Refill on Charcoal

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by martyj, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. martyj

    martyj Fire Starter

    Good morning,
    I'm sure this question has been asked more then once but I can't seem to find the answer so I apologize if this is a redundant question. My question is this. I'll be smoking a brisket in cold temps this weekend and I don't think I'll be able to get the whole cook done on one full basket of charcoal. When I need to reload, what's the best way to do a reload. Do I reload my basket with unlit charcoal and let it catch from the remaining charcoal that's already in there, do I start the minion method all over again with a dozen or so lit coals, or do I put a layer of unlit down with a full chimney of lit coals? I'll be running my WSM 22 in the 250-275 range. I hope this makes sense and thank you in advance for any advise
     
  2. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Whatever you want to do... Take your time.. the brisket will still be hot and cook while you mess around with the charcoal. I take mine apart all the time and do stuff while the food is still on the rack.
    You could shake the pan of ashes and toss on a new lit chimney. Start back where you left off.
    Easy if your not using water .
    Hot charcoal or lit, will help because you should be in the stall and you need some good temps to get going.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  3. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Oh.. Was going to say, If your temps drop because of your charcoal is going down, You can toss in 12 or 16 pieces by hand without taking it apart. You may need to shake off ashes though so that is a factor. If your internal meat temp is in the 190s and your chamber temp isn't going to make it the rest of the way for meat to get 200 or 203 .. take it off and toss it in the oven to finish. You don't need to add charcoal that late in the cook. Check to see if it's probe tender starting at 195 up to 205. Should be ok in the oven for a few..
     
  4. motocrash

    motocrash Smoking Fanatic

    10.4 ,Johnny's advice is spot on.Have'nt used my WSM 14 in the cold until last night.I had to do a reload because of underestimating the initial charcoal load.DOH!
     
  5. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I always take stuff off the smoker if it's like past the stall and temps start dropping.. Just finish in foil or a pan in the oven like if it was still on the smoker.
     
  6. martyj

    martyj Fire Starter

    Thanks. I've cooked a few briskets in my time but heading up close to the UP and the temps I'm sure will be cold. I'm guessing I'll need to do a refill about the 8 hour mark or so. I'm guessing I'll be in the stall around the time I'll need to reload. So I understand correctly, would you suggest just doing the minion method again like I did in the initial start up?
     
  7. ammaturesmoker

    ammaturesmoker Smoking Fanatic

    let it burn down removed the hot coals put them in a coffee can. put fresh coal in and place the coal from the can on top.
     
  8. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Man, that's alot of charcoal. Doing another minion will take longer. Should help conserve a little charcoal though.
     
  9. ammaturesmoker

    ammaturesmoker Smoking Fanatic

    Exactly why a good offset will be more practical. Wood is way cheaper.
     
  10. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Master of the Pit Group Lead

    No offset in Michigan from Dec 1 to April 15th for me thank you.. lol
     
  11. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  12. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    OP doesn't say what kind of charcoal he's using, but here's what I do in my 22.5" WSM.

    When you need to add more charcoal, open the side door. If using Kingsford, GENTLY stir the ash so it falls through the grate. If you get too aggressive with it, the ash will fly up into the chamber and coat the meat. If using RO Ridge, Weber, Trader Joes, any of the more dense briquettes, you won't get much flying ash but stir carefully to expose the remaining hot briquettes.

    I use RO Ridge. I find that 1/4 of a large chimney, or one small chimney of hot briquettes, will add a little more than two hours of smoke time to the smoke. I fire up the briquettes on the chimney, then use the door as a coal chute, carefully dumping the hot briquettes right onto the door. They fall into the basket, then I use tongs to move them around.

    I don't like adding cold briquettes to a hot fire on a long smoke. I've done it many times, but it can give an off flavor as the briquettes heat up. Cold lump, on the other hand, works well. For briskets and butts, I usually crank the temp up after the stall anyway to 275F or higher so adding hot briquettes or lump does the job nicely.
     
  13. smokinal

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

    I just added a piece of stove pipe onto my charcoal starter, then I just use RO lump unlit & dump it right into the middle of the smoker grate.
    Chimney mod 1.JPG Chimney mod 2.JPG

    Al
     
    noboundaries likes this.
  14. motocrash

    motocrash Smoking Fanatic

    Nice Al! Quick and easy
     
  15. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Brilliant, Al, just absolutely brilliant!
     

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