Summer is in full swing, which means all the backyard BBQ parties are in effect. Nothing says summer like a plate of deliciously charred food. Getting the perfect amount of grill marks while ensuring everything is cooked from the outside in is a skill, that when mastered, will leave everyone begging to be your guest! If you’re new to the world of grilling or simply want to brush up on your skills, follow along with this blog to become a master of your barbeque!

First Lesson: Lid

The most basic and commonly overlooked part of your barbeque is the lid. The way in which your food cooks on the grill is largely due to the cooking temperature. Utilizing the lid is a great way to cook food from the inside out. Depending on the type of vegetable or cut of meat you’re cooking, you’ll want to incorporate the lid for different amounts of time. Leaving the lid on your grill is great for thick cuts of meat or full-sized potatoes. Essentially, this technique is going to trap the heat and create an oven effect. The food will begin to cook internally as well as obtain the lovely grill marks from the burning coal below. Bone-in meats need more than just your basic char-grilled marks to be complete; they also need to internally cook! For veggies and leaner cuts of meat, such as a burger patty, you should skip the lid altogether. Foods that cook quickly on the grill don’t need the additional heat to cook thoroughly. Keeping all this in mind, next time you’re faced with the struggle of whether to use the lid or skip it, just look to your food size for guidance.

Second Lesson: Vents

Vents, while often overlooked, are less basic and easy to understand. For those who don’t grill very often, the use these nifty grilling accessories may just be a guessing game. We are here to break down all the necessary functions of each vent! Essentially, vents manipulate the airflow allowed in and out of your barbeque while the grilling is happening. There is a vent on the bottom of your grill and one that sits on top of the lid. Assuming you now have a good understanding of how and when to use your lid, the use of the vent should be considered as well. While the vent on the bottom of the barbeque is what controls the amount of oxygen surfacing to the top, the vent on your lid is what allows the heat to escape. In short, the more oxygen that is allowed into the grill, the hotter the inside of your barbeque will be. This also works in unison with how much heat is being allowed to escape through the lid vent. Though there are just two vents, they can be used strategically in many different ways. Often, its trial and error to see what works best for you and the types of food you’re cooking; many people also use the vents to control the speed at which the food cooks. Regardless of how you like to grill on your barbeque, just remember the more open your vents are, the hotter your barbeque will get, which in turn allows for you food to heat up and cook quickly!


Becoming a grill master is a lot more difficult than many would believe. Whether you’re a pro at grilling on the barbeque or you simply want to brush up your skills, learning more about the strategies behind the lid and vents is never a bad idea! At the end of the day, it all comes down to the temperatures and grill times. If you can keep those two goals in the back of your head while learning how to be a master of the barbeque, you’ll be a pro in no time. For more information on all things barbeque grill related, check out Don’s Heating & Cooling!