Posted by
Message
The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
34168 posts
 Online 

Smoker all of a sudden burning through charcoal faster
Prior to a couple of weeks ago, I hadn't used my smoker since around October. I've used it twice in the past few weeks, and both times I seem to be burning through charcoal a LOT faster. I haven't made any recent changes to the smoker, or my method, but it's driving me crazy why the change. Some basic info..

1. Using a Weber Smoky Mountain 22"
2. Using regular Kingsford charcoal.
3. Employing the minion method to get it started.
4. Smoking temp is usually between 250-275.
5. Water pan is filled with lava rocks and covered in foil for easier clean up. This is how I've done it since soon after buying it.

As far as I know, I'm using the same amount of charcoal. I've had the thing for 2 or 3 years now, and yesterday while smoking a butt and ribs, I had to add lit coals several hours into the smoke for the first time ever because I was losing the fire. I've done a 16 hour smoke for a brisket before and didn't have to add coals, so something is curiously wonky and I can't think of a logical explanation. Unless the quality of Kingsford has declined since last year.

Anyone else ever run into this, or have some thoughts? I was planning on doing a brisket soon and would like to figure this out before that.


Large Farva
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Jan 2013
7311 posts

re: Smoker all of a sudden burning through charcoal faster
How windy was it outside? Was it colder outside than when you normally smoke?


keakar
Member since Jan 2017
16543 posts
 Online 

re: Smoker all of a sudden burning through charcoal faster
only way this happens is if more air is getting in

find out why its letting in more air then normal and fix it


The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
34168 posts
 Online 

re: Smoker all of a sudden burning through charcoal faster
Neither time in recent weeks was it windy, and temps were consistent with Alabama temps this time of year. Yesterday was cloudy though, and the time I used it a couple of weeks ago the smoker was in direct sunlight the whole time.

All that to say, not that drastically different from other times I've used it where it didn't seem the charcoal burned through as quickly.


ruger35
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Feb 2009
1012 posts

re: Smoker all of a sudden burning through charcoal faster
Like the others have said, air leak. Make sure any gap is sealed while you’re at cooking temps and the metal has expanded.


Replies (0)
Replies (0)
00
The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
34168 posts
 Online 

re: Smoker all of a sudden burning through charcoal faster
quote:

only way this happens is if more air is getting in

find out why its letting in more air then normal and fix it



Hmmm..One thing I did change is moving the smoker from the deck to the patio on the ground level. Can't imagine that change would allow more air in. Yesterday I had 2 of the 3 vents completely closed and the third one about 1/8" open and sat around 255 most of the day.

But now I do wonder if the access door on the side has gotten warped somehow. It's aftermarket stainless steel door though, so I can't imagine that happening.


AlwysATgr
LSU Fan
Katy, TX
Member since Apr 2008
11256 posts

re: Smoker all of a sudden burning through charcoal faster
quote:

only way this happens is if more air is getting in

find out why its letting in more air then normal and fix it


My guess as well assuming your charcoal is the same composition as before.


Replies (0)
Replies (0)
00
Large Farva
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Jan 2013
7311 posts

re: Smoker all of a sudden burning through charcoal faster
Seems like it's time to buy yourself a new toy


TD SponsorTD Fan
USA
Member since 2001
Thank you for supporting our sponsors
Advertisement
The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
34168 posts
 Online 

re: Smoker all of a sudden burning through charcoal faster
quote:

Seems like it's time to buy yourself a new toy



Nah, I like my Weber one just fine.

I'll figure out the issue. Perhaps I didn't seat the middle section right the past two times.


Saskwatch
Ole Miss Fan
Member since Feb 2016
10039 posts
 Online 

re: Smoker all of a sudden burning through charcoal faster
quote:

Perhaps I didn't seat the middle section right the past two times.


or maybe it's bent? I've also heard of issues with the WSM doors and fit.


The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
34168 posts
 Online 

re: Smoker all of a sudden burning through charcoal faster
quote:

or maybe it's bent?



I'm gonna check it tonight when I get home. Not sure how it could have gotten bent between October and now though. It literally just sat on my deck under its cover. And I always set it down easily, in the grass if possible.

quote:

I've also heard of issues with the WSM doors and fit.


The stock ones are garbage. I upgraded mine soon after I bought it to a stainless steel one. Can't imagine it's gotten bent or warped.


Replies (0)
Replies (0)
00
Norla
Member since Aug 2016
215 posts

re: Smoker all of a sudden burning through charcoal faster
Are you using the same charcoal you usually use? Different brand burns different.


Replies (0)
Replies (0)
00
jmon
USA Fan
Mandeville, LA
Member since Oct 2010
4253 posts

re: Smoker all of a sudden burning through charcoal faster
How old is your charcoal, was it stored outside? Or, something may have not seated correctly allowing more air in.


Replies (0)
Replies (0)
00
Nicky Parrish
Member since Apr 2016
5428 posts

re: Smoker all of a sudden burning through charcoal faster
Seems like if the smoker was getting more air making your charcoal burn quicker, your temperature would have risen as well.
250F looks like that’s where you usually run.
Does seem like something not sealing.
I have a 18” and 14” WSM and they both have to heat up to seal off.
I have to run the 3 bottom vents almost closed and the top wide open to maintain 225F - 250F.


Replies (0)
Replies (0)
00
gumbo2176
Member since May 2018
8634 posts

re: Smoker all of a sudden burning through charcoal faster
quote:

only way this happens is if more air is getting in



This most likely, but some charcoals do burn faster than others.


The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
34168 posts
 Online 

re: Smoker all of a sudden burning through charcoal faster
Well, I solved the problem last night. I was using the wrong charcoal grate. When I bought the smoker years ago, I bought a second grate and attached it to the factory charcoal grate, but cross-hatched the grates to make the space for burnt charcoal to fall through smaller. For some reason when I put the smoker back together after last using it in October, I put the wrong grate in the bottom, and my modified one was sitting in the garage. So the lit charcoal was falling through the grates at a quicker pace, and thus burning up quicker.

I guess getting it set up at 6 in the morning caused me to overlook that detail.


Replies (0)
Replies (0)
20
first pageprev pagePage 1 of 1next pagelast page
refresh

Back to top

logoFollow TigerDroppings for LSU Football News
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to get the latest updates on LSU Football and Recruiting.

FacebookTwitterInstagram