The Perfect Summer BBQ: A Guide to the Weber Charcoal Grill
My Summer Grill
Charcoal Grill Guide
Weber Charcoal Grills are an American classic that bring back memories of July 4th BBQ's, and Grandpa cooking those perfectly charred hot dogs I just loved as a kid. There's something about that smoky, campfire taste that just can't be replicated by anything short of a charcoal grill. I bought myself a Weber One-Touch Silver and have loved every mouth-watering moment since. With a price tag at about $100, you can't beat the BBQ for the buck.
A Great Weber Grill Guide
A Beginner's Guide to Charcoal Grilling
This guide covers:
1.) How to choose your charcoal.
2.) How to get your charcoal grill lit.
3.) How to control your charcoal grill temperature.
4.) How to choose the right Cooking Method.
5.) Great BBQ ideas and my experience with the Weber One-Touch Silver
Weber One-Touch Silver
The Perfect Summer BBQ
Weber charcoal grills are perfect for BBQ rookies and experts a-like. They're incredibly forgiving, yet have the ability to produce award winning BBQ with some dedication. Getting your Weber charcoal grill started is simple and may I say, pretty fun! First you'll have to decide which kind of charcoal you'll want to use. Charcoal briquettes are widely available and cheaper than Natural Lump Charcoal, but they both have their pros and cons. Here's a quick explanation of the two:
1.) Pick your Charcoal: Briquettes vs. Natural Lump
Charcoal Briquettes- These are compressed coals made from wood by-products and chemicals, designed for a long even burn.
Natural Lump Charcoal- These are charred all natural lumps of wood, perfect for the BBQ purist. But beware... They burn hotter and faster than charcoal briquettes.
I prefer the all natural lump charcoal myself. They're a little more spendy, but the natural wood flavor tastes worlds better than the imitation flavor in the briquettes. I try to grill as natural as possible, no lighter fluid, and natural lump... but that's just me. You'll find what work's best for you.
Natural Lump Charcoal
Weber Chimney Starter in Action!
2.) Prepare Your Grill
Now that you have picked your charcoal, prepare your grill by taking out the top grate and opening the bottom vents.
Open the Bottom Vent- On the bottom of the Weber Silver series is a vent that allows oxygen to pass through the grill. When starting your grill, slide this lower vent all the way open so your coals will get nice and hot.
Then Light Your Charcoal- There are a couple of ways to get your charcoal ready for the grill. I prefer to use a charcoal chimney...
Weber Charcoal chimney
Weber Charcoal Chimney- This is a sturdy metal ventilated vessel, that helps heat your coals quickly and evenly. Set your charcoal chimney on the lower grate in your Weber Grill, then fill up your chimney with the charcoal of your choice. Place a starting cube or newspaper under the loaded chimney, light, and it will be ready to go in about 20 minutes. Once the top coals are covered in white ash, dump the coals onto the lower grate in your Weber Charcoal Grill, spread them evenly and you're good to go.
The Pyramid Method- If you don't have a charcoal chimney. Simply stack your charcoal into a pyramid or pile. Place newspaper in the grate below the stack and light. Many charcoal briquettes are easy light, however if you prefer to use lighter fluid follow the directions given on the bottle.
4 Steps to Easy Grillin'
- Load the Chimney
I love my Weber Charcoal Chimney. It makes lighting your coals easy and fast. The Weber Rapidfire Starter is the model I bought, and I've been nothing but impressed. I never grill with out it. Check out this 5 star charcoal chimney starter on Amazon.
The Weber Charcoal Chimney Starter
3.) Choose your cooking method
Direct Heat- certain foods cook better over direct high heat. Foods like flank steak, burgers, and other quicker cooking foods can be placed right over the coals and brought to temperature. If you plan on grilling over direct heat, spread a layer of coals over the bottom grate, and place your food directly over the heat.
Indirect Heat- other foods should be cooked over indirect heat. This is for foods that require lower longer cooks. If you plan on grilling with indirect heat move a single layer of coals to one side of the grill, or both sides leaving the center empty. Place your food on the opposite side of the hot coals. Then put on the lid and position the top vent over your food. This will require the smoke and heat to travel over your food and out the top vent, giving it a delicious smoky flavor.
If you're not sure whether to position your coals for direct heating or indirect heating, use this table for a reference.
Cooking Times & Methods
Boneless Chicken Breast
Med. 8-12 min.
Med. 8-10 min.
Med. 18-20 min.
Med. 30-40 min.
Med. 1- 1.5 hr.
High 5-10 min.
Med. 4- 5 min. per ½ in. thickness; 8- 10 min. per 1 in. thickness
2" Thick Cut Steak
High 6-8 min. sear
High 8-10 min.
High 8-10 min.
High 8-10 min.
1" Pork Chop
Med. 8-10 min.
Spare Ribs/Baby Back
Low 3-4 hrs.
For the Reddit Grillers
*Note: It's best to set up an area in your grill with direct heat (directly above the coals), and an area with indirect heat (indirect heat from the coals), so you can better control your cooking temperatures. If you find foods like chicken charring to easily over direct heat, move them to the indirect heat area of the grill to finish cooking.
Sweet & Spicy Wings
4.) Getting Your Grill to Temperature
Once your coals are hot and ashed over, you'll want to put on the lid and adjust the grills temperature. If you want to have any success on your Weber grill you'll need to invest in a digital thermometer. You can find them for about $30 bucks at any grill store, or for cheap on Amazon. Place the thermometer on a consistent place on the top grate. Now it's time to adjust your vent:
Weber Vent Control
Using the Top and Bottom Vents-
Getting your grill to to the right temperature and keeping it there will take some practice, but before your know it you'll be King (or Queen) of the vents! Use your digital thermometer to track internal temperatures.
The Bottom Vent- Think of your bottom vent as the temperature control knob- the more you open it the hotter your grill will get, just remember...
Open Wide! The wider you open the vents the hotter the Grill will get.
Choke it! The more you close the vents to choke the oxygen flow, and lower the temperature will get.
The Top Vent- The top vent plays part in temperature control, but consider it more of the smoke control knob.
Practice with these vents and your digital thermometer to reach your desired temperature.
Specific BBQ Temperatures (F)
5.) Grill On!
Now that your grill's at the perfect temperature you're ready to grill.
- Place your favorite items on the grill & cover
- Adjust your top and bottom vents as needed.
- Flip halfway through cooking if necessary
- Use your digital thermometer to check your foods internal temperature.
Internal Temperature for Grilling
The Temp. (F)
Pork Chops (well)
160 and above
160 and above
Master of the Grill
Once you've mastered the basics of controlling your Weber one touch silver series, you'll discover the possibilities to BBQ infamy are endless! You'll be the talk of the town with those fall-off-the-bone skills your neighbors envy.
Smoked Chicken Halves
Great BBQ Ideas for Beginners
Smoke a whole chicken
Make BBQ meatballs
Grill Spicy Chicken Wings
Create a Double Beef Double Bacon Burger