Do You Close the Lid When Cooking Steak?

Do You Close the Lid When Cooking Steak
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Grilling steaks should be very simple and easy to do, but do you close the lid when cooking steak? Well, the answer is a little more involved. The short answer, yes, and no. It all depends on a few different things.

The main factors that come into play are the meat selection, how you prepare the meat, and the type of grill you are using. A combination of these three choices will help you to make a better decision on whether to close the lid or open it during the cooking process.

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Meat Selection

The type of meat you decide to use will play a large role in whether you need to keep the lid closed or open when grilling. If the lid is open during the cooking process, the grill will not build up as much heat within the grill.

But if the lid is closed, then the grill will gradually become hotter and raise the internal temperatures over time. So, for thinner steaks, pork chops, boneless chicken cuts, shrimp, and seafood, you will want to keep the lid open while grilling.

For thicker cuts of steak, whole chickens, roasts, and anything on the bone, you will want to keep the lid closed. This will allow the grill to build up heat and cook the thicker and meatier cuts faster and more even.

Click here for our article 4 Cheap Cuts of Meat to Smoke.

Preparation Applications

Depending on how you prepare the steak will also come in to play. During the cooking process, fats and oils will drip down onto the heat source and create flare-ups and smoke. This will give the meat a smoky flavor, but it will also cook it faster and give the meat char marks.

If the lid is closed, this will help regulate the amount of flare-up by smoldering the flames. If the lid were open, then more airflow would allow more flare-ups than usual. Another way to avoid the flare-ups is by checking the fat content in the meat.

Leaner cuts will create fewer flare-ups while the fattier cuts will have more overall. Also, if the meat is some marinade with oil, butter, or other fats, they will drip on to the heat source and create more flare-ups.

Click here for our article Ten top dry rubs for smoking beef.

Type of Grill

Type of Grill

Depending on the grill, you decide to use will also determine whether the lid should stay open or closed while grilling. Ultimately, if you are using a propane grill, electric grill, or a natural gas grill, you should have no problem.

You will be able to cook with the lid open or closed no matter what. But if you are using a charcoal grill, you will want to keep the lid closed most of the time.

Charcoal grills are designed to create heat buildup, and when you open the grill, you release that buildup of heat, which will take longer to cook your steaks. It will also burn the charcoal faster by creating more airflow. Then, in turn, you will be spending more on charcoal.

Click here for our article What are the Best Charcoal Grill and Smoker Combo?


So, do you close the lid when cooking steaks? For the most part, if you want to cook your steak faster, with fewer flare-ups, and using charcoal, then the answer is yes. Really the lid should only be closed with large cuts of meat that need a higher temperature to cook.


Why does charcoal go out when you put the lid on?

When you put the lid on, you limit the amount of airflow to the charcoal. Try opening the bottom vents or another vent with the lid on, so there is still some airflow.

How many times should you flip a steak?

Two times. Unless you want to have cross-hatch marks or char on the steak, then four times.

What should I marinate a steak in before grilling?

Nothing. You want to taste the meat. Salt and pepper should always be enough.