Using charcoal in a propane smoker

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by ron50, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. ron50

    ron50 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    NY
    After reading RIP's post earlier this week about throwing in a couple of pieces of lump into his wood tray of his propane smoker it got me thinking.

    Any reason why you couldn't use charcoal as the heat source in a propane smoker? Maybe use a small metal grate under the charcoal in the wood tray to allow some better air circulation.

    Any opinions appreciated.
     
  2. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I don't see why not.
     
  3. hawgheaven

    hawgheaven Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'd say go for it, and let us know how it works for ya'... oh, and take pix! [​IMG]
     
  4. cajun_1

    cajun_1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Would you need to cover the propane burner ? Just a thought.
     
  5. raypeel

    raypeel Meat Mopper

    I missed that post from RIP. That's a good idea. I love the charcoal smell and flavor. I'll try that tomorrow if the weather cooperates. I you come up with any idea's for the charcoal heat let me know. I'll look at it also.
     
  6. brianj517

    brianj517 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've done this often during the colder months to help maintain temp. I just toss a couple chunks in the cast iron tray of my GOSM and let em burn down a bit and then put my wood right on top when I'm ready for the smoke. It seems to me that my propane tanks last a bit longer too.

    Cheers,
    Brian
     
  7. raypeel

    raypeel Meat Mopper

    That's a good idea Brian. Do you just add them unlit or do you have to start them before adding?
     
  8. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Should be a better smoke ring on the meat also than just using the propane. [​IMG]
     
  9. brianj517

    brianj517 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Either/or...depending on the size of my cook. Mostly though, I preburn the lump and a few large wood chunks. I picked up a large cast iron kettle at a flea market a while back. Old rusty thing with no lid...set me back a whole $3.00. I set it on an extra turkey fryer stand near the smoker and add the coals with a metal garden trowel. It also doubles as a hillbilly space heater for my fingers and toes, when I need to stay close enough to guard my beer cooler and enjoy a good cigar![​IMG]

    Cheers,
    Brian
     
  10. old poi dog

    old poi dog Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I tried that in GOSM last weekend. I'm using a 10 inch skillet in place of the firebox. I just put in two or three pieces of charcoal and turn on the propane. When they catch, I turned down the propane. I was going for the smoke ring so I only used two or three pieces of charcoal. I didn't think of elevating them off the surface of the skillet for better air circulation though. I'll work something out to address that tough. The ribs turned out great. Looks like they had that smoke ring thing going on too. Will need to try it again this weekend when the rainstorm clears.
     
  11. glued2it

    glued2it Master of the Pit

    Now that is scary! [​IMG]

    See what happens when you run out bourbon!
     
  12. smokeys my pet

    smokeys my pet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Works fine I have done it. No I did not cover the burner just added a few coals to the cast iron skillet to get the added flav.[​IMG]
     
  13. triple b

    triple b Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I've added lump charcoal with what ever wood I was using with good results.
    Go for it!
     
  14. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    Nope! I've done it for cooler smokes but our wood pan is kind of shallow for an all day hot smoke. If you make a deeper wood pan and put some expanded metal in there to raise the coals out of the ash it'll work fine.

    I imagine the electric coils for the smokers would work well also if you had a mind to try it.
     
  15. ron50

    ron50 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    NY
    Debi:

    I plan to modify the smoke tray, maybe some type of raised steel cage to keep them out of the ash and keep them from moving around when the lump starts popping.
     
  16. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Your telling them 10 years to late.. 🤓. But, good to know in case someone else comes by..
     
  17. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I love it when an old thread get resurrected! [​IMG]
     

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