Our insider tips help you master the heat on your charcoal grill so you have perfectly cooked food every time. Once you've gotten the hang of controlling grill temperature, try out your skills with one of our delicious grilling recipes.
When summer cookout season rolls around, it's a good time to brush up on your grill skills or learn basic techniques if you're new to grilling. While you're cooking, it's important to monitor the temperature of the grill so your food cooks properly. Although turning a knob on a gas grill is easy, these simple tricks will help you achieve the perfect temperature on a charcoal grill, too.
Many grills come with a thermometer built into the cover, which is great for indirect grilling. If you don't have one, you can buy a thermometer to put inside the grill.
The Hand Method
No thermometer on hand? Hold your hand above the grill about the height of a soda can. See how long you can keep it there comfortably. (For safety, immediately pull your hand away when it feels too hot!)
If the temperature isn't what you want, here are three ways to adjust it:
1. Reposition the coals
2. Adjust the rack (some grills come with an adjustable one)
3. Adjust the vents