Average Charcoal Consumption

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by suprfast, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. suprfast

    suprfast Meat Mopper

    Im trying to figure out what the average charcoal consumption is for various smokes. If you have average times for any meat let me know.

    Baby back ribs - 1/2 bag or 3 chimney chutes lasts me aprox 4 hours.

    Im barely at 140° right now on my 15lb beef shoulder and ive gone through 3/4 bag of kingsford. A chimney chute lasts maybe a little over an hour and a half(at best) before temps start to fall quick. Im in CA and its maybe 60° outside with no wind. I dont think temperature outside should be a factor
  2. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It depends on so many variables it's hard to say. It's been awhile since I used charcoal on my SnP but I do recall the SnP is not the most efficient smoker in the world. I never did cook as big a piece of meat as you are doing on the SnP with charcoal but from my experience with ribs on it, I would have to say you are probably not too far from normal with what you are experiencing with Kingsford. By the time I did my first brisket on the SnP I had switched it to propane.

    One thing that did strike me when viewing your other thread about the beef shoulder. It appeared in the pic that the shoulder was pretty close to the chimney end of the smoker. Without tuning plates or a baffle, a lot of heat is probably bypassing the meat. I would move it closer to the firebox end. If you are a little nervous about getting it too close to the firebox, I would at least put it on the center grate with the larger end facing the firebox. You can get quite a large temperature difference end to end on a horizontal without a baffle and tuning plates. I know that didn't answer your question but it may let you make better use of the heat that you are creating.

    Outside temp shouldn't bother it too much but even a slight breeze will wreak havoc with a SnP temp wise. Especially at the chimney end.

    Good luck and hang in there. I've got an 11.76 pound brisket on the UDS right now. Put it on about 10 pm. It is a beautiful night in California.

  3. suprfast

    suprfast Meat Mopper

    I know its getting heat. Temps are rising nicely on the meat and the bark is getting yummy looking. I have a thermometer that has been calibrated sitting to the side of it in the apple and it is seeing temps where i want them, they just fade quick.

    If only i can plumb a natural gas line:).
  4. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Now, don't be peeking too much. [​IMG] You'll slow it down.

    Sounds like you're in good shape. Make sure you rake out the ash out of the firebox once in awhile. If you are going through a lot of charcoal you'll probably get quite a build up in the firebox.

    No need to plumb a natural gas line. All you nead is a propane tank like off of a gas grill.


    Sure made my SnP more pleasurable to use. Although since I have been using the UDS and have learned a little more about firing with charcoal, I am tempted to try another charcoal smoke on the SnP. Regular Kingsford makes a lot of ash. But the Kingsford Comp stuff burns hotter and doesn't make as much ash. That's what I have been using in the UDS and I really like it. Might have to try it in the SnP one of these days.

  5. tn_bbq

    tn_bbq Smoking Fanatic

    I have a Backwoods Smoker (party)

    I can get 8+ hours on about 10 lbs of coal using the Minion method.
  6. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    With the mods in place to my SnP (see them here http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/for...ad.php?t=75087) I ran at about 275F for almost 8 hrs hours (including warmup time) on 10lbs of grocery brand hardwood briquettes and a couple sticks of apple wood. A good tuning plate or manifold or whatever you care to call it is probably the single most effective fuel saver.

    Also, don't forget to clear out underneath your charcoal grate of excess ash. A good basket that sits up higher than the grate will also help stabilize and maintain temp.

    When I did my pre-burn after the new mods installed, it took almost 20 lbs of charcoal and almost FOREVER to get it to 300, and that's cause it was windy and cold. The SnP is very sensitive to that, so keep the weather in mind.

    Hope this helps you a bit, and good smokes to you!
  7. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    My (modifed) Brinkman Gourmet will burn 4 hours @ 240* at the dome thermometer with about 115 coals. Never weighed the coals, sorry. I light off 32 coals, then arrange a full chimney of unlits near the 32 minion style. That's with about 3/4, (perhaps slighty more) full water pan. That's Kingsford blue bag bricks. RO bricks burned a little faster.

    What kind of burn times do you WSM users get?
  8. suprfast

    suprfast Meat Mopper

    Thanks a lot guys, just the info i was looking for.

    Looks like i just need to mod this already. I know i really need a basket too.

    I was using the kingsford comp(all natural) from costco on this smoke and there was a lot of ash. I do have a bag of royal oak i might just have to try out today on some chicken. Maybe ill be a hardwood convert.

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