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Author Topic: Kick-starting a coal snake.  (Read 2189 times)

Stoneage

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 49
Kick-starting a coal snake.
« on: June 06, 2020, 10:14:34 AM »
Did my first snake of briquettes today.
The 22" Master touch had the Cajun Bandit stacker & the "ring" for the Cajun Bandit rotisserie all on it & the lid was closed. It's an odd setup I know but I'm just smoking a bunch of scraps & ends together with my usual array of spices & woods. It's to let me get familiar & to add some actual flavor to the now sterilized of "new stuff" equipment smell. I'm also aware its a big area to heat, compared to just a kettle & lid.



I didn't have much luck with the 8 "Lit" starter briquettes, in the chimney, so I shoved a tumbleweed under them.
Even then although the fire spread to the snakes head it took about an hour for the grill to get to 190 with both vents open wide (trying to encourage the burn to start.) I had them in 3 "layers" 3 in the bottom, 2 or a lump of wood, & one in the top.
Am I missing something? Or is this normal?

Once lit the kettle holds 180 beautifully with the vent about 85% closed & the inlet about 1/2 open.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2020, 10:26:30 AM by Stoneage »

kettlebb

  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 5903
Re: Kick-starting a coal snake.
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2020, 11:56:57 AM »
180 Fahrenheit? Sounds low to me. Id also open the top vent more. You really do want the kettle to breathe and have good exhaust so you dont get soot and creosote on your food. I rarely control the temp with the top vent, especially when running a snake.

I usually build a nice large head at one end of the snake and pile the coals around a Weber lighter cube. I let it burn and light the coals while Im getting all the meat and seasoning ready to go. By the time Im getting the grill ready the head is lit and Im adjusting the bottom vent for my target range.

I dont shoot for a number when smoking. I aim for 225-275. As long as Im in that range Im having a good time. Makes it less stressful than trying to maintain a kettle steady like an oven and you wont notice the difference in your food.


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Stoneage

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 49
Re: Kick-starting a coal snake.
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2020, 12:39:25 PM »
I had no trouble controlling it. It was getting it hot at the beginning.
Thanks for confirming the "Head" though I'll try that next time.
I'm coming to this from an offset & I ran that at 189~190 for about 10 hours, then heated it up to 250~270 to "finish" the roasts.



Today's seasoning run seems to have been successful, the new grill now smells like the old grill! It tastes good too I juse ate the brat in the background & it had a perfect smoke ring & stayed juicy!


HoosierKettle

  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 6705
Re: Kick-starting a coal snake.
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2020, 04:05:50 PM »
Is that a stuffed pork loin?  Looks incredible whatever it is.


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Stoneage

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 49
Re: Kick-starting a coal snake.
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2020, 04:41:08 PM »
Yes it is. The trick is to make the stuffing in advance. Then you freeze it solid as a rock, after wrapping it in saran & squeezing into a "sausage".
Next you run a sharp fillet knife through the tenderloin from end to end, making an "channel" for the stuffing. Make it big,the stuffing will expand.
Oil (With olive oil) on the inside of the cut & the outside of the frozen stuffing.
Shove it in there.
Then smoke as you would normally.
The cook gets the stuffing that squishes out the ends & browns for all his hard work.  ;D
« Last Edit: June 06, 2020, 04:43:33 PM by Stoneage »

Ashley Coalburn

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 87
Re: Kick-starting a coal snake.
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2020, 05:47:42 AM »
What kind of chimney do you have? Just started a snake. I use Weber's compact chimney with 8 coals stacked to one side, using only half of the diameter. One Weber paraffin cube under the low point in the chimney and had a fire in 10 minutes. Dumped them at the beginning of the snake and another 10 was up to 230. This is on a 22". The bottom of the Weber chimneys has a peak in the center, which allows you to stack in a concentration without a full load.

The photo is from a previous cook, but my setup is identical.


Stoneage

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 49
Re: Kick-starting a coal snake.
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2020, 10:00:52 AM »
I have the large Weber, its a hold over from my old offset barrel. I also used crumpled paper for the igniter.
I'm thinking I need a small Weber if I can find one. Its a bit of a shopping desert here, all I see is the large ones.

Stoneage

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 49
Re: Kick-starting a coal snake.
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2020, 08:44:15 AM »
UPDATE I got the compact starter chimney! Its perfect for this.

Schuey

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 184
Re: Kick-starting a coal snake.
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2020, 11:51:17 PM »
Yeah a smaller chimney can help in starting a smaller bunch of briquettes. I normally just bank them on one side of a chimney.

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