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Charcoal as a fule?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi everyoneicon_question.gif I have a Char griller side box. I have added some mods and am at a point where I can easily control temps. So the good word is I am coming along. My question is how to add more charcoal to the fire.

My final product the last couple times seemed to have a charcoal flavor. I tried using all wood but the meat would be come overpowering camp fire tasting. I think my issue is preburn related. Should I be letting the charcoal or wood for that matter become fully lit and burning before adding.

I did a couple of chuckies this weekend and went through a 20# bag of kingsford blue. I have tried the lumb before and would use 2 big bags seems it burns up fast. Anyways I am rambling a bit in my confusion of what to use and how to avoid the over powering tastes of the fule I use?
post #2 of 6

Quick Question

What kind of wood are you using?
post #3 of 6
something seems wrong in the amount of fuel you are using. A 20# bag of charcoal will last me through 3 or 4 smoking sessions...or 24 to 32 hours of smoking. Maybe that's related to why you have a strong charcoal flavor?
post #4 of 6
Your cooker is similar to mine, a Silver Smoker. Have you made a charcoal basket? I highly recommend it if you haven't. Mine is 13" square and 7" tall, expanded metal. When cooking on this smoker I half fill the basket with unlit lump and wood chunks and pile it all towards to vent side of the fire box. To that is added a chimney of fully lit charcoal which I add to the SIDE of the unlit on the smoke chamber side. This will give me a few hours of cooking time. To add more fuel: When the burning charcoal is down to about 25% of the original volume, use a steel trowel or other tool to push all the lit fuel towards the smoke chamber side of the basket. Add your lump and wood chunk mix beside, not on top of, the existing lit. This way you will not smother the fire and get that nasty black or billowing white smoke. Since the fire really does not know you moved it around and has a lot of new fuel burn, you will continue to get a nice slow burn and still see that nice Thin Blue Smoke.
These inexpensive off-sets are fuel hogs, but if you try this method, I think your usage will decrease.

Oh yeah. I do not use briquettes when smoking, just lump charcoal. So find a good quality lump fuel and see if that helps out with the taste. I think it will.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have arranged 3 fire place bricks in the burning chamber and have bent larger racks to keep the fuel in a 6"x12" row in the middle of the burning chamber. I also use 3 Fireplace brick for tuning plates in the smoke chamber. this really helped to keep temps steady. Like I mentioned I have used Lump but I would go through 2 big bags of it.

I have a couple of Pork Butts to try out soon I will try your method of not using pre-burned charcoal.

Fuels that I have used:

Royal Oak Lump and Briquette
Kingsford Blue Bag
Oak with a mix of other hard woods

As for the smoke I buy the bags from the local chain store. Apple, Maple, Mesq, and Hickory. I wrap some chunks in tinfoil and set next to the fuel
post #6 of 6
I have a chargriller with SFB too. I use all lump and small splits (about 6" long and 1-2 in diam). I have a charcoal basket, and the vent stack inside extension mod, along with charcoal tray flipped. I fill the basket with lump and chunks and then put in half a lit chimney on one side of that. With little wind it will pretty much run dialed in for about 4 hours until temp starts falling and need more fuel. I scrape all the hot coals to one side and load her up again. I probably use 3-5 lbs per load. if i really mound it im sure im close to 5lbs. I dont like the taste of briqs.

The last time i used cherry i cut last fall...first time with cherry for me...and i LOVED it. I think this will become my main smoke, and when i want a little stronger i will mix in some hickory or red oak.

Good luck...keep trying.
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