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Charcoal basket or not?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I just finished building a 60 gallon reverse flow. I'm not sure whether I should build a charcoal basket or not. Is there a need for it? I've got plenty of wood to burn in the smoker. Also has anyone ever built their own chimney starter I've never been a fan of the store bought ones. They're so awkward to pour out especially into a firebox. I was thinking of building one from 6 inch square tube but with an angled extended top to create a funnel to ease pouring into the firebox.

post #2 of 9

Build a basket. I have a 60 gallon and I found I needed to contain the fire area to a 10x10 center area of the fire box. it helps keep the coals together. I put charcoal in to get my temps up and then I switch to wood. I use can size splits and it helps keep those all together as well. My basket is nothing more than expanded metal formed into a square about 8" tall.

post #3 of 9
I bought a fire basket from Amazon for about $50. It's 10x10 expanded metal. I use it to light my fire with a half chimney of charcoal and it helps me keep my fire smaller and manage my heat. I recommend one built or bought. Here are some pics.

Enjoy the Smoke,
post #4 of 9

I made my own basket, see my sig. A basket keeps the fuel together for a more efficient burn than letting the fuel spill and spread out.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Went ahead and built the chimney. It works "ok". Wasn't as easy to pour as I thought it would be. Oh well I tried.


post #6 of 9
Funny you posted this, I was just thinking this same thing a few days ago.
I am a converted cooker - started with electric, went to charcoal, then to stick burner.
(just finished my build this past weekend but have ran friend's RF units with stick only.
Still trying to figure out which way I am going to go with all this info. Was considering
large starter like yours, that way when the minion of charcoal is gone, I can light and
add on the fly for the longer cooks.

Watching for other opinions.....nice job on the home made starter.

post #7 of 9

I used to start my fire with just wood and a weed burner.

But I have a problem getting wood this time of year so I started using charcoal to get my coal bed.

I have a charcoal chimney that I put a piece of stove pipe on.

This way I can get the charcoal onto the grate evenly without a basket.


Here's how it looks.




Here it is using it on my WSM.




post #8 of 9



Mega points to Al for using what you have on hand!  I like it!  

I am a big fan of re-purposing materials. 

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
I like it. I'll probably steal that idea. The one I made is pretty heavy.

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