Adding coals/lumps

Discussion in 'Side Fire Box' started by annaraven, Oct 12, 2014.

  1. So how often do you add charcoal or lumps to your SFB? Yes, when it goes below temp, obviously.

    I've found that I have a tendency to want to overload my SFB, which leaves it too hot, and then, worrying about how long it'll take before I need to add to keep it hot and just go through this whole mental thing. Yeah - I'm a newbie. 

    I've started using lumps instead of charcoal briquettes. It looks so small amount but I need to start with less I think. Someone else mentioned "the unlit charcoal" in another thread I was on and that got me wondering. Do you put a small layer of a couple/few lumps that are already lit in your chimney on the bottom, then woodchips/smoking chunks, then unlit lumps on top? Is that a better way to do it than to try to get new ones started in my chimney before adding? 

    Any ideas are welcome. Yes, eventually I'll get to know my smoker, but tips that can help me learn faster are welcome. 
  2. That is going to depend on a lot of thing. What temp are you trying to cook at? What is the outside temp? Is the wind blowing? How often are you opening the lid? What smoker do you have?

    Happy smoken.

  3. I realize there's lots of variables. Let's say a still day in the 80s. I have a SFB smoker.  I'm using lumps. Going for low-and-slow, around 225-235ish.

    How much do you normally put in to start - one chimney full of lit lumps? Half? Two chimneys-full? And when/how do you add? Do you just add a bunch of unlit on top (or next to?) the burning lumps and leave it for the next 6 hours with occasional checks? Do you add pre-lit lumps every hour?

    I'm just trying to get a vague sense of how much, how often. I'm not looking for exactitude or "it'll always be this way" but more of a general idea of what you might expect to be in the range. 

    So, for your SFB smoker? What do you do? What does a day of smoking low-and-slow look like for you?
  4. bob1961

    bob1961 Smoking Fanatic

    I load my charbroil SFB with as much lump as I can around a 3lb coffee can in one corner with both ends cut out....I light two starters of lump and when I can see red coals almost to the top of the starter I dump both into the coffee can, then pull the can out....I can run 230 for 8 hours adding fruit wood as needed when smoke starts to diminish for the 1st 4 hours only....then I foil and just use the heat still going, I might load some more lump right on top of burning coals as needed to keep temp where I need it....
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
  5. Thanks for the response. I'm not sure I understand the coffee can part. Do you have a photo of what you're talking about?
  6. bob1961

    bob1961 Smoking Fanatic

    I use it for making a hole in the lump for the lit stuff to go in like the minion method, only picture I have....

    when I do some ribs in a few days i'll post a better picture Thumbs Up ....
  7. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I used to do the same thing with a soup can in my Charbroil horizontal smoker.
  8. bob1961

    bob1961 Smoking Fanatic

    here is how I use that can, fill it up with my two starters of hot you can see how much lump I use, that should last me bout 6/7 hours running at 230/240 before I need to use more lump....


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