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Newbie Question: How Much Charcoal To Use In Fire Box

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I just started using my smoker and am not sure how much charcoal I should use when I am initialy starting the fire in the fire box. I want to get the tempature to 200.

Also, I am having trouble keeping the tempeture at 200-220. Any tips on how often to add wood / how much wood to add?

Thanks for the help. I am looking forward to wowing my family with some great bbq. Thanks.
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 


test -----------------------------------
post #3 of 9

Depends on your cooker

If you have a vertical take a look at "The Minion Method" to get you started. I start with a weber chimney topped off. I load about half way then add a few chunk hickory then top off. Natural lump burns hotter and faster than briquettes. After the coals are greyed - about 15 to 20 minutes toss it in your cooker then load up with more charcoal. Close up the unit and crank the air vents to all open until you get it up to temp. Then begin closing off your vents.

I use a power drafter and don't need to worry.

post #4 of 9

The Minion Method

Here ya go:


post #5 of 9
it kinda of depends on what your smoker is...i have a oklahoma joe longhorn..i put about 2 chimmeny full of unlit charcaol in my firebox then i light 1 chimmney and when its ready i dump it on the unlit basically its like the minion method and add my wood for the smoke...now open your vents and control the heat by open or closing them and this should do it...hope this helps if not someone else will be around i'm sure
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 


appreciate the help. you guys are awesome. I'm assuming i would use the same amount of coals in my horizontal smoker. Thanks for the help.
post #7 of 9
Fill up your coal box and add a handfull of hot coals (half chimney) to the unlit coals. Then use your vents to control your temperature.

Be sure to use hot water in your water pan.
post #8 of 9
I may try that next time in my chargriller , any issues with too much smoke from just pourin the lit coals on top with a sfb ?
I'm thinking putting the unlit closer to the vent and the lit closest to the fire box ?
post #9 of 9
I've got a brinkman smokin pit pro and usually just dropped a chimney worth of lit charcoal in and tossed a few sticks or chunks of wood on top. I let the smoker come up to temp (usually about an hour). Then Usually futz with it once every 1/2 hour for the next 1.5 hours. From there it's about once every hour or so I will add more coal (a bit here and there) and or more wood.

I think I will be trying the "Load up the box and drop some hot coals on top" method next time. May try making a "burn barrel" (http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/for...ht=burn+barrel) at some point as that method seemed to work well when I went camping with a bullet smoker (used coals from the campfire).

Good luck!
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