Adding Charcoal

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Original poster
Jun 4, 2007
Milford, CT
I was wondering about adding charcoal when I am in the process of smoking..Do I light it in a chimney first or just add it to the top of the already hot coals...

I am relatively new to smoking and need more info on this point.
I posted this same question last week. The general consesus I think is to add it without lighting it. I did an 8 hour smoke and did not have any issues.
I think it really depends on how long the smoke has to go time wise. To keep temps up, I will add a few coals, unlit, here and there. But eventually, around the four hour mark, too much ash can stifle the heat. So, I do two things. Pull out the pan and pour it over a grate to separate the ash. Then add them back to the pan.
At the 3 1/2 hour mark, i start up the pipe starter with fresh coals and then add that to the ash-less coals. I am good to go till the end of my longer smokes.
What I do for real long smokes on my Weber Performer is lay a chimney full of lit coals over some unlit coals. This method I hear works great for all night brisket smokes. If you're worried about ash stifling the heat, take a tool and smack the side of the grill/smoker a couple few times.
I love it!

Regarding the charcoal issue...I've just poured them on top and popped the side of the smoker as suggested earlier in this post. Then another chuck of hickory on top for good measure.
that is the thing i was wondering the most as i did my first brisket yesterday .. i have a smoke and grill so without taking everthing apart to add new charcoal,, i only have the side door ... LSS.. i used a disposible wire grill used to grill veggies. rolled it up stuck it in the door, flared it a little to keep them moving had a new batch ready in the chimney grabed the wire grill and slid the hot charcoal in, small stir.. shut door good to go.. i'll try to get a pic to better illustrate my rambling... is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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