Adding Cold Charcoal to a WSM mid cook

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by dragonslayer, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. dragonslayer

    dragonslayer Fire Starter

    Can I add additional cold charcoal to a a WSM mid cook?  Last time I used a WSM whenever I added more charcaol I pre-lit it in a chimney but is was really hard to add it through the small door on the WSM.
  2. yes

    Happy smoken.

  3. You can with good charcoal.  Some charcoal will make acrid white smoke when added to a hot pit.
  4. dragonslayer

    dragonslayer Fire Starter

    Good thing I bought good lump charcoal.
  5. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    I would think you shouldn't have to but if you do then add a 50/50 chimney which is a full chimney with only half the coals lit.  You'll always get some white smoke but it will dissipate pretty quick.   It doesn't matter what charcoal you uses if you do this.
  6. dragonslayer

    dragonslayer Fire Starter

    On a long brisket cook I would think I would need to.  Do you think if I load it eave to start it will last 10-12 hrs?
  7. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Sure, over stuff your ring and don't use water in the pan...foil it. 
  8. captjack50

    captjack50 Newbie

    I use briquettes in a chimney when I first light my fire but I add it to a Minion pile of lump when I start the cook

    any cold charcoal I add after that is good lump, with a pair of long tongs

    I never get any off flavors
  9. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Small door....must be a 14" or 18.5" WSM. On the 22.5" I use the door as a coal chute to add hot charcoal, and I use K.B.B and never get off flavors.
  10. dragonslayer

    dragonslayer Fire Starter

    It's the 22.5 but trying to pour from the chimney is still a challenge.
  11. dragonslayer

    dragonslayer Fire Starter

    Also I feel like I don't get even heat that way because all the coals stay by the door.
  12. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Not sure about the smaller WSM's, I have the 22.5" and when I do a long smoke like brisket I use an entire 20 lb. bag of Kingsford Blue. I fill my chimney starter and light it, the rest goes into the charcoal ring (usually with a few chunks of wood buried in it). Once the chimney is fully lit I dump it in the middle of the ring. Assemble body with dry water pan, when the temp hits 200° I fill the pan with HOT water, then wait for temp to come up to 225 and then close down dampers as needed to hit and maintain 250'ish.

    With that set up I can run for over 20 hours, provided the weather is nice (60°+) with little to mild wind. On windy/cold days I wrap a welding blanket around my WSM and I can run approx. 16-18 hours on the same 20 lb. load.

    If for some reason you do need to add mid-smoke the best bet is to get a chimney half lit then add it to your smoker. If the door does not work as a chute for you go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy a small length of un-crimped chimney pipe. Use a screw and a chunk of dowel to make a handle on the underside then use that as a chute.

    Scroll down the page in this link and you will see one that a guy in Florida came up with that works real well.
  13. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I practiced by putting cold charcoal in the chimney then using the door as a chute when there was no fire at all in the WSM. It only take a few tries to perfect your technique. Wear silicone or heavy leather gloves when dumping hot charcoal.

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