WSM Chicken smoke charcoal amount

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by billmc40, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. billmc40

    billmc40 Smoke Blower

    Next weekend planning on smoking two or three birds and maybe a rack of ribs. Tring to decide how much charcoal to use. Ie: half a ring or ??? I just hate to waste.
  2. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I always fill mine..

    When the smoke is done..close all the vents

    The fire will go whats left for next time..
  3. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I would just do a full load....not chock full but just kind of full. Maybe two chimneys full...and like the man says just shut the vents when you're done (don't forget the top one .ive done that) better a little too much fuel than not enough. Good luck , bro. Post some pitchas!:grilling_smilie:
  4. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What temps you going to smoke at?  Most people like to run chicken at higher temps in the mid to upper 300's and ribs at that magic 225*.  You can do chicken low and slow, but you would need to hit it on the gas grill or over direct charcoal to crisp the skin at the end.  You can also do ribs hot and fast but it changes most of "the rules" such as for 3-2-1 and 2-2-1.

    You could light the WSM, do one and then the other.  If you go that route, I would do the ribs first and then crank up the air flow to get the temps up to 350-375* for the chicken after the ribs are done.

    Another option is doing them both at the same time at 225-250* and while the ribs are resting, pull the main body off the WSM and put the grate on top of the fire ring.  Then crisp the skin directly over the lit coals.  Just don't walk away from the chicken when doing this as it can go from nicely done to burn toast black pretty quickly.

    Charcoal is cheap.  I would rather waste that than good meat.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
  5. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have settled on two loads for my WSM full load and half load. Half load for any smoke less than 8 hrs, full load for the rest.

    I like the low and slow 250° on my chicken followed by either a hot grill or a few minutes under the broiler in the oven. Since the chicken is only going to be in the smoker for a few hours I apply smoke the entire time - me personally I love mesquite with poultry, but for some folks it can be a bit strong.

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