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Thread: How much charcoal for 2-3 hours of 18.5" WSM?

  1. #1
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    How much charcoal for 2-3 hours of 18.5" WSM?

    My plan is to do chicken thighs in the smoker next. I'm curious how much how much charcoal i'd need to only get it to last 2-3 hours. my smoker is new so it's not really at the close vents and it will put the coals out stage yet. I'm thinking 3/4ths chimney + maybe 10 briquettes?

  2. #2
    TVWBB Diamond Member Len Dennis's Avatar
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    Opposite.

    Use 1/2 smoker ring with unlit and 10-12 lit in the chimney. You'll have enough, you won't run out AND when finished, close everything to let the coals die out then when cool, get rid of the grey ones (the ones you can crush with your fingers) in the garbage.

    The majority of unburnt (you can't crush with your fingers) will be used in your next smoke

    Better way is to use a kettle (unless you don't want crispy skin). You'll need at least 325o for an hour if you want crispy skin from the WSM.
    So many recipes, so little time
    : Genesis gas grill 18.5" WSM Maverick ET-732 :

  3. #3
    TVWBB Platinum Member Timothy F. Lewis's Avatar
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    What Len said!
    Distinguebant Sed, Ignoret In Particulari!
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease too big a skillet!" J. D. Clampett

  4. #4
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    Easy way in the kettle is about 1/3rd charcoal and then a foil pan on the opposite side with water correct? I just re-did a kettle, but since i have a WSM is the main reason I was debating using that over the kettle which I just restored.

  5. #5
    TVWBB All-Star Lew Newby's Avatar
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    Chicken thighs boneless and skinless definitely the kettle. Bone in plus skin would be worthwhile either way as long as you're HOT enough to cook the skin enough.

    I'm with Len on how much charcoal in the WSM but in MN i'd use 15 to 20 hot coals to get above 300 faster.
    Old dog, learning new tricks - one cook at a time :-). -14.5" and 18.5" WSM, SS Performer, CB Rotisserie, Rec Tec Mini Pellet Grill

  6. #6
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    Too much better than too little

    For chicken quarters
    I put on big chunk of wood on grate center, maybe 2 smaller at edges. Cover it with coals. Use 1/2 chimney , spread out on top, set heatermeter to 325. 1st 45 min skin down, next 30 min skin up. Sauce for 5 or so.

    Leftover used next time

  7. #7
    TVWBB Hall of Fame Dwain Pannell's Avatar
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    I always fill up the ring. Once the cook is complete shut the vents to kill the fire. Reuse the coal next cook. That way no guessing on how much to use.

  8. #8
    TVWBB Hall of Fame timothy's Avatar
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    I would recommend Roadside Chicken. https://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?33874-Roadside-Chicken
    Great with thighs or quarters and the WSM makes it easy to control flareups.
    3/4 chimney lit, no water pan, and use either top or middle grate.

    Tim
    Different smokes for different folks. Wish the Dollar Store sold gas!

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