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Old 04-26-2006, 07:51 AM   #1
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Charcoal Basket

Well the boys at work finished my charcoal basket for Buford. They made it industrial strength. The basket is 16x16x10 made out of 2in wide SS angle, and the expanded metals is bolted to the frame with SS washer ,nuts and bolts. It probably weighs close to 50 lbs. The are trying to track down some SS expanded metal so that I’ll never have to mess with it again. Buford’s firebox is 20x20 and I had them make the box 16x16 so that in the warm Buffalo winters when I plan on lining the firebox with ½ firebricks I will still have enough room for air flow. If anyone use’s a charcoal box I would like to get some feedback in regards to the best way of loading it. Can I use lump in the box or am I better off with bricks? Thanks in advance
http://img143.imageshack.us/slideshow/p ... 00p5r.smil
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Old 04-26-2006, 08:04 AM   #2
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I used a charcoal basket in my Gator a couple times and it worked fine. Just load it up with your choice of coals and wood chunks and use about 10 lit coals on top. Adjust your intakes once the temps get around 200* if you plan on cooking in the 250* range, sooner if you prefer lower temps. I could get an un-attended burn time of about 5.5 hours using this method.
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Old 04-26-2006, 08:08 AM   #3
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Larry do I have to form a bowl with the charcoal on top (the unlit?) for the lit charcoal?
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Old 04-26-2006, 08:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wittdog
Larry do I have to form a bowl with the charcoal on top (the unlit?) for the lit charcoal?
You don't have to, but I did form a "bowl" on my Gator and I do the same on my WSM's as well. Seems to get a more uniform, constant burn than just pouring them all over.
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Old 04-29-2006, 11:03 AM   #5
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Today's my first cook with the basket. It's working pretty good so far.
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Swine so fine it's Criminal

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Old 04-30-2006, 10:03 AM   #6
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Pardon my ignorance, but what is the purpose of a charcoal basket? Is the benefit of having one worth the extra work involved in making one? Can you buy them at Home Depot?
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Love2<º><
Pardon my ignorance, but what is the purpose of a charcoal basket? Is the benefit of having one worth the extra work involved in making one? Can you buy them at Home Depot?
Luv2fish,
The basket gets you longer burn times without having to babysit the fire.
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:29 AM   #8
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Well the new basket worked pretty good yesterday. It took 20lbs of Bricks to fill the basket half way. I was real busy doing stuff around the house so I didn’t have the time to make adjustments to the pit like I normally would. Once I got the temp dialed in it stayed pretty constant for me. Next time I’m going to try it with lump, the only adjustment I might make to the basket is to put a bigger weave of expanded metal on the bottom of the basket. It will take some more experimentation before I feel comfortable leaving it unattended for a longer period of time.
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Save the gas for the criminals Q with wood...

I get more sauced then my Ribs

My Bark is as good as my Bite!

Swine so fine it's Criminal

Never trust a skinny cook!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-30-2006, 11:29 AM   #9
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I use a basket with my Lang pit. Here are some pictures and how I use it. I like to use a charcoal that has a lot of ash.

http://www.lostnationvt.com/cooker_03.htm

R
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Old 04-30-2006, 12:15 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info and nice pit.
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Save the gas for the criminals Q with wood...

I get more sauced then my Ribs

My Bark is as good as my Bite!

Swine so fine it's Criminal

Never trust a skinny cook!!!!!!!!
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Old 05-01-2006, 02:16 PM   #11
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Well I used my charcoal basket with the Big Hunk of Beef Cook. This time I used Lump and put about 10lbs in and I got about 3.5 hrs out of it. I think that I prefer to use the lump instead of the bricks. I’ll have to do another cook at lower temps. The beef was cooked at 275*.
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Swine so fine it's Criminal

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Old 05-01-2006, 09:15 PM   #12
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Wittdog,

Here a pictures of my charcoal basket a friend made. I believe you probably can get a longer burn after you figure out the firebox damper opening. I'm still working on that myself. I got a 5 1/2 hour burn on what you see in the pictures. The basket is made of all expanded metal just bent and welded together. Good Luck with yours.

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Old 05-02-2006, 07:22 AM   #13
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[quote="cleglue"]Wittdog,

Here a pictures of my charcoal basket a friend made. I believe you probably can get a longer burn after you figure out the firebox damper opening. I'm still working on that myself. I got a 5 1/2 hour burn on what you see in the pictures. The basket is made of all expanded metal just bent and welded together. Good Luck with yours.

Thanks cleglue I definitely think I could get a longer burn time, after I play with the dampers some. I think that the factor was that I was cooking at a higher temp the grate temp was 275* but the pit temp was 300*. IMO the lump tends to burn hotter and faster, the last time I used bricks and got a longer burn. Half the fun is trying different things. Keep me updated on the use of your basket I’d like to know what you find works for you and to try to apply it. For example what are the positions of your damper when you start, and where are they when you get to temp. Are you getting a good clean burn from your wood? I’ll try to do the same, I’m still learning the quirks of my pit.
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Save the gas for the criminals Q with wood...

I get more sauced then my Ribs

My Bark is as good as my Bite!

Swine so fine it's Criminal

Never trust a skinny cook!!!!!!!!
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Old 05-02-2006, 11:31 AM   #14
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Wittdog,

I would like to use all sticks after the initial startup. Here is what I did the other week. I had to use very little sticks and keep the door of the fire box cracked to keep a steady flame. I put small sticks on top of the firebox then I would move sticks to the inside of the box. When I needed wood or heat I would move the sticks inside the firebox to the hot bed of coals (they would ignite almost instantly) then move the sticks from the top of the firebox to the inside of the firebox. This saved a lot on charcoal and it worked but it took a lot of babying. I think I’m going to try this again. It was a little windy that day. I think the key here is to keep a small flame continuously. It is work to maintain the flame in my small offset smoker. The meat came out good. Here are pictures of the fire management for that day.
http://usera.imagecave.com/cleglue/FireManagement/

When I used the basket I really didn't like the color of the smoke when I would add new wood. It wasn't the light blue but a light white smoke. I was using very hard pecan wood. I switched to hickory late in the day. I wasn't able to really see results because the meat was almost done. The meat tasted fine though.
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Old 05-22-2006, 12:20 PM   #15
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I had to modify the charcoal basket. The Expanded metal in the bottom was to small of a weave and I was running into problems with the ash building up so I got some expanded with a bigger weave like cleglue. I plan on doing some experiments with it this weekend.
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Save the gas for the criminals Q with wood...

I get more sauced then my Ribs

My Bark is as good as my Bite!

Swine so fine it's Criminal

Never trust a skinny cook!!!!!!!!
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