Layering lump in sfb?

Discussion in 'CharGriller Owners Group' started by fpmich, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    I was reading a link in the forums, forgot where now, so no link.  But it got me to thinking of some things.   One person mentioned arranging lump in basket, but no other post in thread addressed that point.

    1.  Why not start the "initial" lighting of lump charcoal right in the basket, or on the grate, using propane torch underneath from ash drawer area, instead of using chimney?

    2.  Would placing & arranging, larger pieces flat on bottom for a couple of layers, then dump smaller pieces on top?  Do you think I would I get a bit more longer & even heat time out of it?

    3.  Would I be better off lighting the chamber end, working my way back to intake end, to light them all, or just light the intake end and let the rest catch fire as it progresses?

    Any coals after that would have to be lit in chimney first  and dumped on top of course.  I could still preheat my wood on side away from fire for future adding.

    Your thoughts or experience on this?
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
  2. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  3. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for your reply JarJar Chef.  I appreciate it.

    Sometimes I think too much, or too little.   HA!  Not sure which.

    Now that I've had a day to think on this further,

    I can't see any benefit other than possibility of getting a little more time out of lump in the beginning, by layering larger pieces by hand.

    But that would be a one time benefit during smoke, and would take the smoker longer to come to heat.  That process seems like it wouldn't help that much on start up of smoker, when you are trying to pre-warm it.

    I guess it may be simpler than I try to make it sometimes. 

    Want heat, add lit coals, or very dry and warmed splits.  Too much?  Close vent down.  Not enough heat, open vent up. 

    It's just an enclosed campfire, Frank.   Go cook something!   LOL 

    Good grief, I have cooked so much food on a campfire and never once had a maverick.  Didn't use minion,  no surface temp therm, and often, no grate.   Just cooked on, over, or under, hot bed of coals.   Usually from a fire that has burned at least a few hours to get coals for a quick meal, or for low and slow, on a fire that has burned for 2 or 3 days to heat all the sand under it.    Want it hotter, place on, or near coal bed.  Low and slow?  Either bury it under the coals and sand, in  layers foil (buried dinner), or raise it above coals.

    I did it by instinct I guess you would call it.  When it's done, it's done.  

    And no food police came up to me in 50+ years of camping, to tell me I went longer than 4 hours for whatever, and no one ever got sick.

    Maybe that's because I was taught food safety by Mom.   WAY BEFORE they became govermentt regulations.  And... because we used fresh locally raised meat, or our own.

    I think they called it common sense back then.  LOL  Not so common anymore, since hardly no one raises and butchers their own meat anymore.  (Myself included, I'm sorry to say)   Ever notice most food poisonings come from food certitifed chains, or meat processers? 

    Geeze   They ARE are inspected?  Right?    What a laugh!

    Back to topic.

    I'm still trying to learn, and I get caught up in ideas sometimes that sound good, but in the end, aren't all that practical.

    I suspect a lot of us newbies in forum, are guilty of trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

    Please bear with us newbies.  We appreciate, and need,  your patience.

    Also please forgive my little rant up there.  Thanks.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2014
  4. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It's all ok. We all have a tendency of making things more than they are from time to time.

    As far as food safety goes. I think a lot of the new rules and inspections are good. Because there are those out there that don't care and could really do some damge to someone. But I also feel that we have sterilized our lives and we are no longer resistant to some of the germs and bacterias that we used to be.
  5. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    I agree with that assessment jarjar!
  6. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    When I use a charcoal basket I layer the larger pieces on the bottom and use the smaller pieces to fill in any gaps, then fill to the top with a couple of hands full of lump. Dump 1 chimney of fully lit lump directly on top and it's off to the races. Cooked a turkey last Sunday like this, the CC temp settled in at 280°and stayed there for 2+ hours before reloading. I used Frontier lump instead of RO, definitely has a longer burn time than RO.

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