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Author Topic: "How much" charcoal to use  (Read 2579 times)

shellkamp

  • Happy Cooker
  • Posts: 8
"How much" charcoal to use
« on: October 21, 2020, 02:30:23 PM »
New member here, just threw my old gas grill away and bought a new 22" performer deluxe a week or so ago.

I've had a Weber before but this time around I'm looking to hone my grilling craft.

I am aware of the different techniques as far as dual zone/3 zone/snake/ ring of fire type stuff and understand there purpose.

What i would like to know is if there's a sort of "primer" available on the amount of charcoal to use to get to and maintain a certain temperature. I thought I saw someone here had an old Weber cookbook that listed the amount of coals needed for different types of meat/poultry but I can't seem to find anything too informative online.

If there's not, I'm happy to waste some coals and experiment.

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michaelmilitello

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 2212
Re: "How much" charcoal to use
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2020, 02:35:33 PM »
Welcome!  If you own a chimney, I would say most of us measure our charcoal with it.   A full chimney of lit coals is probably 80 or so briquettes. 


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bbqking01

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1028
"How much" charcoal to use
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2020, 02:38:26 PM »
The way I do it, is kinda hot and fast. I almost always do indirect, coals on each side, drip pan in the middle. Approx 20-25 coals on each side of the drip pan. I think if your looking for specific temp, I think playing with the vents can work. Iím sure there are many other methods and advice, thatís just what I do. I leave both vents open too.


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sonofabutcher

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 246
Re: "How much" charcoal to use
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2020, 03:05:02 PM »

For lower temp  cooks I set up the minion method and light 10 briquettes and add them to one end of the unlit with vents 1/4 open top and bottom.

For higher temp cooks like  smoking chicken where I want 300-325 Iíll light 12-15 briquettes and set vents at 1/2 top and bottom.

Grilling is a full lit chimney with vents open.



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P0234

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 54
Re: "How much" charcoal to use
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2020, 05:06:03 PM »
How much doesnít really matter for temperature, it does matter for duration of the burn. At least with the lid on. Airflow is the limiting factor and itís almost impossible to get much over 450 across the grate. A full chimney will keep that temp for about an hour before dropping down.

For low and slow, snake method works really well for me. For high heat, load up with lots of charcoal, you can always snuff out the fire and reuse the leftovers.

shellkamp

  • Happy Cooker
  • Posts: 8
Re: "How much" charcoal to use
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2020, 06:46:58 PM »
Thanks for all the replies. I do not have a chimney at the moment. I got rid of it when I got rid of my first charcoal grill. I will pick another one up soon but my first few cooks with this thing I just filled the charcoal baskets that came with it and propane-assisted them.

 I decided to start experimenting.

One charcoal basket filled with 20 briquettes was able to maintain a temperature of 250- 279 degrees for approximately 45 minutes before it started losing temperature. I  threw a couple of unlit briquettes in the basket as soon as I saw the temperature start to go down but the remaining charcoal was unable to light it in time to help bring the temperature back up and it continued to drift below 250.

So 20 briquettes, by themselves, will likely net me about an hour of 250+ degree temps, and in order to maintain that, I should be adding the additional charcoal further ahead of time.

Tomorrow night I'll try and see what 40 briquettes get me, then 60 and 80.

Then I'll experiment with snakes.

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Dc_smoke309

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 964
Re: "How much" charcoal to use
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2020, 03:08:10 AM »

Thanks for all the replies. I do not have a chimney at the moment. I got rid of it when I got rid of my first charcoal grill. I will pick another one up soon but my first few cooks with this thing I just filled the charcoal baskets that came with it and propane-assisted them.

 I decided to start experimenting.

One charcoal basket filled with 20 briquettes was able to maintain a temperature of 250- 279 degrees for approximately 45 minutes before it started losing temperature. I  threw a couple of unlit briquettes in the basket as soon as I saw the temperature start to go down but the remaining charcoal was unable to light it in time to help bring the temperature back up and it continued to drift below 250.

So 20 briquettes, by themselves, will likely net me about an hour of 250+ degree temps, and in order to maintain that, I should be adding the additional charcoal further ahead of time.

Tomorrow night I'll try and see what 40 briquettes get me, then 60 and 80.

Then I'll experiment with snakes.

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Snake is a wonderful way to do low and slow for hours. This is my go to. And please ... get a charcoal chimney. U will sleep better at night ! Lol


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Stoneage

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 123
Re: "How much" charcoal to use
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2020, 08:24:29 AM »
I found this on p8 of the Master Touch's Users (NOT assembly) guide. Its on the Weber site as a .PDF


F.Y.I a "cup" is not a normal cup, but a now discontinued accessory that used to come with these grills, but is now discontinued. Its basically the same size as the inside of the ash catcher.
Or so I'm told, if anyone has a better description I'm all ears.

Kneab

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 2670
Re: "How much" charcoal to use
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2020, 09:12:08 AM »
I like that they have the quantity of the Weber briquettes and regular. The Weber are definitely bigger than most.
Here are a few pictures of the cup that comes with a Summit. I think it is the same as the discontinued one. Two cups fills a large Weber chimney and 1 cup will fill a charcoal basket. I feel 1 full chimney is sufficient for most direct cooks in the 1-1.5hr range.

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ISO Brown Go Anywhere
Replacement bulb for Large Web Zapper

Stoneage

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 123
Re: "How much" charcoal to use
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2020, 01:23:02 PM »
Thanks, thats helpful.
I'm thinking a large(ish) pet food scoop might stand i well.

MadGasser

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 203
Re: "How much" charcoal to use
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2020, 02:06:11 PM »
If I were you I would but a charcoal chimney and grill a bunch using direct heat to get a feel for the way fire cooks food. I definitely wouldn't waste charcoal experimenting. I gotta eat?

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HoosierKettle

  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 6882
Re: "How much" charcoal to use
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2020, 02:36:51 PM »

If I were you I would but a charcoal chimney and grill a bunch using direct heat to get a feel for the way fire cooks food. I definitely wouldn't waste charcoal experimenting. I gotta eat?

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+1


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shellkamp

  • Happy Cooker
  • Posts: 8
Re: "How much" charcoal to use
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2020, 08:45:36 AM »
I picked up a chimney and some hardwood lump charcoal. Tonight I'm going to do a beer-can chicken with the ring of fire technique. I also picked up some Ribeyes,  pork tenderloins and a small rack of lamb to experiment with.

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Smoke5

  • Happy Cooker
  • Posts: 3
Re: "How much" charcoal to use
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2020, 10:40:40 AM »
For my performer deluxe, I fill up the slow n sear and close all vents when done which saves unused charcoal.
Next time, top it off and repeat as necessary.

shellkamp

  • Happy Cooker
  • Posts: 8
Re: "How much" charcoal to use
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2020, 12:09:35 PM »
For my performer deluxe, I fill up the slow n sear and close all vents when done which saves unused charcoal.
Next time, top it off and repeat as necessary.
So you're essentially just cooking at the same temperature any given cook? Or are you able to meaningfully adjust temps based on the vents position?

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