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Charcoal basket

smokingunny

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The minion piece was an after thought. I had some leftover expanded metal and figured I'd give it a shot. They are not welded in so I can remove or adjust them as needed.
 

dish

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Nice looking fire box.  I've always seen the plate spacers as solid steel so the coals will burn like a snake.  Try out your set up and please post how it works.  This is not my box showing it's just what I've seen people use. 
 

hitechredneck

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Joined Jun 11, 2012
Not to 
, but ditto what Dish is saying.  I think your coals will all light up as if the internal mesh wasn't even there.  You'll need some sort of spacers to make the coals light in a snake-like pattern.

On a second note:  HOLY COW!  I like how heavy duty that basket is.  I may steal your design just for having a heavier duty box.
 
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smokingunny

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Like I said before, they were an after thought. Since I'm using the material that I have on hand, I think I'll weld some flat stock between two pieces in order to get the separation so all the coals don't light up at once.
 

smokingunny

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My dimensions are 10X10X8, specific to my firebox. It could be bigger but this size will allow me to move the fire closer to or farther from the cook chamber if I start having temp issues. I helped a buddy make one the same size and it had his New Braunfels vertical smoker running at 275.
 
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hickorybutt

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Looks like it should maybe work.  If you find that you are getting too much radiant heat and it is spreading straight across rather than through the "S pattern", you can always replace the expanded metal dividers with solid sheet metal and still do the double dividers.  That would probably keep radiant heat from spreading more than expanded metal would, and buying small pieces of sheet metal for that size shouldn't be too expensive at all.

Let us know how it works out.  And either way, it looks like a solid charcoal basket that is sturdy and should last a long time!
 

JckDanls 07

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Myself.. I don't think you will gain anything with the maze (time wise) ... but please do let us know what the results are....
 

smokingunny

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I have no idea as I haven't used this method yet, but I'll definitely let you all know once I use it.
 

smokingunny

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Except for the first row, the lit coals are just on the top. I overestimated how much it would hold.
 

smokingunny

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Right now I'm just getting a feel for the temp, how long it will burn, how long it will maintain the temp etc. It's taken about a half hour to get to 250 but I've suspected for a while that my gauge is less than accurate. I have an oven thermometer on the side that the meat usually goes, and it's reading right at 200.
 

hickorybutt

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The maze dividers are a good thought, but looks like your total basket size may be too small to accommodate a maze. If you take the dividers out, that basket would be perfect size for just a "regular" charcoal basket. And you could do the minion method by just pouring lit coals on top of unlit coals. There are other minion method processes on this forum as well, like putting lit coals on one end against unlit coals on the other end (with no divider).
 

smokingunny

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Funny that you mention that because I was thinking the exact same thing. I think the basket itself may be too small with the dividers. I'm actually doing a cook tomorrow and I may put a chimney of lit coals in the firebox just to get the temp up, and then put the basket in to maintain for a while so I don't have to check it every half hour.
 

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