Weber Kettle venting question....

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Sep 2, 2010
I am visiting my folks in AZ and we bought a brisket to smoke on their Weber Kettle grill. I just went out to empty the ash tray and see that this model only has the thee big openings for venting at the bottom and no rotating tri-finned plated to close off the vents.

My question is should use
1) some foil to cover one or more of the opening
2) leave them open and hope I can control things with the top vent
3) cover them all and poke holes in the foil to open as needed
4) or something else that I did not think of

Any input before I start the fire (which will be in about an hour), will be appreciated.

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[quote name="rbranstner" url="/forum/thread/104374/weber-kettle-venting-question#post_605941"]
Do you have  any of those flexible magnets that you can use to regulate the size of  the opening.

That is a good idea and we do happen to have some. I will give this a try, thanks.
That is a great idea.  I'd keep a close eye on them.  I'd think that they would melt.  Keep foil on hand to wad up and stuff in the holes.

What model is it?  I've never seen a Weber that didn't have the tri holes that could be closed off.
This my first time playing with a Weber and it turns out when I cleaned out all of the old ash I found I was just not observant enough, as it does have the vent close things..

The 5.81 pound brisket is on now.... With the vents closed down, I see I need very little amount of the lump charcoal to keep the temps down below 250.
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Good luck to you.  Hope you've got a quality thermometer.  I've smoked plenty chicken and fatties on my Weber Kettle, but I don't think I'd attempt a brisket.  That's a long smoke.  You're gonna be riding temps all day.  I'm sure it'll be tasty.

Don't forget the qview
Dang it Al.  I followed your link and have been wandering all over their videos.  Wonder why SWMBO thinks I'm addicted to these smoking sites.  They've got some great stuff over there.

Those BBQ Pit guys must have over 100 videos, once you get started watching them you can't stop!
Good luck to you.  Hope you've got a quality thermometer.  I've smoked plenty chicken and fatties on my Weber Kettle, but I don't think I'd attempt a brisket.  That's a long smoke.  You're gonna be riding temps all day.  I'm sure it'll be tasty.

Don't forget the qview
Since it was requested.....

The prices of Brisket in Az, much lower than back home


All rubbed down... This sat over night in the refrigerator,then rested for 45 minutes to get ready for the Weber.


Tending the fire.... This was my first smoke on a Weber. I bought real lump charcoal and burned indirectly.


Almonds being sliced to go with the green beans


Toasting the almond in butter and garlic to make a version of Green Beans Almondine


Almost ready to wrap...


Looks like a nice bark is forming...


Potatoes are baking


Dawn made the salad..


Wrapped to 185, rested for 30 minutes and ready to slice...


Little video of the slicing, my dad need his knives sharpened. View/?action=view&current=P3130017.mp4

Ready to serve...


Placed on the table and the family is ready to feast...


Thanks for the input and advice.  This was a very good experience in fire control, I think I see a Weber Kettle to be added to my home collection.


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[quote name="The Dude Abides" url="/forum/thread/104374/weber-kettle-venting-question#post_608220"]
Awesome psot!  Pulling off a brisket in a kettle is surely no simple task. 

How long did it take?

How often did you have to load new charcoal?


I took the "use the minion method" advice. Not having my charcoal chimney I had bought Charbroils Sure2Burn Fire Starter Packets. After piling the lump coals along one edge covering about 1/3rd of the perimeter, I stuck one packet into the right side of coals. This worked great. I had stuck the probe into the top vent and waited to the temps got to 250. However when I looked at the gauge on the grill grate surface the temp there was well over 300. So I shut the vents down and waited until things dropped back to almost 250 then I put the brisket on. It was about about 10:30 am, wrapped at 165 around 3:00 pm and reached 185 at 4:50 pm. Unwrapped and sliced at 5:30.

In total I used about 5 of the 8 pounds of lump in the bag, adding to the original pile three times. I may have been able to do without the last addition as I was left with some un-burned coal.


I am sure that the 80 plus degree outside temps and easy breeze help keep things consistent. I bought my real fire smoker this winter and have trying to control the fire in the very windy and cold conditions of northern Illinois in January/February.
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Here is the video I put together, basically the same as above but set to music.... is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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