Setting up a Weber Charcoal Kettle for Indirect Cooking

Setting up a Weber Charcoal Kettle for Indirect Cooking


Indirect cooking is the cooking method that transforms your barbecue into an oven, where convection heat is used to roast or bake. The food is placed on the cooking grill with fire either side, evenly cooking the food with indirect heat.


Open the top and bottom vents on the barbecue, and remove the lid.

This guide is based on using 'Char-Baskets' and a charcoal 'V' grate, the method can vary slightly if you are using a Chimney Starter or a charcoal grill without baskets or a 'V' grate.

If using 'Char-Baskets': Place 4 firelighters (2 on each side) in the cavities provided in your charcoal ‘V’ grate. Place the char-baskets™ on the charcoal grate and fill them with the required number of briquettes. (For quantities, see table below).
If using a 'Chimney Starter': Place 2 firelighters on the charcoal grate with some crumbled newspaper, then place the Chimney Starter on top so that the firelighters are in the base of the chimney. Fill the Chimney Starter with the required number of briquettes.
If using Charcoal Rails: Place 2 firelighters in each section separated by the charcoal rails (one on each side) and then fill them with the required number of briquettes.

Light the firelighters and using a pair of tongs, move the filled char-baskets over the firelighters. Make sure that all of the firelighters are burning well before leaving the barbecue as sometimes a strong wind can blow them out if they are not burning well.
The barbecue may now be left until the briquettes are ready to cook. It will take about 25-30 minutes for the fire to establish itself. During this time, make sure that the lid is left off the barbecue and all vents are open. This allows more oxygen to reach the briquettes which helps establish the fire faster.

Once the briquettes have mostly ashed over, you can move the char-baskets to the rim of the charcoal grate, and place a drip pan between them.
The briquettes are 'ashed over' when they are predominantly white in colour.
Place the cooking grill on the barbecue with the grill handles directly over the fires. The hinged sides are to facilitate the addition of either smoking wood chunks or, should the need arise, extra barbecue fuel.
Place the lid on the barbecue, let the cooking grill preheat for 10-15 minutes, and then brush it clean. Now place your food in the centre of the cooking grill, in between the fires.
For best results when cooking, keep the lid on the barbecue as much as possible. Remember, "if you're lookin, you ain't cookin".


The temperature of an indirect cooking fire is determined by the amount of fuel used. These temperatures are achieved by using the below barbecue briquette quantities.

Weber® BBQ Briquette Quantities (per basket)
57cm Kettles (22 inch)

Temperature (°C) No. of Briquettes (per basket)
High Heat 22 - 24 briquettes
Medium Heat 18 - 20 briquettes
Medium Low Heat 14 - 16 briquettes
Low Heat 8 - 10 briquettes


Weber® BBQ Briquette Quantities (per basket)
47cm Kettles (18 inch)

Temperature (°C) No. of Briquettes (per basket)
High Heat 16 - 18 briquettes
Medium Heat 14 - 16 briquettes
Medium Low Heat 12 - 14 briquettes
Low Heat 6 - 8 briquettes

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