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Snake Test

RiversideSm0ker

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So now that there is no pressure today I thought I would do a burn test. I’m going to recreate the 2x2 snake from one grate clip to the next. I’m going to leave the vents wide open on top and bottom. I’ll monitor the time it takes to burn from start to finish and see what kind of temp it will hold for that burn time. Then this evening I’m going back to the vortex for some thighs. Gonna be my lunches for the work week. I’ll let you know how the test goes.
G
 

Hawaiianbrian

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Good luck. I usually do a little bit more than 2x2 and play with the vents every now and then. The part that takes the longest is getting it up to temp but once it finally gets there it’s pretty fun doing a long smoke on a charcoal grill and not really having to babysit it too much
 

RiversideSm0ker

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Update:

I built the snake and fully lit 10 briquettes. I added them to the end of the snake making sure I overlapped one coal width on top. At the 30 minute mark with everything wide open I am only at 181 grate temp on the opposite side of the kettle. This feels like what happened yesterday. The ash pan seems to be fully seated. I expected a temp over 250 with the vents fully open. There are no more winds today so I doubt that is a factor. Anything else I should check?

G
 

RiversideSm0ker

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Very interesting. At the one hour mark I am at 225 grate temp. Very little charcoal has burned. I’m not sure that a full stack of the fresh coals has even fully engaged. I hate to wait a full hour to start my cook. How far up the unlit snake do you all tend to place your hot coals in the beginning? First coal, second, perhaps third? I’m fascinated how slow this can burn.
G
 

RiversideSm0ker

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At 1 hour and 40 minutes it hit 263. All but the last four coals are now burning. I dialed back the top vent halfway just to see what happens. I feel like I learned some things from this test. I need to come up with something to cook next weekend to try the snake again. Maybe I can find a tri tip on sale. Anyway it’s on to the vortex. Those thighs aren’t going to cook themselves lol.
G
 

chopsaw

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River , I set mine up like this .
20190903_152441.jpg
If you look on the right side you can see the start of the snake , and where it stopped . That was 8 hours at 250 .
I learned after my first try to add coals to start the snake , but I also add some to bring it up to temp and take care of the thermal mass when I add the meat . I add those away from the snake . You can see that spent ash by where I have the grill hanging .
 

Hawaiianbrian

Smoke Blower
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Joined Dec 7, 2017
Nice job. Take any pics by any chance? I’m doing some thighs on the vortex too. Gonna do some with just lowrys season salt and try to make some “fried” and see what I end up with
 

Hawaiianbrian

Smoke Blower
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Joined Dec 7, 2017
Chopsaw, when I do the snake method I do mine like yours. A little thicker than 2x2 but can keep it by 250* give or take. And get 12.ish hours
 

chopsaw

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I mentioned 8 hours in my reply , but that was where it was at when I wrapped a brisket and finished in the oven . I agree 12 hours would be common .

try to make some “fried” and see what I end up with
I have some threads out there on fried chicken on a kettle and gas grill .
 

RiversideSm0ker

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Joined Jan 30, 2018
River , I set mine up like this .
View attachment 429294
If you look on the right side you can see the start of the snake , and where it stopped . That was 8 hours at 250 .
I learned after my first try to add coals to start the snake , but I also add some to bring it up to temp and take care of the thermal mass when I add the meat . I add those away from the snake . You can see that spent ash by where I have the grill hanging .
Interesting. I watched many YouTube videos about using a snake and nobody ever suggested using a second pile of coals to get the temp ready for cooking quickly. I’m going to be testing this in another cook next weekend. I really appreciate the feedback.
G
 

chopsaw

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Glad you're enjoying your kettle . Also , I'm using a 26 " with the snake . Never tried it with my 22 , so maybe the extra coals aren't needed . It just helps at the start of the cook , when you add a large protein like a pork butt or brisket , or have the lid open to add therm probes . Once you're set the snake takes over .
 

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