stoking fire with charcoal

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Feb 14, 2007
Columbus, OH
I have a char-griller pro with a Side fire box. I user Royal Oak Natural lump charcoal. Once I got the fire going, (1 chimmney of red hot coals, poured that into the box, then dump two more chimmney fulls on top of the coals.) Open the vent and stack full open. Once it's up to temp, I close the vent down about 3/4 closed and add my wood chunks.

After that, about every hour or so, I just pour on a chimmney full of unlit charcoal.

Do you see any problem with that? Should I only be pouring in red hot lit coals? My smokes so far have been very good. Just curious if I am doing something that can bite me is the A$$ later.
Sounds good to me! That's almost how I do it. I put coals in the box first then put hot ones on top and they burn down slowly. You don't have to add as often.

Good Luck!
Thats the exact way I do mine and have had very good results.
When you add new coals, do you open the top of the firebox to put them in? Or do you open the side door? If the side door, do you have to "shovel" them in or something?

Just curious. First smoke should be this weekend.

My apologies for jumping in slightly off-topic, but this brought back to mind an issue I have.

For background, I'm a newbie and haven't attempted anything beyond a, say, three hour fire. I have a Brinkman Smoke N Pit and have been using plain ol charcoal for fuel.

I put in a chimney full of charcoal and my temps go to 300 and beyond...with me scurrying around closing off all air, lifting the lid, etc.

Just this weekend I made some homemade andouille which I then hot-smoked.

I started with 25 coals, aiming for a 180 temerature. This was way too hot. Ended up taking out 10 or more.

With 15 coals (maybe a 1/4 chimney) I was still at 190 - with vents pretty much closed to slightly opened.

So, when I read experienced smokers talking about chimney after chimney of fuel source I know there's something amiss with what I'm doing.


Grand Rapids, Michigan
I add fromthe top. The side of mine is a drawer rather than a door. Pulling it out would bring the fire out of the box.
Welcome Brian -

Try a few less hot coals at a time. Takes time to get the feel of it. Why don't you head out to the Roll call section and introduce yourself so we properly great you!
One more question: Do you add your wood on top of the red hot coals or down with the bed of unlit coals? Or both?

That is about the exact same way that I do it. Cold charcoal seems to give off more smoke, so I generally leave my firebox open for a few minutes to let some of the thicker smoke off.

I use chunks of wood in my smoker, and I generally put them on top of the coals near the intake. Personally, I want my wood burning very clean, I don't want smoldering smoke.
I have my charcoal burning next to the intake. I put the chunks right next tot he opeing into the skome chamber about 3 inches away from the fire. Starts smking in about 2-3 minutes. Always just gives off the thin blue smoke. I smoked a pork shoulder last week for about 8 hours with mesquite and it was great!
i have a smoke-n-pit and i start with a lit chimney and then add about 1 unlit and with all vents wide open it will only go to 250 sometimes maybe 275..but now with the warmer(hotter) days i light a full chimney then add lump as needed,i only use 1/4 the charcoal when it's warm outside than some of my winter smokes is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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