matter of fact, it helps to circulate the temperature around the meat and ensures uniform cooking.
Still, if you feel like the grill is heating up, opening the vent wide is the right way to go instead of opening the lid.
Why Should I Keep the Vents in the Charcoal Grill Open?
Charcoal grills have two types of vents that come in handy when you cover the grill. One is to let the required oxygen in (intake damper), and the second is to let the unwanted gasses out (exhaust damper). At all times, it is necessary to keep both the vents open. Let us tell you why.
Opening the intake damper is essential to allow oxygen to get into the grill and fuel the charcoal. If you close it, the fire will not receive enough oxygen and burn out.
Similarly, just like the intake damper, you cannot close the exhaust damper at any time of grilling. The exhaust damper pushes the smoke and unwanted gasses out of the grill. If you close the exhaust damper, gasses like carbon dioxide and monoxide will kill the oxygen and extinguish the fire.
How Do You Control the Temperature After Covering the Charcoal Grill?
After covering the grill, you can use vents to control the grill’s temperature. These vents are at the bottom of the grill.
If you want to increase the temperature, open both vents wide. This way, the exhaust damper will pull out the harmful gasses and make space for oxygen that the intake damper will bring in.
However, close the vents partially if you want less air and a normal temperature.
When Should You Not Cover the Charcoal Grill?
You should leave the grill open if you’re grilling fast foods like burgers, thin steaks, chops, fish, shrimp, or cut vegetables directly over the flames.
Effective Tips and Tricks
- Only lift the grill lid when checking or flipping the food. But do not over lift the lid, especially when cooking steaks, ribs, or pork shoulder.
- If you are a beginner and do not know how to control the grill’s temperature efficiently, keep both vents open at all times.
- If you cannot achieve the required temperature even after covering the grill and opening the vents, check the grill for leaks.
After reading this post thoroughly, we hope your query “do you cover charcoal grill after lighting?” must have been resolved. Now, invite your friends and make a perfect barbeque for them by covering the charcoal grill.
Covering the grill will help ignite the charcoal, maintain the correct temperature, and ensure fully cooked and uniform meat. Moreover, covering the lid will keep the extra oxygen away and save your food from burning.
However, remember that keeping the vents open is as crucial as covering the lid to attain perfect results.