Cheap offset and Charcoal Use

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by snett, Jul 3, 2015.

  1. snett

    snett Newbie

    I just seasoned my char-broil offset smoker 430. I thought I sealed it up good. However today I noticed that I went through a whole chimney of charcoal in about 2 hours. Is this normal? By the looks of it I will have to add charcoal every hour. I did buy some expanded metal to make a charcoal box and will try the minion method. Does the charcoal box make that much different? I know when I use my 22 inch weber and use the snake method I can keep it going for a good 4-5 hours before having to really bother it. Sorry if this sounds like a stupid question.
  2. oddball

    oddball Smoke Blower

    It largely depends on the temp you are trying to achieve, but I always used a lot of charcoal with my old offset.  Also, the larger the chamber, the more fuel needed to heat/maintain temp.
  3. Offsets use a lot of fuel. That's why they're more economical to run as a stick burner.
  4. delbbq

    delbbq Fire Starter

    This works well for me.Cut fuel use by at least half from "stock"..!!
  5. ivanstein

    ivanstein Fire Starter

    I had a Char-Broil offset that I did all kinds of work on to up the efficiency. However, it still used 2-3 bags of charcoal for a decently long smoke. The WSM is much more efficient and controllable.
  6. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yup the cheap offsets use a heck of a lot of fuel, that's why I switched to a 22.5" WSM. In the summer with no wind I can run 22+hrs. at 250° on 20 lbs. of charcoal. In the winter I get about 18 hrs. on the same load.

    I had an old Char-griller and I would have to add one full chimney every 2-3 hrs., it sucked.
  7. I have this smoker as well...can you explain what you did here and what it is doing?

    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
  8. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    I would get a good bed of charcoal and then switch to burning wood splits. Probably in that Charbroil you will be adding splits every 20-25 mins.
    Is wood easily available in your area?
  9. Yeah...a couple of hardware stores have big bags of different kinds of wood chunks...there is probably somewhere to it cheaper than there, but I need to do my research on that.

    For the photo above though, I was actually talking about the grate on the side and the bricks in the firebox.  He said that cut down on fuel by half and I was curious about the method he used and why that cuts down on fuel consumption.
  10. i had the same problem. used a lot of charcoal and ash choked the fire. i am mixing in lump charcoal may be switching to all wood next time.
  11. here is an update. i made a partial charcoal basket with only the front and back sides. the base is 9 inches wide and as long as the firebox. i then took another piece of expanded metal and split the basket in two. i now start the fire in one half and later add charcoal/wood in the other half, plus a few lit coals from the first half. It works great!!!! i call it: REMINIONING very efficient use of charcoal. i can even just burn chunks and will hold good temps. because the basket is higher than the original grate, i have more space to remove ashes, which allows me to smoke for as long as i need.
    i was very kinda frustrated with this smoker at the beginning but now i think can manage the fire well and may be ready for my first brisket. i am happy i didnt give up

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