charcoal basket Woes...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by rhaugle, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. rhaugle

    rhaugle Smoke Blower

    Hey guys, I got a sweet deal on a brisket last night so I decided to smoke it today.. I picked up some lump charcoal and some cheap briquets from academy last night since I used the rest of mine doing a test fire... I don't know if I did something wrong or what, but this smoke is becoming impossible. Temps will not come up, or stay up. I filled up my charcoal basket (11x12x6) with the lump, started a chimney with the briquets to put onto of the lump... nothing different from what I've done in the past, but the stuff will not stay lit!!! I had to leave the FB door open to even keep the stuff going, and that didnt even work. Had to end up putting a fan outside the FB to keep it going.. temps still falling. 

    Did I put to much charcoal in the basket?

    Does the brand really matter that much? If so, how do these people with crap fuel stay in business?

    As of right now, I will never use another brand of lump other then Royal Oak, unless I did something totally wrong? Or should I only fill the basket half full, and then fill in with wood? 
  2. paul6

    paul6 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I have had the same problem I always use kingsford and royal oak . You get a steady fire and heat .
  3. rhaugle

    rhaugle Smoke Blower

    So the Kingsford and Royal Oak fixed your problem? 
  4. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I don't know what type of cooker you're using, but in my offset I will fill my basket about 2/3 full of RO lump with a valley in the center. I light a chimney about 2/3 full of RO briqs. When the chimney is fully involved, I put the briqs in the center of the lump to form a good layer of hot coals. After the bed of coals is formed, I put in 2 pre-heated splits to bring the CC up to temp. The cook fire is then maintained by wood. It's a good idea to always pre-heat the splits. It helps them to ignite quicker and keep the fire hotter. The secret to keeping the fire at its best is to always keep a good bed of coals. Don't let the coals go down. It takes too much to get them built again.

    Good luck and good smokin', Joe
  5. paul6

    paul6 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Yes a lot of the cheaper stuff can really be a pain and when using it I have had the same problem . I use a homemade charcoal basket made out of diamond cut steel , roughly 12" by 14" with a solid divider down the middle. I fill 1 side with a mixture of unlit  charcoal , lump and some wood chunks. then start a chimney about half charcoal a third lump and top with wood , get it white hot and put it on the other side. you get a much faster preheat and it eventually starts the other side for a longer burn.
  6. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I made my basket from the metal mesh door of a dog carrier.

    I really, really miss metal shop in school.
  7. rhaugle

    rhaugle Smoke Blower

    Thanks guys,

    I am in an offset, so this should help me a bit. I think it was a mixture of the charcoal and filling my basket too full. Will be doing some test fires this weekend as to not waste a bunch of food!

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