Converting Weber Gas Grill to Charcoal

Converting Weber Gas Grill to Charcoal

Converting a Weber gas grill to charcoal may be prompted by various situations, preferences, or circumstances, such as flavor preference and lack of access to gas. But how do you convert Weber Gas Grill to Charcoal?

Necessary Materials

  • Charcoal grate or basket
  • Charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal
  • Firebricks (optional but can help retain heat)
  • Heat-resistant gloves
  • Charcoal chimney starter
  • Aluminum foil (optional for easy cleanup)

Converting Weber Gas Grill to Charcoal – Step by step

  • Safety first: Before starting any modifications, make sure the gas supply is disconnected, and the grill is cool. Work in a well-ventilated area to avoid any gas buildup.
  • Remove gas components: Remove the gas burner, gas valve, and any other gas-related components from the grill. You may need to detach the gas lines as well. Keep these components in a safe place if you plan to revert to gas grilling in the future.
  • Clean the grill: Give the grill a thorough cleaning to remove any grease, grime, and leftover debris from previous use.
  • Install a charcoal grate or basket: If your gas grill has a removable cooking grate, you may be able to replace it with a charcoal grate or basket. This will provide the necessary support for the charcoal and allow for better airflow.
  • Add firebricks (optional): Placing firebricks on the bottom of the grill can help retain heat and distribute it more evenly.
  • Light the charcoal: Use a charcoal chimney starter to light the charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal. Avoid using lighter fluid, as it can leave a residue on the grill surfaces and affect the flavor of your food.
  • Arrange the charcoal: Once the charcoal is lit and ashed over, spread the hot coals evenly on the charcoal grate or in the charcoal basket.
  • Control airflow: Adjust the grill’s vents to control airflow and regulate the cooking temperature. Opening the vents allows more oxygen in, which increases the heat, while closing them restricts airflow and lowers the temperature.
  • Place the cooking grate: Once the charcoal is ready and the grill is heated to the desired temperature, place the cooking grate back on top.
  • Grill as usual: You can now start grilling your food over the charcoal, just as you would with a traditional charcoal grill.
  • Cleanup: After grilling, allow the charcoal to cool completely. Dispose of the ashes properly, and clean the grill grate and other components for the next use.

Also read>> How to Use Weber Charcoal Baskets – Step-by step

Can you put charcoal in a Weber gas BBQ?

Generally, putting charcoal directly in a Weber gas BBQ designed exclusively for gas grilling is not recommended. Weber gas grills are designed and optimized for use with gas burners, and using charcoal in a gas grill can lead to several safety and performance issues:

1. Fire hazard

Charcoal produces significantly more heat than gas burners, and placing charcoal directly in a gas grill can lead to uncontrollable high temperatures, increasing the risk of fires and damage to the grill.

2. Airflow and ventilation

Gas grills are not designed to provide the proper airflow and ventilation required for safe and efficient charcoal grilling. Charcoal requires a specific amount of air circulation to maintain the desired heat level, and gas grills may not have the necessary vents or design features to accommodate this.

3. Damaging the gas components

Charcoal can produce ash and embers that may clog or damage the gas burner, gas valves, and other gas-related components in the grill.

4. Safety concerns

Mixing charcoal and gas in the same grill can create hazardous conditions, including potential gas leaks or explosions if gas lines are not adequately sealed.

How do I make my gas grill taste like charcoal?

While you cannot completely replicate the exact flavor of charcoal grilling on a gas grill, there are some techniques and accessories that can help enhance the smoky and charred flavors associated with charcoal grilling. Here are some tips to make your gas-grilled food taste closer to charcoal-grilled:

1. Use a smoker box or wood chips

A smoker box is a small metal box filled with soaked wood chips or chunks. Place the smoker box directly on your gas grill’s gas burner or heat diffuser. The wood chips will smolder, producing smoke that infuses your food with a smoky flavor similar to charcoal grilling.

2. Opt for hardwood chips

Choose hardwood chips like hickory, mesquite, applewood, or oak for a more robust smoky flavor. Soak the wood chips in water for about 30 minutes before using them to create more smoke and prevent them from burning too quickly.

3. Use a cast-iron grilling grate

Consider using a cast-iron grilling grate instead of the standard stainless steel grate that came with your gas grill. Cast-iron grates tend to retain and radiate more heat, leading to better searing and browning, similar to charcoal grilling.

4. Preheat the grill properly

Allow your gas grill to preheat for at least 10-15 minutes before placing the food on the grates. Preheating helps create a hotter surface, contributing to better searing and grill marks.

5. Keep the lid closed

To capture more of the smoky flavor, try to keep the grill lid closed as much as possible during the cooking process. This allows the smoke to circulate around the food, infusing it with a smoky taste.

6. Use high heat for searing

When grilling meats, start by searing them over high heat for a short period to create a charred crust. Then, reduce the heat and continue cooking until the food reaches the desired doneness.

7. Add herbs or wood chunks directly on the grill

Place fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or sage directly on the grill grates to release aromatic smoke that flavors your food. Alternatively, use small wood chunks in addition to or instead of wood chips for a more pronounced smoky taste.

8. Use charcoal-flavored additives

Some grilling products on the market are designed to add a charcoal-like flavor to gas-grilled food. These may include charcoal-infused briquettes or seasoning blends that mimic the taste of charcoal.

Read More>> How to Get Smoky Flavor with a Gas Grill? [FIND OUT HERE]


Converting a Weber gas grill to charcoal can be an enticing option for those seeking a different grilling experience and the authentic flavor of charcoal-grilled food. While it offers experimentation and variety, it is essential to consider potential risks, such as voiding the warranty and compromising safety and performance.

However, proper conversion may require replacing gas-related components with a charcoal grate or basket, and careful attention to ventilation and airflow is necessary. Therefore, for a hassle-free and reliable charcoal grilling experience, investing in a dedicated charcoal grill or a dual-fuel grill may be a more suitable solution.

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