help- can't get my charcoal grill highter then 250

avidchefAugust 4, 2012

My husband and I are new to outdoor grilling. We purchased the weber performer charcoal grill with propane ignition. We bought lump charcoal as recommended for a hotter fire. We have left the bottom vent open for oxygen,

covered the grill, and closed the cover's vent. We have waited over an hour - and the temperature never gets above 250. We spread the charcoal out.

What are we doing wrong? We only want to grill a few chicken cutlets or hamburgers at a time. Is it possible we are not using enough charcoal? How much should be used? Any suggestions - helpful hints very welcome.

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

I use an amount of charcoal that will be about 2 coals high when it's ready to use and spread out. Until charcoal is ready to use, you don't want to shut the lid, the fumes need to burn off first. As long as it still smells like lighter fluid, the lid should stay open. Using more than you really need is never a bad accident, but not enough can ruin your dinner. Err on the side of too much.

When you're ready to cook, you can close the lid and adjust the vents to prevent flare-ups. Open more = more air, hotter fire, charcoals don't last as long. Usually we'll have the bottom vent barely cracked and the top vent about double that.

250 is plenty hot enough to cook about anything, probably too hot for thicker piece of chicken that would be burned on the outside before the inside was done. The temperature a few inches above the coals is much hotter if that's what the lid thermostat says (which I don't put much faith in, easy to find a cheap oven thermometer to set in a corner to check it.)

Meat thermometer is a good idea to have so you don't have to guess or judge by appearance. Once you've used it a few times, you'll get more comfortable and "good" at it.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 4:14PM
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