char-griller question

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by fastford, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. I tried looking but I couldn't find anything, how much charcoal do you need to get the temp around 225 just doing indirect cooking for a slab of ribs?
  2. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    There are too many variables to give a definitive answer. Weather, wind, your rig, all affect performance. Every smoker tends to have its own quirks and characteristics. I don't personally use a chargriller, but in my offset (New Braunfels Hondo), I always start with a hatful-sized stack of charcoal in the firebox, then put a pretty full chimney of glowing-hot charcoal on top of the stack. (If you haven't read any on this, its called the minion method, and you can find threads that will guide you through it) After that, it depends on the outside temperature, the wind, and what kind of mood my smoker is in that day. It is as much about controlling airflow with your dampers and vents as anything else. You'll get the hang of your own rig through trial and error. Good luck, and happy smokin'.
  3. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Please if you would stop by Roll Call first and introdunce yourself properly so we can give you the proper welcome we like to give to new members. Like seenred said they are alot of variables to determine how much but I would buy aleast one maybe two of the biggest baggies like at wally world the royal oaks real wood charcoal. It took me a whole bag for about a 7-8 hour smoke for some pastrami. You have to take in affect the wind outside temp and just the smoker too.
  4. bubbahotep123

    bubbahotep123 Newbie

    did you get your questioned answered?
  5. flbobecu

    flbobecu Smoking Fanatic

    Which model do you have? The first thing I would do is get a charcoal basket which can be found at Lowes - they sell is a grill basket, made by Charbroil - it's about $14. 

    Otherwise I would use a deep aluminum pan and poke a lot of holes around the sides and through the bottom - I just used a small knife. To keep the charcoal together.

    It depends on which you use - the charcoal/ash grate (the adjustable part) isn't ideal for long smokes. Depending on the size of the grill and like others have mentioned (wind, temp, etc.) I would probably go through 2 full chimneys of charcoal on my grill for a 5-6 hour smoke. 
  6. warthog

    warthog Smoking Fanatic

    I use a Lowes basket.  Fill it up 3/4 and then dump a chimmany of lump in. Gets to 225 in a few minutes.

  7. erodinamik

    erodinamik Smoke Blower

    Maybe I'm doing something wrong but I seem to use WAY more charcoal than you guys on my Char Broil just to keep it in the 225-250 range.  I have looked at my Lowes for the charcoal basket (hoping this would help.  I usually put two full chimneys of unlit coat in the SFB and then one full lit one on top of that and that'll burn down in 1-2 hours.  I typically use 2 bags of Royal Oak for a 2-3 hour smoke.  Am I doing something wrong?  I've been leaving the vents full open to keep the temps in the right range but I haven't tried closing them any to see if that make the coal burn longer.  I usually have very little unburned lump left over after all is said and done but my charcoal addiction is getting expensive.  I love my smoker but I'm about to build a UDS just to save on charcoal :)
  8. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The basket from Lowes I believe is called a shaker basket and is made by Char-Broil  #188821.  You will need to remove the handle and cut it down.  Fit with stainless steel bolts and nuts, or cut two lengths of 7/16 in rolled steel bar to fit.

    Offsets use more fuel and require more fire tending than a UDS.  If you are after fuel efficiency and low fire maintenance smoking, you might want to think about an upright.  If you need to have a large cooking surface and ease of getting things on and off, then your offset is good to go with a few mods.
  9. I've had the same problem with the same unit and don't have a good answer for you.  Have you replaced your thermometer yet?  The factory one is not very accurate.  I saved a little charcoal once I did that just by actually reading the right temp.  I would burn 40-50lbs of good, Royal Oak or Wicked Good, lump for a 10-12 hr smoke in 70-80 degree outside temps.  I switched to using wood and it has saved me a lot of fuel money. That being said,  I have had no luck keeping a consistent temp with my Char-Griller no matter what fuel I have used, it's like a roller coaster all the time.  I can go from dumping heat by opening the lid every ten minutes for a few hours with all the vents closed to needing a fan by the air intake with everything wide open, all in the same smoke. 

    I have made some mods including turning it into a reverse flow chamber to help even out the heat (when I have enough).  They have all helped and made it a better unit but I've been using it for over a year and a half and every smoke is an adventure!!     

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