I need to comment on this older post.
I don't undertand the infatuation with the statement of having to put your cooking grate at 24" above the coal grate.
First of all it seems that there is some variance between the height of the coal in each persons basket. We dump the hot coals on the top of the charcoal which is completely variable from system to system. The height of each persons charcoal basket and how much charcoal we put in our baskets makes the distance between the hot coals and the cooking grate a variable.
So when I read someone that is concerned about their cooking grate only being 22" above the bottom of their coal basket I have to wonder... does it really matter?
Now sure you don't want the meat right on top of the coals but I highly doubt that it's going to matter one way or the other here.
Originally Posted by Unfathomable Bastid
Another question for you.
The barrel I bought is a bit shorter (34" height) than most. Consequently I don't have as much usable space in the drum. I built my cooking level at 7 inches below the lip, but after I had the fire basket fabricated -- I realized that the difference between the bottom of the fire basket is only 22" from the cooking grate. It seems that the experts maintain I need a minimum of 24" separation. So, I'm two inches short (insert joke here). This is further exacerbated if I'm using 15 lbs of charcoal that are 4-5 inches of height in the basket.
Will the missing two inches cause significant adverse effect? I wouldn't think 22 inches would be so much different than 24.