Chat-griller side box - charcoal to use?

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LFoust

Newbie
Original poster
May 17, 2024
4
2
New to this forum, I’ve had a char griller for years, but recently added the offset smoker. I’ve only smoked a couple things in it, and they turned out just OK.

Two-part question:

What kind of charcoal and wood mixture should I be using in the smoker? I found that I added nearly a full 20 pound bag of charcoal over the course of about four hours to keep the temp up to 275. Maybe I should be using charcoal chunks, or a mixture of charcoal and wood?

I also don’t trust the temperature in the hood of the main grill. From others experience, how accurate is that gauge?
 
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I don't have any experience with your cooker but the factory temp gauges are never accurate so you can't go by that.
I would recommend a good multi-probe unit to monitor both grate and meat temps.
You need to build a good bed of coals from the charcoal then use small splits to feed the fire and keep temps steady.

Someone should be along to offer more useful information in a bit.

Keith
 
I had a Char-griller dual w/side fire box when I first started out. I doesn't matter what type of charcoal you use. Your gonna wind up using a lot, and you're gonna have to babysit it the whole time. Don't get me wrong. It will put out some great tasting Q, but it's a lot of work getting there.

Good luck and enjoy
Chris
 
Thanks Chris!

I thought maybe if I used charcoal chunks, or maybe a name brand, they would last longer.

Thoughts?
 
I don't have any experience with your cooker but the factory temp gauges are never accurate so you can't go by that.
I would recommend a good multi-probe unit to monitor both grate and meat temps.
You need to build a good bed of coals from the charcoal then use small splits to feed the fire and keep temps steady.

Someone should be along to offer more useful information in a bit.

Keith
By “Small splits” you mean small pieces of wood?
 
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By “Small splits” you mean small pieces of wood?
Yes splits are pieces of wood. Size depends on the size of your firebox. I have the Chargriller grand champ and my splits vary between 4 to 8 inches in length and 1 to 4 in thickness taking into account splits are triangular in shape. On a bigger smoker with a large FB you can go up in size.

Also I use 1 chimney of lump charcoal to start to get my coal bed started then add splits as needed to keep my desired temps. As 912smoker 912smoker said a good multi probe temp unit will help a lot.
 
doesn't matter what type of charcoal you use. Your gonna wind up using a lot, and you're gonna have to babysit it the whole time. Don't get me wrong. It will put out some great tasting Q, but it's a lot of work getting there.
Can't be said any better than that .
I had a Char griller pro . It came with the offset firebox . Like Chris said , it will put out some great food , but it's an all day constant effort .

I made a charcoal starter that was 18" tall and 12 " in diameter . That's what I used to just get mine started . I actually used full 1/4 split logs to keep mine up to temp which was around 225 / 250 on a good day .
I was also burning a fire in an old kettle grill , then shoveling coals into the fire box .
The food was fantastic , but I was so tired and full of Hops and barley soup by the end I couldn't eat any .

I would say just stay on the fire . Don't wait for temps to drop before you add fuel .
You'll have to figure what that time difference is , and add on the time . If it's 30 minutes , add every 30 minutes even if the temps are solid .
Enjoy !
 
Thanks Chris!

I thought maybe if I used charcoal chunks, or maybe a name brand, they would last longer.

Thoughts?
If by charcoal chunks you mean lump. Lump will burn hotter than briquettes because of the irregular shapes allowing for more airflow. It also means lump has a tendency to burn quicker. Smallish splits like Rich chopsaw chopsaw mentioned mixed in with briquettes will probably be your best bet. I did a modified minion method when I used mine. I spread the unlit charcoal across the grate in the burn box. Then I added a layer of the lit charcoal on the grate(air vent side) and let it burn across the grate. When the last bit of charcoal was about to ignite. I would gently tap the ash down and refill the grate with more unlit coals and chunks or splits, and let it burn back across the grate. I also flipped the drip pan over in the cook chamber, and tried to get it as close to the fire box opening as I could. This helped even out the heat and smoke thru the cook chamber. One other mode I did was to extend the vent stack down to grate level. Hoping to keep the smoke in that chamber a little longer without hindering the airflow. Sorry if this is a little confusing. It's kind of hard to explain without pictures.

Chris
 
I was actually using full fireplace size logs and splits . 16" long and 5 or 6 inches at the bark side .
Mine needed that to keep temps up . Thrown in on a big bed of charcoal .
 
Yes splits are pieces of wood. Size depends on the size of your firebox. I have the Chargriller grand champ and my splits vary between 4 to 8 inches in length and 1 to 4 in thickness taking into account splits are triangular in shape. On a bigger smoker with a large FB you can go up in size.

Also I use 1 chimney of lump charcoal to start to get my coal bed started then add splits as needed to keep my desired temps. As 912smoker 912smoker said a good multi probe temp unit will help a lot.
Thank you! Where can I purchase these splits, and what kind of wood? I’ve only purchased a bag of apple wood chips in the past.
 
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