How to Successfully Cook on a Barbecue with a Cover

Aug 07, 2023, 12:48pm

The barbecue, practical and friendly, is the perfect equipment to use outdoors when you want to cook good grilled meats, vegetables or fish.

When fitted with a lid, it is easier to cook and master cooking. Here are some tips for successfully cooking your food on the barbecue with a lid.

Barbecuing is a time-honored tradition that elevates outdoor cooking to a whole new level. Using a barbecue cover can significantly improve the cooking process, transforming your grill into an outdoor oven that can handle anything from smoky ribs to succulent roasts. This article will guide you on how to successfully cook on a barbecue with a cover.

How to Successfully Cook on a Barbecue with a Cover

Understand the Benefits of a Barbecue Cover

A barbecue cover or lid might appear to be a simple accessory, but it significantly impacts your grilling experience. It does this by:

  1. Maintaining Consistent Temperatures: The cover helps trap heat, creating a more consistent and controllable cooking environment, much like an oven.
  2. Improving Fuel Efficiency: With the lid closed, less fuel is required to maintain the desired temperature, improving the barbecue’s overall fuel efficiency.
  3. Enhancing Flavor: The lid keeps the smoky flavors from the charcoal or wood chips enclosed, allowing the food to soak up more of that delicious barbecue flavor.

Preheat the Barbecue

Start by lighting your barbecue and closing the lid to let it preheat. Whether you’re using a gas or charcoal grill, preheating is crucial. It helps kill any bacteria on the grates and makes it easier to scrape off any residue. Aim for a preheating period of about 10-15 minutes.

Control Your Temperature

Controlling temperature is key when cooking with a barbecue cover. Most modern barbecues have a built-in thermometer in the lid, which can be incredibly helpful.

For a charcoal grill, controlling temperature involves strategically arranging your coals. You can create a two-zone fire with coals piled on one side for high-heat searing and the other side without coals for lower-heat, indirect cooking.

For gas grills, control the heat by adjusting the knobs. Remember that every time you lift the lid, you let out heat, disrupting the consistent temperature, so try to limit peeking.

Learn Direct and Indirect Cooking

Direct cooking involves placing the food directly over the heat source, ideal for thin meat cuts, vegetables, and skewers. This method sears the food, sealing in juices and creating a flavorful crust.

Indirect cooking means the food is not directly above the heat source. It’s great for larger or tougher cuts of meat that need longer cooking times, like roasts or whole chickens. The food cooks more slowly, much like in an oven, ensuring the inside is fully cooked without burning the outside.

Use the Right Tools

Long-handled tools, like tongs and spatulas, are essential for safety when cooking with a barbecue cover. A meat thermometer is also critical to ensure that your food is cooked to the right internal temperature.

How to Successfully Cook on a Barbecue with a Cover

Rest Your Meat

After you’ve finished cooking, it’s important to let your meat rest before cutting into it. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it more tender and flavorful.

Maintain and Clean Your Barbecue

Proper maintenance is essential for successful barbecuing. After each use, clean the grill grates to prevent food from sticking the next time you cook. Regularly check your grill for any wear and tear, and clean the inside periodically to remove excess grease and avoid flare-ups.


Cooking on a barbecue with a cover is a fantastic way to bring out unique flavors in your food and enjoy the outdoor cooking experience. It allows for versatility, cooking a wider range of dishes than what’s possible on an open grill. By understanding your grill, managing heat effectively, and using the right techniques and tools, you can unlock the full potential of your covered barbecue and impress your guests with your culinary skills.