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Charcoal Grill FAQ's
How to Use Charcoal on the Kettleman™

How to Use Charcoal on the Kettleman™


From top to bottom, the Kettleman™ has been designed to give you a better cooking experience. And how you use charcoal is an important part. Thanks to the innovative design, the Kettleman™ requires less charcoal than a standard charcoal grill.


Direct Grilling


For standard direct cooking, distribute about 50 briquettes evenly. Don’t worry about the gaps. Just be sure to let the cooking grate pre-heat for 5 to 10 minutes to get that perfect sear on steaks, chops, burgers or anything else you want to sizzle.

You can also cook directly by leaving the coals mounded in the middle and positioning your food above the coals.

To make lighting the charcoal easy, use a chimney starter, or you can mound the briquettes into a pyramid-shaped pile. Lighter fluid, fire starters or crumpled paper will all help start the burn.

When the coals are mostly covered in light grey ash it’s time to get cooking.

Indirect Grilling


The Char-Broil Kettleman™ offers you a variety of ways to control the heat for a low and slow burn. The Kettleman™’s fire grate is higher and 20% wider, you can cook a variety of food by surrounding it with a consistent low heat.

For standard indirect cooking, pre-heat about 60 briquettes to cover half the fire grate. Then place your food on the other half of the grill.

You can also arrange about 60 briquettes in a ring around the outside edge. Pre-heat the coal, and then place your food in the middle of the grate.

To get a real low and slow burn, the Kettleman™ has you covered. Arrange about 80 briquettes in a c-shape around the fire grate. Light one end to allow the charcoal to burn like a fuse providing you more than 6 hours of cooking time. After the first few coals turn white, place the cooking grate on the charcoal.

You can even use a pile of charcoal in the middle of the fire grate to achieve indirect heating, as long as you place your food around the outer edge. If you need longer cook time, add a few extra briquettes before placing the cooking grate on.

Charcoal Grill Troubleshooting
Residue in grill

Residue in grill


If you have a sticky, red residue or black residue, similar to cast iron cookware, offset smokers and grills must be seasoned before use. The interior surfaces are pre-seasoned with vegetable oil before they leave the factory. This protective coating can be sticky and red in appearance. Refer to the owner’s manual for instructions on completing the seasoning process before first use. This is either residual charcoal that has settled during cooking or food particles left on the cooking grates from prior use.

Charcoal Grill Cleaning and Maintenance
Charcoal temperature won't regulate

Charcoal temperature won't regulate


You can regulate the temperature by adjusting the grill dampers. If you’re not able to achieve the temperature you need, check for any gaps in the damper. If the damper is bent or warped, it will not create an efficient seal, and you’ll need to buy a new grill damper. Each charcoal grill has a unique configuration, so make sure to check your manual.

Intake Damper

The intake damper is the main temperature control in the grill and brings oxygen to the fire. The intake damper will be on the grill firebox or the offset smoker fire box. When starting up the grill, leave the damper open so oxygen can get to the flame and feed the fire--if you close the damper, oxygen can’t get to the fire and it’ll die off. For hotter temperatures, keep the damper open. Partially close the damper to starve the fire of oxygen and cool off the grill--open the vent back if you notice the temperature drops too low.





Exhaust Damper

The exhaust damper will be on the smokestack of barrel-style charcoal grills or on the lid of non-barrel charcoal grills. The exhaust grill damper allows heat and smoke to escape the firebox. By opening the vent, you release the excess smoke and create low pressure inside the grill. The low pressure pulls oxygen into the intake vent on the side of the firebox.