How much charcoal?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by smokin rookie, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. I just started smokin and have attempted both a brisket and a 9 lb pork shoulder. Both turned out ok but I feel like I am burning through huge amounts of charcoal to keep it a solid 225. I am using a brinkman offset smoker and have to stoke it or replenish the charcoal every hour to two hours regardless of the vent placement.

    Is there a general rule on how much charcoal I should be using or tips on keeping it hot?
  2. smokinal

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

    A little more info would be helpful. Like wind, outside temps, your location, etc.

    Would you update your profile to include your location, then head over to roll call & introduce yourself so we can all give you a proper welcome. Thanks!
  3. Hey Rookie, Welcome to the site. You can learn everything you need to know about smoking meat right here, but like Al said, more info would be helpful. Are you using any wood in your smoker? Do you reside in Alaska? Here in KC, I use alot more charcoal in the winter, and wind can be a huge factor. Its hard sayin not knowin, Adrian.
  4. nate_46

    nate_46 Meat Mopper

    I too have a Brinkman offset, but no longer use it.  The amount of charcoal I used was disturbing.  There are mods that you can do to help (search this site) but unless it was summer and in direct sunlight I burned two bags every smoke (12 hours plus).  Around here there isn't much hardwood, just pine etc, but if you had hardwood at your disposal it would help a lot.  I built a UDS and can get one long smoke and one short smoke on a full bag of Kingsford.
  5. terry colwell

    terry colwell Smoking Fanatic

    Whats a HUGE amount, 3 bags, 5 bags, one bag?  The biggest thing about the cheaper off set smokers is they are not sealed well to keep out unwanted air flow. I have a Charbroiler offset and had the same problem, thats why I got a MES for my longer smokes. If your talking several bags I would say look into the Mods for your cooker on sealing it up and look into the minion method.
  6. No, I smoked for about 13 hours yesterday and went through one bag of Kingsford. I am in Louisiana and (sorry northerners) it was about 60 degrees yesterday. Minimal wind and since it threatened some rain I put the smoker under my carport to keep things dry ( didn't rain after all)

    I just hear people putting on their meat at night and it being finished in the morning!?! No way could I do that, I feel like I have to check on it constantly. I left for 2 hours yesterday to get ice-cream with my daughter and came back to it being 150 degrees.

    It just seems hard to keep the temp up for extended periods and would love to not babysit it too much.
  7. Welcome aboard. The reason I left my offset was the babysitting required.  I recommend the mods suggested here and on other sites (charcoal basket, lowering stack to grate level, difuser, etc) to help you control the temp.  Mine leaked like a sieve so I cut my losses and moved on.
  8. terry colwell

    terry colwell Smoking Fanatic

    One bag is not a horrible thing, not great but not the end of smoking. I would say the biggest reason is its not sealed up good enough. Did you have all the vents chocked down all the way? When I smoke on my offset, I have all the vents closed all the way. It gets enough air with the leaks in the seals.
  9. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ah yes.... the reason I switched to a WSM (Weber Smokey Mountain) [​IMG]

    First of all welcome to the forum! As several members mentioned there are some mods you can make to your style of smoker to make it more efficient, but you will be tending to it a lot... even with mods. I had a similar smoker (Chargriller Smokin Pro) when I started, and I made the mods as well, but I was never happy with the smokers efficeincy. After about 8 months I sold it and bought a 22.5" WSM, and have never looked back.

    Make the mods and it will be a better smoker, plus it is a great way to learn about fire controll.

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