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Fire location

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Where do you build and maintain your fire during the cook?

Do you keep it in the middle of the fire box?

Or do you move it forward, towards the cooking chamber, once it's burned down to char?

Is there any issues burning against the cooking chamber side of the firebox?

I've been using a wood burner for a few years now and I'd like a more experienced BBQer's opinion.

post #2 of 7
I have a bandera charcoal smoker and I have only smoked on it a couple of time so I'm not your best source for info but I built my fires farther away form the cooking surface because ai want some room to put some chunks of wood for smoking other wise they caught fire to easy. So theses my couple of pennies and there will be a real pro by very soon I'm sure.
post #3 of 7
I keep my heat on the right side of the charcoal basket and the wood on the left near the coals, as the wood heats up I move it onto the heat and add another chunk on the left side to begin heating.
post #4 of 7
I personally build my fire at the rear of the firebox, up against the main chamber. I don't let my fire burn down to coal, but keep a steady, small manageable fire going and add preburnt wood as need to maintain temps.

I will stack a few pieces of wood at the front of the firebox, next to the door and let the heat from the firebox bring that wood up to near ignition temps. When it's time to add more wood, I just take a piece or two and add it to the existing fire. It light instantly with no white smoke. I use oak or maple for my heat and will use hickory or other aromatic woods for flavor. As indicated in the photos in that link, I set a small chunk of flavor wood a few inches from the fire. Hot enough to get it smoldering, thus giving a constant stream of light smoke, but not hot enough to where it will ignite.

post #5 of 7
There should be no issues with the placement of the fire. I've had it near the firebox and in the middle, the further away requires a bit larger fire. I think I prefer the middle as it's easier to maintain a slightly larger fire.
post #6 of 7

Red Stick....................;}-

Try this method-
Find the sweet spot on your pit,ie-learn where it breathes best and be sure of the Mods. needed for your type of pit.Start in the middle of the fire box and keep it small and hot. Move it around until it breathes best,you'll know...when you find it ,try this:


Good luck and SMOKE HAPPY
Stan aka Old School
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
I wanted to thank everyone for sharing their thoughts. They've all been very helpful. My cook over the weekend utilized many of the techniques discussed here. I was able to maintain consistent heat and minimize white smoke.

It sure builds your confidence when you use tried and true methods from those in the know!

Thanks again!
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