What does closing the bbq lid do?

When it comes to grilling, you want to cook your food so it has that crispy, slightly charred outside with a moist and tender inside. The cooking time and method can differ for this depending on what you are cooking. So, there is often the question of when and why you should close the BBQ lid?

What exactly does closing the lid do to your food?

It seems everyone has a different answer to this question. But at OutdoorChef, we would like to clear things up and offer up some simple tips to help you for when you embark on your next BBQ venture.

The bbq lid closed means convection

To put it simply, closing the lid on the BBQ means you are creating a convection grill. The hot air coming from the heat source is trapped by the lid and unable to escape. It therefore moves around the chamber, creating more of a traditional oven type cooking method, helping the inside of the meat to cook through.

The bbq lid open means searing

Leaving the lid open you are allowing the heat to burn right through the food, searing the outside, creating that crispy caramelisation on the outer edge, without overcooking the inside.

The thickness of the food matters

The thickness of the food plays a huge part in what type of grilling you should consider when cooking. Food that is ¾ inch thick or less has a smaller middle to cook, so there is no need to put the lid down as it doesn’t need the addition of convection grilling.

Food that is thicker will benefit from closed lid convection grilling, as it will ensure the food is cooked more evenly in the middle, and avoid any danger of undercooked food.

Exceptions to the rule

You may sometimes find using both techniques get the perfect balance of crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. This is particularly the case when the food is around the ¾ inch mark. In these situations, you can either sear the food first with an open lid to get a good char, then reduce the heat and close the lid. Or you can start with the lid down to get an evenly cooked centre, and finish off with an open lid sear!

At the end of the day, grilling is all about trial and error. Only you will know what works best for you and your BBQ. But as long as you understand the basics behind the open and closed lid methods, and you use these tips as guide, you will be one step closer to achieving the ultimate grilled menu!

If you’re are in the market for a new BBQ and need help deciding whether Gas, Charcoal or Electric is the right choice for you, our experts at OUTDOORCHEF will be more than happy to help. With our range of easy, versatile and healthy grill options to choose from, we are confident we have something to suit everyone. Don’t hesitate to contact us on +44 1539 7959 20 or contact us today!