Adjusting to lump

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Fueling Around

Smoking Guru
Original poster
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Dec 10, 2018
FL winter, MN summer
I dumped briquette this year for Frontier lump.

I love the lump, but noticed equipment failures contributing to loss of coals.

Smaller pieces of the lump drop out of the chimney grates and through the kettle grate.

Here is my first round of mods to retain more coals.


This the original bottom grate of a small Weber chimney.
Lump sharps dropped through the large gaps in the grate.


I am not the prettiest welder, but I closed up the gaps

Why stop here?

Here is the original grate of the large Weber chimney.

This one is not pretty as I changed into the mod.

Moved on to the kettle grate.

I only did half so you can see the before and after changes.

Does anyone else have mods to post that i missed?

Thanks for looking.
I've been buying the B&B pellets . I'll have to try the lump . I keep the lump around as an add to charcoal .
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I'm still experimenting. I notice the Expert Grill from Wally world burns real fast. It gets good and hot, but burns too fast, Lump and Briquets. I just got a good deal from Home Depot on Embers Brand. Gonna try this week and see how that works.
If you have a welder, I'm guessing you have an angle grinder? My tip of the day is expando.

I don't use a charcoal chimney, I light all charcoal with a Map Pro torch, the yellow canister. It's hotter than propane and for a low and slow fire I can light an area the size of a baseball. Lump does not have to fully ash over before cooking.

But I do make simple mods for my various cookers. For me the easy fix is using expanded metal cut to shape. For my Smoky Joe mini WSM conversion I made the entire charcoal basket out of expando. The strip I used for the side is bolted together with stainless hardware. The bottom is tied to the side with stainless wire.
For my Big Green Eggs, I have replaced the OEM charcoal grate (which is cast iron and has holes) with a HD stainless bar grate, but added some expando on top, also tied with stainless wire. I get really good airflow and can be up to temp pretty fast. This was a quick mod until I had time to cut a larger circle with my angle grinder. It's worked so good for a couple of years I haven't cut a new piece. :emoji_laughing:
For my drums, I super-sized the charcoal basket, this time using 3/4" expando. Bolts are also used for the side, and I still used stainless wire to attach the side to the bottom. I had intended to put a smaller diamond piece of expando in the bottom, but this works pretty good. I get some finer lump falling through, but I don't get any clogs and can burn a fire for 20+ hours. I do use a wiggle rod on occasion, or if I nap on overnight cooks.
If you have a welder, I'm guessing you have an angle grinder? My tip of the day is expando.
This was the day I kicked my Brinkmann (POS) to the curb for give away.

This was my first 2 projects for a POS offset that I originally bought as a very cheap charcoal barrel grill.


Yes it was a decent barrel grill, but the cheap failed quickly so I fashioned a new charcoal grate out of free expanded steel from local scrap yard. I had the angle iron in my shop.

I was happy with my Big Chief smoker, but I realized there was opportunity at hand.
Maybe I can make this POS into a decent smoker so I made a fuel basket out of the same expanded steel for the side box.

I had fun with that combo.
It took a lot of charcoal and smoking wood
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