Originally Posted by nmaust
I'm not sure if this topic or something similar is already posted, but I couldn't find it using Tapatalk, so I thought I would start a new thread. The cooking area on my new smoker is about 30" wide (the right half of the attached image), & I have a large round smoker box. It seems to hold heat really well, but during am 18 hour cook this past weekend I used an 18# bag of charcoal (started the fire with about half of it) & 30# of foot long pecan logs. That seems like a lot of fuel. It was in the low 50's outside. I watched the temp and kept it around 225 from about 11:30pm til 3:30am. I was probably adding a small log and a few coals every hour. I added another log and a few coals & went down for a 2 hour nap. When I woke up, it was down to 160. I threw 2 logs on, opened the damper on the SFB, & slept for another 2 hours after which it was 180. It seems like after the initial coals were burned it was hard to keep the temp consistent.
Any basic fire building/temp maintaining advice would be greatly appreciated.
So your half bag of charcoal and 4 logs of pecan gave you temps of 225° for 4 hours at the start of your cook, is that correct?
And you averaged 1 pound of charcoal and one log an hour for 18 hours?
Were you using lump or briquettes? If you were using briquettes ash build up from them may explain the difficulty maintaining consistent temps
Two things to consider-
1. sleep and tending an offset do not often go well together and
2. I think that if you had cleaned the ashes as best as you could from the SFB at 3:30 and added the other half bag of charcoal, using the same procedure you used to start your fire, you would have gotten a repeat of the first 4 hours.
IMHO 18 pounds of charcoal and one log per hour, whatever size that maybe, sounds about right to me for an 18 hour cook, maybe even a bit light on the charcoal. If I used a combo of wood and lump charcoal in my CharGriller for an 18 hour cook I would probably use that much fuel or close to it.