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Using charcoal in a propane smoker

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
After reading RIP's post earlier this week about throwing in a couple of pieces of lump into his wood tray of his propane smoker it got me thinking.

Any reason why you couldn't use charcoal as the heat source in a propane smoker? Maybe use a small metal grate under the charcoal in the wood tray to allow some better air circulation.

Any opinions appreciated.
post #2 of 15
I don't see why not.
post #3 of 15
I'd say go for it, and let us know how it works for ya'... oh, and take pix! PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #4 of 15
Would you need to cover the propane burner ? Just a thought.
post #5 of 15
I missed that post from RIP. That's a good idea. I love the charcoal smell and flavor. I'll try that tomorrow if the weather cooperates. I you come up with any idea's for the charcoal heat let me know. I'll look at it also.
post #6 of 15
I've done this often during the colder months to help maintain temp. I just toss a couple chunks in the cast iron tray of my GOSM and let em burn down a bit and then put my wood right on top when I'm ready for the smoke. It seems to me that my propane tanks last a bit longer too.

post #7 of 15
That's a good idea Brian. Do you just add them unlit or do you have to start them before adding?
post #8 of 15
Should be a better smoke ring on the meat also than just using the propane. PDT_Armataz_01_12.gif
post #9 of 15
Either/or...depending on the size of my cook. Mostly though, I preburn the lump and a few large wood chunks. I picked up a large cast iron kettle at a flea market a while back. Old rusty thing with no lid...set me back a whole $3.00. I set it on an extra turkey fryer stand near the smoker and add the coals with a metal garden trowel. It also doubles as a hillbilly space heater for my fingers and toes, when I need to stay close enough to guard my beer cooler and enjoy a good cigar!PDT_Armataz_01_28.gif

post #10 of 15
I tried that in GOSM last weekend. I'm using a 10 inch skillet in place of the firebox. I just put in two or three pieces of charcoal and turn on the propane. When they catch, I turned down the propane. I was going for the smoke ring so I only used two or three pieces of charcoal. I didn't think of elevating them off the surface of the skillet for better air circulation though. I'll work something out to address that tough. The ribs turned out great. Looks like they had that smoke ring thing going on too. Will need to try it again this weekend when the rainstorm clears.
post #11 of 15
Now that is scary! biggrin.gif

See what happens when you run out bourbon!
post #12 of 15
Works fine I have done it. No I did not cover the burner just added a few coals to the cast iron skillet to get the added flav.PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #13 of 15
I've added lump charcoal with what ever wood I was using with good results.
Go for it!
post #14 of 15
Nope! I've done it for cooler smokes but our wood pan is kind of shallow for an all day hot smoke. If you make a deeper wood pan and put some expanded metal in there to raise the coals out of the ash it'll work fine.

I imagine the electric coils for the smokers would work well also if you had a mind to try it.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

I plan to modify the smoke tray, maybe some type of raised steel cage to keep them out of the ash and keep them from moving around when the lump starts popping.
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