Is It Better To Grill With The Grill Lid On Or off

grill lid on or off
Is It Better To Grill With The Lid Open Or Closed

Grilling is an art, and mastering it requires the right techniques and tools. You often hear people saying Is It Better To Grill With The Grill Lid On Or Off? Well, The answer isn’t so simple.
Some say closed is the way to go, while others swear by grilling with the lid open. So which one is better?

It all depends on the type of meal you’re preparing, how you want it to turn out, and the outside weather. Whether you’re looking to sear a juicy steak or grill the perfect wings, finding the perfect grilling technique can make all the difference.

For gas grills, when we open the grill lid it will bring down the temperature. You can keep the grill lid open for quick meals like vegetables, prawns, fish, kebabs, burgers, hotdogs, etc. You’ll want to close the grill lid for food like chicken, steak, pizza, lamb, and baking.

Let’s dive into the article to answer the question Is It Better To Grill With The Lid Open Or Closed?

Grill lid on vs. lid off

When you’re grilling, there are a few factors to consider while deciding whether to keep the bbq lid open or closed.
The first thing to consider is the type of food you’re grilling. Are you cooking steak or grilling potatoes or veggies?

Is it hot or cold outside? And, most importantly, how long will you be cooking your food for?
Finally, the type of grill you have will also affect how you should cook your food.

Meathead Goldwyn, a well-known barbecue expert, suggests a simple rule of thumb for grilling with the lid open or closed.

If you’re cooking thin cuts of meats that are less than 1 inch thick you should grill with the lid open. This is also true for quick foods, such as burgers, hot dogs, vegetables, prawns, fish, and kebabs. This allows for better air circulation and prevents the meat from getting overcooked or charred on the outside.

If you’re cooking thicker cuts of meat that require longer cooking times, such as roasts, whole chickens, and pork shoulders, you should grill with the lid closed.
With a closed lid, the heat will trap inside the grill and creates an oven-like environment that helps cook the meat evenly and keep it moist.

Grill Lid On Or OFF

When to leave the grill open

If you’re looking to sear the outside of your meat before cooking it through, leaving the lid open is the way to go. This works for both gas and charcoal grills.

With the lid open, you’ll get more direct heat on the surface of your meat, which will help to create that delicious crust we all love.

Opening the lid of the grill means searing. Whether you have a gas or charcoal grill, opening the grill will give you a much more charred crust on the exterior of the meat, allowing you to cook the center more evenly by avoiding burning the outside before it is cooked through.

Food best cooked with the grill open

You can leave the grill lid open for grilling quick foods like:

– Burgers

– Fish

– Hot dogs

– Shrimp, prawns,

– Vegetables 

– Kebabs

When to leave the grill lid close

Closing the lid to the grill will create convection. Convection is the process by which hot air rises and cold air moves down. The lid of the grill is used to create this convection. The hot air will rise and get expelled through the vents on top of the grill.

Thus the grill with a closed lid will act as an oven that allows the food, especially meat to cook evenly from all sides. 

If you’re using flavored wood chips for smoke flavor, you want to keep the grill lid closed. If you peek at your food while cooking with a grill lid closed, it could affect your food one way or another.

With gas grills, when you open the lid the heat will escape and it will lower the heat and temperature, and ultimately increase the cooking time.

With a charcoal grill, when you open the lid the fire will burn out and not spread to the food.

Food best cooked with the grill closed

The foods that are best cooked when the grill lid is closed are:

– Pizza 

– For baking, you need to close the lid of the grill like baked pies, crumbles, etc.

– When you are preheating the grill close the lid.

– Indirect cooking

– Close the lid when you want to smoke the food with a smoke box

Related > > How to use a smoker box in a gas grill

– Turkey, whole chicken, steaks, lamb legs, etc.

– For low and slow cooking or overnight cooking keep the grill lid close.

Combination of Lid Open and Lid Close Grilling Techniques

Sometimes you can utilize the mixed approach and use both techniques to get the ideal harmony between caramelized outer covering and impeccably cooked center.

 You will initially start by searing the meat directly over high heat and lid open to get a decent char outside. Then, you can cook it at medium heat with the grill lid closed. 

Or you can use the Reverse Sear technique. Cook the meat with the cover down until the middle is impeccably cooked, then, at that point, open the top and move the meat over direct heat for searing.


 Is It Better To Grill With The Lid Open Or Closed? The answer is obvious. If you have a gas grill, and you want to cook something, you’d best close the lid and If you have an electric grill and you don’t mind getting hot, you can leave the lid open.

Remember that unfavorable atmospheric conditions, like wind, rain may make cooking with the grill lid open troublesome. Your grill should also produce sufficient reliable hotness to prepare food completely on each side. 


Should we grill chicken with lid open or closed?

When grilling chicken, whether to keep the lid open or closed will depend on the cooking method being used.

If you’re cooking the chicken directly over the flames, keep the lid open. This will keep the chicken from being overdone and dry, and will generate a lovely char on the outside.

If you are using indirect heat grilling, where the chicken is placed on the cooler side of the grill and the heat is circulated around it, its beter to keep the lid closed. This will help to keep the consistent temperature and as a result chicken is cooked evenly.

If you are cooking a whole chicken, for uniform cooking you should cook it with a grill lid closed at medium temperature. For thin, marinated chicken pieces you can cook with the grill lid open.

In general, starting the grill with the lid open is a good idea, especially when searing the chicken to generate a lovely crust. Then, if needed, close the top to finish cooking the chicken without overcooking it.

Should you close grill lid when cooking steak?

When cooking steak on a grill wether to cook with lid open or closed depends on the thickness of the steak and the cooking method.

For thicker cuts of steak lik em ore than 1 inch thick, it is generally best to keep the lid closed while grilling. This will help to trap heat and smoke inside the grill, which will cook the steak more evenly and infuse it with more flavor.

Closing the lid will also help to create a more intense sear on the outside of the steak.

Grilling thinner pieces of steak, such as flank steak or skirt steak, with the lid open is generally preferable. This is because thinner cuts of steak cook quickly and can easily overcook if the heat is trapped inside the grill.

When grilling steak, sear it for a few minutes on each side over high heat with the lid open to generate a lovely crust. Then, if required, move it to a cooler portion of the grill and close the lid to finish cooking it to the desired doneness.

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