How do you control the temp on your charcoal braai?

Many people think it’s the amount of charcoal you use, but the answer lies with the air dampers. Adjusting the air dampers will increase or decrease your temperature. The more air going into the braai, the hotter the braai will get. The less air going into your braai, the cooler it will get.

Most of our charcoal braais have two dampers – a top lid damper and the dampers on your bottom bowl.

We suggest leaving the bottom dampers fully open and using the top lid damper to control the temperature. Factors such as the temperature outside, how windy it is, how clean (or dirty) your braai is and even the food you are braaing can affect the temperature of your braai, but these are the top lid damper settings we suggest to achieve different temperatures on your braai: 


High heat (230-290°C) – Fully open

Medium heat (180-230°C) – ½ open

Low heat (120-180°C) – ¼ open

Low and slow/smoke zone (110-130°C) – 1/4 – 1/8 open 

Off – Fully closed

Remember to keep the inside of your bowl and ash catcher clean to promote good air flow throughout your braai.  If those bottom dampers get clogged up it can affect the performance of your braai.

The lid thermometer, if applicable, registers the overall ambient temperature of your braai. If your braai doesn’t have a lid thermometer, you can use the ambient probe on our iGrill app-connected thermometer to register the temperature of your braai. 

The Chimney Starter and Lighter Cubes are a must for charcoal braais as well. Now that you are a certified charcoal braai expert, let the good times and smoke roll!

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