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charcoal basket Woes...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, I got a sweet deal on a brisket last night so I decided to smoke it today.. I picked up some lump charcoal and some cheap briquets from academy last night since I used the rest of mine doing a test fire... I don't know if I did something wrong or what, but this smoke is becoming impossible. Temps will not come up, or stay up. I filled up my charcoal basket (11x12x6) with the lump, started a chimney with the briquets to put onto of the lump... nothing different from what I've done in the past, but the stuff will not stay lit!!! I had to leave the FB door open to even keep the stuff going, and that didnt even work. Had to end up putting a fan outside the FB to keep it going.. temps still falling. 

 

Did I put to much charcoal in the basket?

Does the brand really matter that much? If so, how do these people with crap fuel stay in business?

 

As of right now, I will never use another brand of lump other then Royal Oak, unless I did something totally wrong? Or should I only fill the basket half full, and then fill in with wood? 

post #2 of 7

I have had the same problem I always use kingsford and royal oak . You get a steady fire and heat .

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul6 View Post
 

I have had the same problem I always use kingsford and royal oak . You get a steady fire and heat .


So the Kingsford and Royal Oak fixed your problem? 

post #4 of 7
I don't know what type of cooker you're using, but in my offset I will fill my basket about 2/3 full of RO lump with a valley in the center. I light a chimney about 2/3 full of RO briqs. When the chimney is fully involved, I put the briqs in the center of the lump to form a good layer of hot coals. After the bed of coals is formed, I put in 2 pre-heated splits to bring the CC up to temp. The cook fire is then maintained by wood. It's a good idea to always pre-heat the splits. It helps them to ignite quicker and keep the fire hotter. The secret to keeping the fire at its best is to always keep a good bed of coals. Don't let the coals go down. It takes too much to get them built again.

Good luck and good smokin', Joe
post #5 of 7

Yes a lot of the cheaper stuff can really be a pain and when using it I have had the same problem . I use a homemade charcoal basket made out of diamond cut steel , roughly 12" by 14" with a solid divider down the middle. I fill 1 side with a mixture of unlit  charcoal , lump and some wood chunks. then start a chimney about half charcoal a third lump and top with wood , get it white hot and put it on the other side. you get a much faster preheat and it eventually starts the other side for a longer burn.

post #6 of 7

I made my basket from the metal mesh door of a dog carrier.

 

I really, really miss metal shop in school.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys,

I am in an offset, so this should help me a bit. I think it was a mixture of the charcoal and filling my basket too full. Will be doing some test fires this weekend as to not waste a bunch of food!

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