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Adding charcoal/mesquite chunks

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Post Sun Apr 11, 2004 2:04 pm
toy4x4 raw

Posts: 3
So just throw a few more chunks of charcoal on the coals when the temp starts to drop?

How fare down should I let it drop before putting more on? I'm trying to stay around 200-225.

How much mesquite chunks should I put on? Or how much smoke should I expect to see?

Thanks in advance as this is my first attempt at smoking.

Post Sun Apr 11, 2004 7:40 pm
toy4x4 raw

Posts: 3
That was some good chicken I made after cooking the ribs way too long...

Post Mon Apr 12, 2004 1:21 pm
chagan well done
well done

Posts: 1350
Location: Central NJ by way of NY
Hi Toy4X4, welcome to the board!! With regard to your first question, if you are using natural (lump) charcoal, then yes you can just throw it on your existing fire. If you are using briquettes, then you should start them in a seperate location and get them to burn down to grey before adding. You will have to anticipate when you will need them, because you don't want your grill todrop more than a few degrees before adding because it will take some time to come back up to temp. With regards to the wood issue- less is more to start. You can easily overwelm the food you are cooking with too much smoke, so go slow at first until you get the hang of it. I usually use one fist size chunk on a 22.5 inch Weber Kettle to cook chicken parts or steak.


No, it ain't burnt- it's barbecue

Post Mon Apr 12, 2004 2:17 pm
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5469
Location: Damascus, Maryland
It's kinda like the Pope. White smoke good, dark smoke bad.

Too much smoke leaves a sooty nasty coating of unburned particles. Dark, or to thick smoke means to increase your draft or build a smaller fire next time. A larger fire will bring a smoker up to temp quicker but a smaller fire can keep it there and is much easier to tend.


Post Tue Apr 13, 2004 12:02 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 13157
Location: Texas
smokey-bones the first hams I ever did turned out exactly as you described. They were so black that I thought they were charred to a crisp. Instead this was coloration from the smoke.

To answer your question, you normally leave the top vent ¾ to all the way open to allow smoke to escape so it doesn’t go stale and cause your food to taste bitter. Your lower vent is used to adjust the temperature. To open your vents, you may have to build a smaller fire because it will allow more fresh oxygen and raise your cooking temps. You may have to add more fuel to the fire a little sooner than you’re used to.

But you only need to make these adjustments if you are experiencing an unpleasant taste in your food. Let us know how it goes.

Post Tue Apr 13, 2004 12:35 pm
Airfoils well done
well done

Posts: 1063
smokey, another thing you might try is lowering the temp if the blackness is due to heat, or you can wrap whatever it is in foil after it has attained the 'proper' coloration. For poultry it should look a deep mahogony color. Of course, it may also just be soot as has already been suggested in which case the prior posts will help.

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