Originally Posted by tre77inpc
Hello all, just a quick question. I am currently almost halfway through cooking a few racks of spares on my OTS (I will post pics later). I am not sure my charcoal is going to make it through the entire cook. Any advice on how much additional coals to add to maintain 225 - 250? Should I light them in my chimney first or can I just add them to the pile without being lit.
Thanks in advance.
Just add them unlit and you should be fine. You don't need to light them before hand unless you suspect your fire is out. It should continue to light new coals as the old burn out and make sure you sweep the ashes out for better oxygen flow to get it to light the new coals better. It really depends on the size of the kettle grill and how many hours you are cooking them. I suspect about 3-4 hours for spare ribs thats what I like to do. So what size is it? It it is an 18.5 I would have started with the minion method and added about 14 lit bricks to a pile of about 30-40 bricks That way it would maintain the temp I can do about 6-7 hours with that method. Although if you really want to cook a long time I like to use 41 bricks stacked on each side of the kettle in rows 10 bricks in four layers and one on top for good luck on each side and then connect the two together at the bottom similar to making a ring of fire. I then will throw dry wood chips through the piles of coal and then throw some in the water pan and then I light 14 coals and put 7 on each side to slowly light the other coals and to ignite the wood chips. Close the top vent to about half this will maintain your temp in the 200-250 range. Getting exact is really difficult but this will allow you smoke meat very nicely with little effort. Also throw wood chips in your water pan. Doing both allows you to increase the amounts of smoke. Anyways both methods need the vent closed to about half. I have gotten up to 15 hours and still have had unlit charcoal that could burn. The food was just done so I stopped. The minion method burns faster but will work just fine for spare ribs. Longer cooks you will have to replenish coal with the minion method but my method you will not need to add any coal the whole entire time. If you have a rib rack you should be able to set it and forget it mostly and sweeping the ash out should only maybe be done once as with increased oxygen it will increase temp. I am not sure if anyone else smokes with my method I use so someone else may already do it. I just made neat stacks in layers instead of just dumping them on like the minion method. I thought it might work better. It does.