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Adding more Charcoal, but maintaining Temp.

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Reidmid rare

Posts: 30
Location: Providence, RI
I'm pretty new to the whole charcoal thing, but am really enjoying it. I've been on a search for the perfect ribs and have been trying to do the whole low and slow thing. The problem that I'm having is that I can't seem maintain the temperature for more than one (the starting one) batch of charcoal.

I've tried adding new charcoal to an exising pile, but that doesn't seem to work well for me.

My other method is starting up another chimney and adding it to the grill. This method spikes the temperature in the grill - at least until the air flow is sufficiently cut off. The last several times, the food is cooked too quick at the end - when I added more charcoal.

How do you add fuel, but keep the the grill temp constant?

By the way, the difference between charcoal and gas finally hit me. Most of you have probably caught onto this, but 've been trying to internalize it. Charcoal grilling is more art, while gas is more science (except for those of you with a thousand different thermostats).

Post Mon Apr 26, 2004 5:37 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 13157
Location: Texas
If you're adding unlit charcoal to a dying fire you the ashes from the first batch or the new charcoal may be suffocating it. If your unit doesn’t allow the ash to fall through grates then you may have to remove some ash on the fly.

Since adding unlit coal cools the fire and adding a full chimney of lit coal spikes the temps, you might try adding half lit and half unlit. Place the unlit it first then add the lit on top. Since the unlit coals are on the bottom and heat rises, they will ignite slowly and allow for a longer, more even burn.

Take a look at the “Minion Method” for lighting charcoal. It explains how to get many hours of even temperatures on just one batch of charcoal (one large batch).

Post Wed Apr 28, 2004 10:03 am
Loene rare

Posts: 30
Location: central Texas
I'll give u my 2 cents worth on adding more charcoal. What i do is check my temp & temp every 20 to 30 min. If the either one shows that they are going down (most of the time the fire) then I would about 2 to 4 pieces of charcoal along with 1 to 2 pieces of wood. This method has seem to work good with me. When I know that I have maybe an hour left of cooking, I would cut my charcoal/wood to half, unless my last set of coals look fairly good. It also depends on the smoker that you are using. I am very used to mine, but when I went back to ohio to use one that my mother got, whole new story.

Post Wed Apr 28, 2004 11:02 am
PaulP well done
well done

Posts: 681
Location: Beautiful St. Mary's County, Maryland
For an alternative and proven method, try the Minion Method as described at this link:

There's lots of other info at this site. Even though it talks about the WSM, much of it applies to other smokers.
If you don't like the food, have more wine

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