Avoiding multiple charcoal reloads

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by dganor, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. dganor

    dganor Fire Starter

    I am currently using a Charbroil H20 verticle smoker. When I smoked a rack of ribs this past weekend, I tried to fill the tray with unlit lump and poured a hot chimney of lump over it to keep the fire going nice and steady without reloading. I had to do 2 more chimney fulls during the smoke (keep in mind this was no marathon smoke, just a 2-2-1). Any tips out there on keeping that fire going without reloading too often, i.e. minion method? The lump doesn't get much ariflow the way this thing is designed, but that can't be my only problem. I'm not sure the poundage on the bag I used, but I went through about 3/4 of a relatively larger bag, 10# maybe??? That seems like way too much to me, but maybe I am wrong.
  2. teeotee

    teeotee Smoking Fanatic


    Is this your smoker ???

    If it is, airflow possibly is part of the problem. The coals have a tendency to choke themsleves out after a few hours.

    Here's a link to maybe give you some ideas, it's for a brinkman but would probably be applicable to the charbroil. If not will point you in the right direction
  3. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    My bro built me a expanded metal fire basket last week and I used it at the cookoff. Let me tell you, it's the thing to have for these style smokers! I call mine an ECB, but it's actually a WSM specifically, but they are all very similar. The WSM has bottom vents already that can be set BELOW the firebasket. Actually you can raise the basket a bit as well. Air from the sides/top is not nearly as effective at keeping a good steady heat going.
  4. dganor

    dganor Fire Starter

    Teotee, that is similar to what I have, although not the exact same, but the mods look like they could apply to mine. I like the idea of the charcoal divider. I already have two of those so I'll definitely be making that mod. Thanks for help.
  5. chargrilled

    chargrilled Meat Mopper

    Excellent point Richtee! Expanded metal is the ticket in addition to getting it (coalbasket) above your O2 source!!
  6. jasandalb

    jasandalb Fire Starter

    I have an ECB vert and before I smoked anything the first thing I did was drill 1/4 holes in the charcoal pan to get airflow going. When I lit my first pan of coal I lit an aluminum pan full of coal at the same time. When the smoker and charcoal pan got to the right temp I threw the meat in AND put the aluminum pan of ashy, hot coals on the bottom of the smoker...this helped keep the temps steady as the coals on the bottom helped off set some of the burn off.

    I also found that the if you keep a light pan of coals ready for standby you should be okay....

    Anyway...just my advice.

    Have also heard of people putting pizza stones in there to keep the temps up too.[​IMG]
  7. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    For more constant and higher temps, try playbox sand instead of water in the pan.
  8. gooose53

    gooose53 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    If you had followed the directions I gave you in a past post when you basicly asked the same question you wouldn't have these problems....not trying to be a smart a _ _ or anything. The web site that TeeoTee gave in his post above is basicly what I followed. That's the great thing about this forum....there is a ton of good info here....but ya got to take it and use it for it to be any good......this probably kills my chances of ever getting into the OTBS.....but the info is there but still ya got to use it.

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