The BBQ BRETHREN FORUMS.


Forum Portal Recipes Smoke Signals Magazine Welocme Merchandise Associations Purchase Subscription Brethren Banners
Go Back   The BBQ BRETHREN FORUMS. > Discussion Area > Q-talk

Notices

Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


Reply
Thread Tools
Unread 06-04-2006, 02:58 PM   #1
capnamerca
Knows what a fatty is.
 
Join Date: 04-02-06
Location: Central Texas
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default coal bed maintenance - advice?

NB Bandera, today's ribs are my fourth cook. I'm getting better and better at fire control. I usually start 5 LBs in the chimney, and build a "bowl" of unlit charcoal in the firebox, covering about 90% of the grate area (firegrate mod, raised expanded). Pouring the lit chimney into ~12 lbs of unlit in the firebox gives me about 2.5 hours of perfect 220-240 in the smokebox (measured inside, not outside), and the temp holds real gosh-darn steady. However ... as that coal bed begins to deplete, obviously the temps start to drop. It's a controlled drop, no worries. My question comes now - how do you maintain the coalbed at this point? If I throw in a bunch of new coal, I get a serious spike in temps. If I throw in just a little, I feel like I'm tending the fire every twenty minutes, and opening the firebox lid far too often.

Today, I even tried to add lots of charcoal, but a long way away from any hotspots, so as to encourage a "walking burn", if you will, but it all just lit real fast and I got the above-mentioned temp spike (and it held high, not just up-and-down).

So, any thoughts about adding/maintaining charcoal and coal beds?

Thanks!
__________________
NB Bandera. Baffle w/water pan cutout, custom firegrate, spicewine charcoal box.
Austin, TX, home of the National Champion Texas Longhorns
'Que newbie, but coming along fast, thanks to bbq-b!
capnamerca is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 06-04-2006, 03:26 PM   #2
Kevin
Quintessential Chatty Farker
 
Kevin's Avatar
 
Join Date: 02-06-05
Location: Southern Minnesota
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

This won't be much help because I burn wood, but to maintain a consistant bed of coals and temps, I have to add a few sticks every 45 minutes to an hour.
__________________
Kevin
Kevin is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 06-04-2006, 04:05 PM   #3
nmayeux
Babbling Farker
 
nmayeux's Avatar
 
Join Date: 04-03-05
Location: Marietta, GA
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

If you are using the "New" Kingsford, it will ignite very fast. Sometimes lump will also.
__________________
Noah \#/
Nauti-Que BBQ Team
Pitmaster and KCBS CBJ & CTC
nmayeux is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 06-04-2006, 04:20 PM   #4
capnamerca
Knows what a fatty is.
 
Join Date: 04-02-06
Location: Central Texas
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Yes, the ignite times are pretty short. The problem is more specifically a maintanance of the bed overall - I feel like I'm tending fire like every 20 minutes, and if I add enough charcoal so that it doesn't burn out that quick, I get a huge spike in temps as the mass of new charcoal all ignites at the same time.
__________________
NB Bandera. Baffle w/water pan cutout, custom firegrate, spicewine charcoal box.
Austin, TX, home of the National Champion Texas Longhorns
'Que newbie, but coming along fast, thanks to bbq-b!
capnamerca is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 06-04-2006, 04:25 PM   #5
JohnMcD348
is One Chatty Farker
 
JohnMcD348's Avatar
 
Join Date: 01-27-05
Location: Lakeland, FL
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Get or build a charcoal basket. I went through the same troubles for a year until I got a basket from Spicewine. Best money I ever spent. It increased the temp control and burn times of the charcoal and I think I may have even used less charcoal. I burn a combo of lump and Briquette and I can keep the lid closed about 1-2 hours before I'm reloading the basket and tending the coals.
__________________
JTMcD.


We sleep peaceful in our beds because Rough Men stand ready in the night to visit violence upon those who would do us harm.......G. Orwell



Brinkman Smoke King Deluxe, The Famous StudeDera, Weber Smokey Joe Gold and Platinum, Brinkman Professional Grill, Brinkman ECB and 2 Weber Smoky Mountians
JohnMcD348 is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 06-04-2006, 04:26 PM   #6
Jorge
somebody shut me the fark up.
 
Jorge's Avatar
 
Join Date: 01-23-04
Location: DFW, San AntonioTx
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by capnamerca
Yes, the ignite times are pretty short. The problem is more specifically a maintanance of the bed overall - I feel like I'm tending fire like every 20 minutes, and if I add enough charcoal so that it doesn't burn out that quick, I get a huge spike in temps as the mass of new charcoal all ignites at the same time.
If you start with your charcoal as you have been, and then switch over to wood you can make it a little easier. I start with charcoal and wood, and then continue to burn wood only. I'll keep an eye on it, since it isn't a set and forget deal. When the wood is nice and charred I'll break it up a bit and spread it around before adding the next batch.

When required I'll add some lump to keep the heat up if needed.

(Edited to add: A bag of lump lasts me a loooong time)
__________________
You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer. --Frank Zappa

BOOGITY, BOOGITY, BOOGITY!!!

Recipient of a Huggies box!

Shut up, and cook!!!!
Jorge is online now   Reply With Quote


Unread 06-04-2006, 04:30 PM   #7
kcquer
Lives in Spirit
 
kcquer's Avatar
 
Join Date: 02-17-04
Location: Wherever there's Sweet Blue
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

As your coalbed depletes, you can push the remaining hot stuff to the smokebox end of the firebox and dump another load of unlit stuff behind it. This will roughly replicate your original burn pattern. You will have to clean out the ash underneath when you do this to prevent the glowing embers in the ash from iginiting too much of the cold stuff at once.

This said, there is no subsitute for frequent (every 45 mins) additions of wood (or prelit coals) to achieve steady temps and clean smoke.
kcquer is offline   Reply With Quote


Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
smoker maintenance nancee Q-talk 4 05-14-2011 08:26 PM
Major Maintenance Bigmista Q-talk 35 05-14-2010 03:38 PM
Coal Basket Advice Porchpup Q-talk 10 01-27-2009 08:22 PM
Advice and Opinions on Coal basket and tuning plate design with Pics! swamprb Q-talk 7 03-12-2007 02:54 PM

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Loading



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:39 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise v2.6.0 Beta 4 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
2003 -2012 © BBQ-Brethren Inc. All rights reserved. All Content and Flaming Pig Logo are registered and protected under U.S and International Copyright and Trademarks. Content Within this Website Is Property of BBQ Brethren Inc. Reproduction or alteration is strictly prohibited.
no new posts