how much charcoal

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by azcharlie, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. Hi guys I have been hanging around for some time now. And this is my first post and it's a question.

    I have built a upright smoker out of a old refer. It seems to work well. I burn lump in it. The fire is inside the smoker with a defusser. The only problem I have with it is maintaining the heat level. If I burn just a few chuncks of charcoal (2-3) I can hold the heat for about 4 hr. If I start out with more chuncks (4-5) then the heat gets to high.

    Now for the question how can I hold my temp around 220-240 with more charcoal? I would like to go the entire smoke without having to open the door. Is there a way to build the fire inside my smoker so it will burn even through the whole time?

    Thanks Charlie
  2. daddyzaring

    daddyzaring Smoking Fanatic

    I am not real experienced, but my first question is, what kind of ventalation do you have?
  3. There are 3 holes in the botton of the door for intake air and a 4 in. stack on the top with a damper in it. The holes in the door can be closed off with a sliding door. I have adjusted these to a point that I don't open them at all now.
  4. caveman

    caveman Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    First of all, Welcome to SMF Charlie. Head on over to the "Roll Call" forum & introduce yourself so we can give you the hearty welcome you deserve. We want you to have fun & enjoy your stay here as we are glad to have you.

    To answer your question, the method that is used is called the "Minion" method or "Kiss", where you place serveral coals around your fuel burning area & place your lit coals in the center of them, or on top, so that they are "Kissing" the unlit coals. This link should help you out. Good luck.
  5. greechneb

    greechneb Fire Starter

    If I read that correctly, they aren't open at all when you smoke? If thats the case you've got air leak coming from somewhere. For the fire to burn hotter it requires fuel and air. If you can't control the air, you're going to have problems. In a "perfect" smoker, if you cut off the air dampers entirely, the fire will die.
  6. With the air intake holes closed, do you adjust the stack too?

    Sometimes I have to use the stack as a plan B for adjusting the temp after I've closed the air intake almost all the way. This would at least slow the airflow down if you have an intake leak somewhere.
  7. Thanks Caveman this is just the kind of help I was hoping for. I will try it this week end. I will be doing some Salmon and Dorado (love that smoked fish).

    Thanks again.

    P.S. Been smoking for a number of years and I learn something new every time I come here.
  8. timmy7649

    timmy7649 Fire Starter

    i would love to see some pics of your bulid.

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