View Full Version : Primo Loading Questions...

04-14-2011, 02:07 PM
I've been doing some reading on a Primo forum and have seen conflicting opinions on how best to load coals for the best smoke flavor.
1. Some say that for the best smoke flavor, fill up the firebox with coals. Others say, use only as much as you need for the cook, to get the best burn, therefore the best smoke flavor. Any opinions here?
2. I'm concerned about getting that smoke flavor, so how do I best load wood chunks to last the longest during the cook? I'm assuming you can't add chunks during the cook.
Thanks for the help.

04-14-2011, 08:25 PM
Have larger chunks of wood where the initial burn is on top.. That will help get maximum smoke early on... As the ceramics are fuel efficient, smoke output is a bit lighter than a stickburner... You can then also have some chunks within the coals but also try adding wood chips scattered throughout.. Do this by adding the charcoal and wood in layers before lighting off at the top

04-15-2011, 11:09 AM
I don't subscribe to the "use only as much as you need for the cook" point of view, but that's just me. When I'm done cooking and I close the Primo up it stops. Right now. And I re-use the unburnt charcoal the next time with no ill effects.

You're right about not being able to be able to do much below the grate after it gets going, so getting it right before the meat goes on is important. You can surely put wood chunks in as you load the lump so that they'll burn in sequence. I do, but I also make a foil pack of wood chips to slide under the grate later for additional smoke. It's a bit of a pain to stuff it through the air intake, but it works.


04-15-2011, 11:40 AM
Excellent advice from both mods (of course). I always load up my Primo. More often than not, I end up adding one or two things and extending my cook. One time, I extended it by 10 hours. :roll: It is possible, and I often have moved the grates (often) and diffusers (sometimes) during a cook. Usually, if it is a diffuser I'll just yank out one, like if I am doing ribs or something at 275* and then switch to chicken or steaks, I will rearrange the grates and a diffuser. I don't like doing the latter as there is the possibility of nasty burns, but I have done it on multiple occasions, even when heated past 350*, so these things are possible, just not recommended. You can also add coals or wood (but I never have). When I'm done I just shut it down and use any unused lump the next time. I love the smoke, but my family is more sensitive to it, so I rarely add additional wood. Note: the best smoke flavor is not the most smoke flavor. Usually, just have a big chunk of oak or cherry to start and that works fine.

04-15-2011, 02:10 PM
I'm sure there can be too much smoke flavor, but I have yet to reach that point. I currently use a GMG pellet cooker, along with a Smoke Daddy smoke generator and haven't hit the wall yet. I know I could get a lot more smoke with an offset, but unfortunately, I live in a gated community and we're all close together. I already feel bad about the amount of smoke I produce with my current setup. If I go to an offset, I'm afraid I would, "break the camel's back". I just want the most smoke I can get from a ceramic.

04-16-2011, 12:38 AM
The amount of smoke is really a personal preference. Distributing chunks throughout the lump will probably give you a constant small amount of smoke for most of the cook. I personally don't use that much smoke, my last brisket I used nothing but Wicked Good Lump and it was one of the best I ever made.:thumb:

04-17-2011, 01:53 PM