How much charcoal to use

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by who24, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. who24

    who24 Newbie

    Ok so i am a novice smoker and have always used the brinkman electric vertical. However my electrical element on my smoker recently quit working, so today I will take the element out and use charcoal and wood.  I am very familiar with charcoal by means of grilling, but have no idea when smoking.  I'm smoking one roughly 6 pound deer shoulder.  Because venison is so lean i'm nervous about drying it out so I don't want my temp too hot, but I want to get the job done in a reasonable time.  I also dont want too smoky of a flavor.  Smoking with charcoal is new to me and any tips for this shoulder would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, any suggestions on how to quickly thaw a frozen 6 pound shoulder?
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    What you need to do is called the minnion method. Which simply stated is filling the smoker up with a combo of unlit charcoal mixed with wood chunks. Then you just put about 8-10 lit briquettes on the pile & they will slowly light the remaining charcoal. Since this is a conversion you need to make sure you have air under the charcoal. Otherwise the fire will go out due to ash buildup & insufficient air flow around the fire.
  3. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    It sounds like AL has taken pretty good care of you. I would try it and if you don't have enough air to keep the fire going you can always cut air hole or vents into the smoker. Now you have to keep in mind that your smoker wasn't meant to smoke with charcaol also. You might want to go thur it and make sure that there is no other stuff that if it catches fire will not mess up your meat or make you sick. So try all of this and always stay safe.
  4. who24

    who24 Newbie

    Very good advise. Thanks guys.
  5. I just recieved a brinkman vertical charcoal smoker and no matter how much charcoal i putt in the temp will not go above 150. Do any one have any ideas
  6. jrod62

    jrod62 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    not getting enough air . which do u have ?

    [​IMG]     or[​IMG]
  7. jrod62

    jrod62 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Don't go by the temp guage that on the lid . it will be off by 50 degrees or more
  8. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    There are a lot of modifications that can be made to a Brinkman to make it more efficient.

    Here's some reading for you.
  9. boon75

    boon75 Newbie

    I have the vertical one and coals don't seem to stay hot and I was wondering why. Everyone say drill holes in for better airflow but the vents it have should already be adequate.

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