How much charcoal or lump to use?

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by cubsfan2123, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. cubsfan2123

    cubsfan2123 Newbie

    Hey guys, first time smoker.  I borrowed a smoker to use, it has an side firebox.  I was planning to use either briquettes or lump as my heat source and then hickory chunks.  I have two 8.5 lb butts and figure about 12 hours at 225.   My question is, how much charcoal do I need to sustain 220-240 degrees for 12 hours?  I apologize if this has been asked before (I am sure it has).  Thanks in advance.
  2. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you are going to cook for 12 hours you must use lump IMHO because briquettes prduce so much ash that it will limit airflow to the fire and make it very difficult to maintain temps. Even lump on a long cook can produce enough ash to limit the fire, so be prepared to empty the ashes.

    How much you will need in part depends on the outside air temp while you are cooking, a cool day will require more fuel than a hot one.

    Knowing what brand of smoker would also be a help in determining how much fuel.

    I think that you should plan on having at least 20 pounds of quality lump charcoal on hand, I recommend Royal Oak but there are others.

    You can also use the wood chunks as part of your heat source, it's OK if they catch fire and burn, they will still add that smokey flavor.
  3. ecto1

    ecto1 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I have cooked for 18 hour in my UDS with KIgsford blue and still had charcoal left.  I have had a fire for over 30 hours with lump.  What kind of smoker are you using?  That might help us out.

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