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Charcoal Basket

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I tried a charcoal basket for the first time today and I am three hours into my first load of lump charcoal andeverything is going well except for one problem. I can't seem to get the temperature down below the 300 - 350 degree range. I filled the basket with unlit charcoal and poured one chimney on top and closed my intake damper to about 1/4 of an inch, but the temperature was still too high. Any suggestions?
post #2 of 14
First stop into Roll Call forum and introduce yourself and your smoker and experience. THEN we'll have enough info to help more effectivly. And remove some charcoal.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

I thought that was the whole purpose of the basket was to be able to start with a lot of charcoal and it would catch slowly and keep the smoker at a nice even temperatur in the 250 range. I agree removing charcoal to get the extra heat source out, but why did it get so high to begin with?

Bobby Q
post #4 of 14
Use less lit charcoal and catch the temp on the way up!

For now, close your intake and dump some heat from the smoker door.
post #5 of 14
Hugely increased charcoal surface area...exposed to air.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. I will share, for those who like me are not very handy like me, what I am using for my charcoal basket. I found it at Home Depot and only paid $10 for it. It is a chimney cover. It has a heavy wire basket with a solid metal cap over the top to keep rain and animals out of your chimney. The bottom of the basket has a thick metal band which is used to secure the cover to you chimney pipe. I cut the flat metal piece off of the top and turned the basket over so that the metal band is now at the top. The open ended bottom sits on the charcoal grate in my offset firebox. They typically run $25 - $30 but this one must be an odd size because it was only $10, but it was 9" X 13" and was the perfect size for my smoker.
post #7 of 14
The Mother of Invention was at HD, and you just found her. Congrats.
post #8 of 14
Only thing to be concerned with..is it galvanized? Charcoal temps are high enough to release rather toxic gasses from galvanized metal.
post #9 of 14
Good catch Rich...I try to use stainless as much as I can just because of that very thing.zinc.nickle etcPDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
It was painted with black high temp paint.
post #11 of 14
We need some kind of sticky that flags what metals not to use that are subject to high heat. I've seen it mentioned on and off but it's usually buried in threads where it is too easy to be missed.
post #12 of 14
Bobby, I would find out what's under that paint and I would not use anything painted for a charcoal basket until you have tossed it in a fire to burn off all the paint. Even then I'm not sure I'd use it. If the underlying metal is galvanized, zinc or anything other than plain steel, I would not use it.
post #13 of 14
If you have a piece of metal that is galvanized, try the following ( I may catch some for this but we use it before welding) Go to the hardware store and get some muriatic acid and some heavy rubber gloves. avoid breathing the fumes as they will knock you on your butt. Dip the metal in question in the muriatic acid and after letting it sit in there for a few minutes ( you'll know when to pull it when it stops fuming) pull it out and rinse well with water. After you do this, burn it off in a hot fire and it should be good to go for whatever you're going to use it as.
post #14 of 14
Y'all are way too hardcore for me. I wouldn't allow myself to mess around with metals and acids. A man's got to know his limitations. What's so hard about adding a half chimney of lit coals every hour to hour and a half?
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