Charcoal Basket Question

Discussion in 'Side Fire Box' started by sjturbo, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. sjturbo

    sjturbo Fire Starter

    My son welded a charcoal basket (14x12x6), for my OK Joe Combo and I could use some help from those more experienced than me. I would like to use a combination of brics and lump. My thought is to fire up a chimney of the brics, dump in the basket and add unlit lump to fill the basket on top.  Or should I do it the other way around?  How do you do it? I appreciate the help!  
  2. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I put in about 2/3 basket of lump with a valley in the middle. I start about 2/3 chimney of briqs. When the briqs are ashed over, I pour them into the center of the valley. Then I pull some of the lump over the lit briqs for good measure.

    I'm a stick burner, so when the lump is fully involved, I begin putting splits in.

    Good luck with it. It works for me, Joe. :grilling_smilie:
    big z 765 likes this.
  3. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    I just use charcoal & lump to get things going. I fill the chimney about 3/4 full with briquets and top off with lump. When I see flames out of the top I dump it in and add wood. It's wood from there on, no charcoal...
    big z 765 likes this.
  4. sjturbo

    sjturbo Fire Starter

    Thanks much for the responses! I tried some country ribs last night with mixed results. Followed Malcom Reed's lead with 1.5hrs at 275' and 1..5 covered to braise. Tasted great but dry and tough. I used one chimney of brics and added several lumps of mesquite. I had trouble getting to and keeping 275'. Opened the draw on the firebox all the way. Also had to keep the chimney vent open all the way or the temp would drop. Getting the hang of this is tougher than I thought. BTW what wood splits are you using? Living in the desert about the  only plentiful is mesquite. I actually prefer apple but don't have a good source.
  5. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Use whatcha got, turbo. Not all of us have access to cheap wood. I've been using store bought Hickory from H. Depot because I've pirated all the Oak from my fireplace pile that I can cut down. Got a brisket for $2.59# but I've probably burned $20 in wood.I've got some feelers out for Apple, but I'm not the only one looking for it LOL!
    Leave the stack open.
  6. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    1. I always think that keeping the exhaust vent 100% open will give a much better draw.

    2. Fruita Wood is a good on-line source for all types of flavored chunks and splits.

    Just keep trying. It's a fairly steep learning curve, but you can always eat your mistakes.

    Good luck and good smokin', Joe. :grilling_smilie:
    big z 765 likes this.
  7. sjturbo

    sjturbo Fire Starter

    Thanks! I know when I go fishing I spend about $30/lb for them but that's because I usually go fishin, not catchin!. I do have a good supply of mesquite so we'll try that too. I will keep the stack open! Thanks for the wood source! BTW I found that the COS/Combo has a hidden benefit. I did some kabobs on the grill side at high temp. It caused the smoke chamber to start smoking so I rested the kabobs in the smoke side and they tasted great!
    big z 765 likes this.
  8. rogerwilco

    rogerwilco Meat Mopper

    If you had dry and tough meat after having had trouble getting to, and then holding, the desired temperature of 275°F, you most probably just undercooked the meat. This condition manifests itself as "tough and dry."

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