Charcoals added to Wood chips?

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by pi in sc, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. pi in sc

    pi in sc Fire Starter

    Reading another thread, someone mentioned they add charcoal to their wood box. I was thinking the same thing last weekend in hopes of adding additional flavor and a more constant/even smoke, assuming the charcoal would add direct heat to the wood.. Does anyone else add charcoal?


  2. Yes you can. I don't use the cast iron pan that came with the smoker. It's too thick for charcoal to light up. I use a smaller (8x8) cake pan. Works great.

    Also, I put a small (4x4) interlocking brick right on top of the burner and put the cake pan right on top of the brick.

    I take out the pan every hour and a half and dump the coal/chips in the original cast iron pan then take the burning charcoal and put them back in the cake pan along with some new ones and chips. Works out really well.

    I LOVE the charcoal flavour and therefore like this method much better...

    Happy smokes!
  3. pi in sc

    pi in sc Fire Starter

    Very cool. going to have to give this a try next time. Do you think the charcoal contributes to a better quality smoke?

    BTW - As soon as I saw your spelling of flavour, I knew there was a fellow Canuck about. Tho I have been in S.C. for a long time (long enuff to eat grits and use the phrase "my kin live in the upstate..."), I moved here from a suburb of Ottawa.
  4. Let's just say, there's no replacement for charcoal smokers...

    I gotta have charcoals in the propane one, wood along doesn't cut it.

  5. wmarkw

    wmarkw Smoking Fanatic

    I was wondering the same thing. I read here that some people throw a few coals in their chip box and I've been thinking about doing it with my Camp Chef. I'm using the stock chip plate and it does get hot but i want more smoke (the constant TBS, not the white stuff). So should I use regular Kingston coals or the royal oak everyone raves about? I also heard that Kingston might leave a different aftertaste? Not sure if it matters since I'm only using a few, not a whole chimney. Thanks.
  6. old poi dog

    old poi dog Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've replaced the chip box with an 8" cast iron pan. Occasionally I will put lit charcoal with the wood in there, and only turn on the heat from the propane to maintain a steady temp. Sometimes when I get it right, there is no need to turn on the propane.
  7. mgnorcal

    mgnorcal Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    No question here, gotta go with lump for best flavor.

    Kingsford gives off some pretty bad smells and heavy black smoke until it has been burning for a while.

    You might need to increase the air supply to the chip box too as the charcoal will be using up more oxygen than chips alone.
  8. mgnorcal

    mgnorcal Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Yep, I've done the same thing.
    I put about 3 med pieces of lump and a big handful of wood chips and turn the gas flame to high until it gets smoking real good, then I reduce the flame to low or off until I don't get more smoke.

    The smoke is a little deeper and richer and the coals keep the chips smoking better.
  9. mkedda

    mkedda Fire Starter

    if i put the charcoals unlit in a smoker about how long do you think before they are ready ?
  10. plj

    plj Meat Mopper

    Yep, I add a couple briquettes/lumps with the wood (my smoker is electric). Helps keep the temp steadier, I think it adds flavor, and definitely helps the smoke a bit. I toss in a few whenever I toss in chips/chunks.

    How long until they're ready? Well... I dont worry about it, I just toss them in the chip pan straight out of the bag. I havent noticed the black smoke MGNorCal mentions, or any off-flavors.
  11. wmarkw

    wmarkw Smoking Fanatic

    I've been adding lump to my smokes for a couple months now and I think it does add some flavor. It takes a good hour so for them to ignite and burn.

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