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Weber Kettle Help

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by Geebs, Mar 6, 2019.

  1. Geebs

    Geebs Smoking Fanatic

    Hey all,

    So i have had my weber kettle for about a year now. I have the vortex which I love using. But sometimes I cant get the hot temp that I want 500+. I load the vortex, set 2 lighter cubes on top and wait about 30-45 min, put the grate over it and let it sit for another 5 min before throwing anything on.

    To go along with that when I am not using the vortex I cant get it hot enough either. I do a full chimney of Kingsford blue, and lay those hot coals over unlit coals and it seems to only want to get to 350. I have the vents open all the way. Not sure what my issue is.
  2. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Have you checked the lid gauge ? Throw a remote therm thru the lid vent . If you're doing like you say that thing should be screamin hot .
    Try changing to Royal Oak , but I don't think that's the whole problem . Check that therm .
  3. Geebs

    Geebs Smoking Fanatic

    Should have said im using digital therms I use for my smokers. The guage and therms are spot on with eachother.
  4. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's strange . If the vents are open wide , with a full load , I would suspect the KBB . Grab a bag of Royal oak ridge . Is it a one touch vent system ? I had one that came loose once and wasn't opening all the way ,,, just sayin,,, not much else it could be .
  5. Geebs

    Geebs Smoking Fanatic

    Ya I will try, I can confirm that all vents are open, I make sure before it starts. Just really odd. For some reason I think I bought Royal Oak when I first started and had the same issues. I just cant figure out whats going on. Its not like it could be defective.
  6. radioguy

    radioguy Smoking Fanatic

    Try using lump charcoal or some small half fist sized wood chunks. Definitely check that thermo for accuracy.

  7. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Right , make sure your not burning up to much charcoal before you dump it . I have been guilty of that .
    73saint likes this.
  8. Geebs

    Geebs Smoking Fanatic

    At what point in the chimney do you dump? I usually wait till the top charcial is white on the edges.

    The only way I get the Vortex to exceed 500 is by putting in wood chunks on top of the grate above the vortex.
  9. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    When I fire up the Vortex I usually either use a chimney starter and dump the lit coals into the Vortex, or I'll put two starter cubes on the charcoal grate, lite them and pour the charcoal on TOP of the charcoal. Either way works for me - however the charcoal starter is quicker. All vents wide open all the time.

    Geebs likes this.
  10. Geebs

    Geebs Smoking Fanatic

    When do you know to dump the lit coals from the chimney?
  11. yankee2bbq

    yankee2bbq Smoking Fanatic

    When the charcoal is ashed over. Not completely gray, but at the point to where the charcoal is starting to turn gray.
  12. Geebs

    Geebs Smoking Fanatic

    I think I am waiting too long, its usually pretty grey/white by the time im dumping it, but the tops are still black.
  13. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I dump mine when the upper part is still black. . I leave it banked up on one side so it finishes lighting.
    Geebs likes this.
  14. Phil Chart

    Phil Chart Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    This may be a dumb question but is your charcoal old and been absorbing moisture?
  15. Geebs

    Geebs Smoking Fanatic

    Not unless HD is selling old charcoal. I only buy 2 bags at a time or at the max it sits for like 2-3 months when I buy in bulk.
  16. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member


  17. mike243

    mike243 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Start the fire on the bottom for the best high temp if your not using a chimney,the draft is pulling air up so the fire will get pulled up ,it has a hard time burning downward and will be slower
  18. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've used charcoal that was years old with no problems. I keep charcoal in loosely covered charcoal buckets in the back yard. They have no problem lighting or staying lit even through a rainy winter.

    Air flow is the issue. Once you put the lI'd on, even with all vents full open, 500F is a high temp.

    Do everything the same and offset the lid instead of seating it. You'll get your 500F temp because hot, unrestricted airflow Ridge will burn close to 1000F.
  19. My chimney method:
    Skip the newspaper, cubes, and use a good hot starter. I use 1/2 egg carton soaked in bacon grease or wadded up paper towels that sucked the fat on the plate after cooking bacon.
    After the chimney gets a nice plume and the starter is mostly burned (maybe 5 minutes), I give it a good shaking to get the well lit briquettes mixed into the semi lit and un lit to even out the process. A couple minutes (not more than 5), give it another mix shake and dump the chimney.
  20. I agree your just waiting too long to dump your coals from the chimney. I let mine go maybe 15 minutes after lighting using 3-4 pieces of news paper (lump charcoal makes a mess on the side burner of the grill.. ask me how I know this..). The top section of charcoal should still be black with some nice flames shooting out and the bottom glowing red. I have switched to lump charcoal from the standard Kingsford briquettes because I burns hotter, longer and cleaner with complete burn (all ash).
    chopsaw likes this.