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Unread 01-03-2014, 04:36 PM   #1
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Default How many kilos / pounds charcoal for a 20 hour burn?

Worried I keep using too much charcoal. If we assume the charcoal are briquettes and the temperature is about 5 degrees Celsius (40 degrees Fahrenheit). How many kilos / pounds of charcoal is everyone using for a 20 hour burn?
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Unread 01-03-2014, 04:49 PM   #2
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What type of smoker? What temp? I could run 20 hours in my uds on 15 lbs at 180 degrees, but at 300 I'd probably only get 8-9 hours.

I really wouldn't worry about it. You use what you need. The fire takes what is required to maintain temp. If your temps are good and you're puffing thin blue, I'd say you're golden.
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Unread 01-03-2014, 04:57 PM   #3
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It's a UDS and I'm looking at maintaining about 220F. So I guess that's about 18 lbs? Can I get away with using less. We are out of BBQ season here in UK so charcoal is harder to get hold of and generally costs a lot more. Looking to try and economise where possible
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Unread 01-03-2014, 05:22 PM   #4
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What are you planning on cooking? After a certain point, the cooker is just acting as a charcoal powered oven. Can you continue cooking in an oven?
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Unread 01-03-2014, 05:46 PM   #5
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Why run 20 hrs ever? And like Sliding_Billy said ......if Charcoal/wood is hard to get Smoke for 4-6 hrs then transfer to the oven.
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Unread 01-03-2014, 05:47 PM   #6
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That's a damn good idea, Billy. If charcoal is in short supply, just smoke until the stall. Then wrap in foil and finish it in the oven. Same exact end result, half the charcoal.
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Unread 01-03-2014, 08:08 PM   #7
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If your smoker has no "air leaks" you can choke out the fire when finished smoking and use the leftover charcoal at a later date.

Edit: I use around 12-17 lbs for 16-19 hrs but I live in a warm climate (It was 80F on Christmas).
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Unread 01-03-2014, 08:11 PM   #8
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Unless you are cooking whole hog, why 20 hours? I'm with the others, warm the house with the oven and save the charcoal.
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Unread 01-04-2014, 03:38 AM   #9
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Billy, thats a brilliant idea!! Yes that would solve the charcoal problem nicely.

I was gonna do a brisket for about 20 hours (Yes, I'm an amateur ;-) , but by the sounds of it, thats way too much?.......
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Unread 01-04-2014, 08:29 AM   #10
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What size brisket? There is no problem running at 275+ in your UDS and getting done in an hour per pound or shorter (especially if you wrap and bump the temps after putting in the oven).
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Unread 01-04-2014, 09:26 AM   #11
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Its an 11lb brisket. So are you suggesting 11 hours on 275+ billy?
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Unread 01-04-2014, 09:42 AM   #12
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I have not perfected brisket on my Uds just yet. My latest attemp was very close. Cooked at 275 till the bark looked right then I wrapped till it felt loose and looked sticky. It was an hour per lb and I should have gone one hour less. You could probably smoke a whole rhinoceros fork tender in 20 hours bro. English dudes are funny.
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Unread 01-04-2014, 09:44 AM   #13
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Finishing in the oven is NOT the same result but the next best thing. If meat is in the smoker the whole time then it takes on smoke the whole time...just not as deep penetrating.

I agree if that i had to ration charcoal i'd smoke until the stall and finish in oven.
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Unread 01-04-2014, 10:26 AM   #14
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Yeah agreed 20 hrs is a long time for a brisket cook- man why you wanna punish yourself like that?! Lol

Personally, I usually end up cooking about an hour a lb give or take, at 275ish. I mean, its done when its done, but that's typically how long it takes me.

Agree with others that finishing in oven will be fine and allow you to save some coal. Shut it right down after you pull meat and it'll snuff out. Coal can be reused-hell I never fully dump my basket, just shake out ash and add more coal to the half used coal already in there.
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Unread 01-04-2014, 10:33 AM   #15
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Phew, thank god for that, I guess I can half the time then. I can probably get away with a 3kg load of charcoal (which should be ok despite short supply) for 10 hours in the UDS without having to use the oven. Thats a nice trade off between charcoal use and cooking time
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