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Charcoal and smoke advice

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello fellow smoke lovers,

I'm in a bit of a quandary here. I've recently moved from Long Island, NY where I was able to fire up my smoker without any worries from neighbors. Recently I have moved back to Brooklyn and have a very small patio that I'm working on.

I have always used lump hardwood charcoal, lighting it up with the chimney method. This produces an incredible amount of smoke, and I'm trying to find a way to get my smoker and fire going without the massive plumes and any crazy neighbors calling the fire department on me.

One thought is starting with Kingsford briquets in the chimney for the base, and then adding the good charcoal throughout cooking...the last thing I want to do is douse this stuff with lighter fluid.

Does anyone have any info or out of the box ideas for getting this going without alarming the neighbors?

Thanks so much!
post #2 of 13
For your chimney try using Kingsford competion bricks. They give off less fumes than blue Kingsford and come up to temp quicker. They also ash less.

Give the neighbors a taste and they will leave you alone......or not.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the rec Billbo! I'll give it a try!
post #4 of 13
What he said sounds like something worth trying. Good luck my friend.
post #5 of 13
With my chimney starter I've noticed that it's the newspaper that gives off all the smoke. Once that burns off and the lump is getting going the amount of smoke is near nothing. Not sure it's the charcoal that is your problem. Maybe some sort of propane starter would work better for you.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
I too noticed that with the newspaper - this time I didn't use the newspaper, but instead a little fire-starter nugget that produces zero smoke. Good thought on the propane as well -maybe the side burner on my grill will do the trick.

I'm thinking that if I get a small amount of the charcoal briquettes going in the chimney, I can put the lump into the smoker a la the minion method.

Thanks again for the great suggestions.
post #7 of 13
Tell the neighbors that you are a member of the "Gotti Family" and that calling the fire dept would be bad, very bad. LOL PDT_Armataz_01_36.gif
post #8 of 13
There is an electric charcoal starter out there, but I use my side burner to start mine, it works great!
post #9 of 13
I was thinking electric also. I think one would fit down the side of my chimney.

I tried those parafin lump starters. No smoke, and they do work, but it takes forever to get the coals hot enough.

I keep forgetting to try lighting them with my afterburner. That should work well. I don't like the smoke, but I hate seeing all the red hot bits of newspaper swirling around in the breeze icon_eek.gif
post #10 of 13
I give the bottom of the chimney about 40 seconds with my propane torch (reg plumbing torch) and it gets it going pretty good. I also didn't like all the fireflies from the newspaper.
post #11 of 13
What they all said^^^ I hope that your avetar (picture in the top left) isn't your regular smoke because that looks no good you want thin blue smoke. No wonder why your neighbors were cursing you.
post #12 of 13
Electric starter or propane weed burner.
post #13 of 13
Using the side burner works great. Can't ya just tell the neighbors to take a hike?
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