Amount of charcoal for 26.75"?

Adam Po

New member
I used a full (not overflowing) chimney of Kingsford for some bbq chicken this weekend. After it had mostly ashed over I dumped it on one side, put on the cover with the top and bottom vents open. The grill temp (probe, not dome) made it up to around 375-400 and I closed the vents about half way. Temp came down to around 250 and held pretty well. However, after less than an hour of cooking, the fire started to cool off and I needed to add more coal in order to crisp the skin and grill some vegetables.

Is this an expected time frame? Should I do something different in the future? Seems like the fuel is burning up pretty quickly.
Pretty much all of the guides/advice I've found uses the smaller kettle.
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB Hall of Fame
There is a great deal of additional air volume in there, I’m not surprised that it cooled down. This was an hour in? Things will tighten up a little after a few more cooks, that may help some. Why the shut down to half? As has been discussed ad nauseum here, 250 will rarely give crisp skin if ever, the fat needs to render out which is aided by a higher temperature.
I would increase coal by 50% laying the full chimney load over unlit and see how that works.
Why did you want to drop to the 250 range! Also, you say barbecue not smoke, just curious in your thought process there. On the 22 I always let then run full throttle, indirect my kettle is prior to the installation of thermometers in handle or dome so, I don’t know what the grate (or dome) temp ever has been. Chicken has always been done in about an hour.
 
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BFletcher

TVWBB Wizard
I like TFL's input. I'm no expert at this but when I run 1+ hour cooks on either my 22" or 26" I'm usually adding incremental amounts of unlit coals over time. And my habit is to run the intake and exhaust fully-open (maybe I should modify this sometimes). When I want more heat I'll bank the coals tighter; if I want a little lower temps I'll space them out a tad. I always do chicken pieces at least at 350 (and much higher for wings via the Vortex). We often have hearty eaters, so when I use the 26" it's not uncommon for me to fire-up a full chimney plus a partially-filled second chimney in a 2-zone setup.
 

Adam Po

New member
Good advice. Thanks.
I’ll try using unlit under the lit coals and leaving the vents open more.
I didn’t see how that amount of fuel could keep the temp high for very long so I was going for a balance of time/temp.
 

Rich G

TVWBB Guru
Adam, I use my 26 quite a bit, and have typically never needed more than a Weber chimney full of coals to do what I needed with "quick" items (under an hour) like chicken, tri tip, pork loin, etc. One thing to keep in mind is that not all chimneys have the same volume, so it would be good to know if you have a Weber chimney or another brand for some volumetric comparison.

I almost always use two charcoal baskets pressed next to each other to hold the coals to one side of the grill. That gives me a bunch of indirect space, as well as a nice hot zone for searing. I have not experienced needing to add coals for anything 60 minutes or less, though I would expect to add fuel if I was going past that time. I typically run with the vent 80-100% open (bottom), and always 100% open on the top. Haven't paid much attention to the temp on the thermometer as it's not very accurate, and I don't typically care that much for these cooks.

HTH,
Rich
 

Adam Po

New member
I do have a Weber chimney. I hadn’t used the baskets. Those would result in a higher overall temperature by concentrating the coals. Makes sense.
 

DaveW

TVWBB Wizard
Dump a full chimney of lit coals on one side or the other (or use baskets). Put the chicken down right over the coals. Lid down for a couple of minutes. Raise the lid, flip the chicken, lid down for a couple of minutes more. This is just to "mark" the chicken and get the skin started. Be careful not to burn it. At this point, move then chicken over to indirect side, lower the lid back down and leave the vents alone. If you want, you could even leave the front lip of the lid resting on the edge of the kettle to allow even more air flow.
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Dag Nab it! Now I really want a 26!!!
But, then I’d need the bigger roti, a suckling pig, a half barrel of beer, and half a dozen buddies!
No, then I’d decide I NEEDED a Ranch kettle, that would end up being a lawyer and the subsequent need to find a new home and wife, not going down that road, ever!
 
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Adam Po

New member
I needed the 26. I’ve smoked a whole
turkey, a few rack of ribs, whole brisket, etc.
Once I get the higher heat stuff figured out, I’ll be all set.
My old Genesis is now used for storage only. Haven’t lit it in more than 2 years!

I’ve seen the Ranch in action. For a family of 5 and an occasional party, it seems like overkill.

For smaller, direct heat cooking, I got a Japanese Konro grill as a gift a few years ago. I absolutely love it.
 

JimZ

TVWBB Fan
I use my 26" when im doing a big batch of chicken. I use the 2 baskets on either side and start with a full chimney of lit and line the center with alm foil pans. Move chicken out at the end of the cook to crisp up. Love the 26" but it does consume more fuel than the 22".
 

Cliff Bartlett

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I pretty much eyeball it when using my 26. I figure I use one full chimney when using my 22 for a direct cook, so when using the 26 for a direct cook I up the amount to roughly a chimney and a half. When I first got my 26, I found Weber's charcoal recommendations helpful in getting me used to using the grill correctly both with direct and indirect cooking.

 
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DaveW

TVWBB Wizard
Meh. I haven't done any scientific experiments exactly, but it seems to me that I use the same amt of charcoal in my 26'er as I'd use to cook the same quantity of food in my 22. I mean, if I have 2 ribeyes, I'll light up enough charcoal to make a single layer just slightly larger than the grill space the ribeyes will take up. At that point, it doesn't matter whether I dump the coals into a 22 or the 26'er. Hell, I'll use the same amount and cook them on one of my Ranch Kettles every now and then. Now, if I try to cook 10 ribeyes on my 26er, or 20 on a Ranch, then yeah, those would take more charcoal, but that's to be expected.
 

Adam Moser

New member
Dag Nab it! Now I really want a 26!!!
But, then I’d need the bigger roti, a suckling pig, a half barrel of beer, and half a dozen buddies!
No, then I’d decide I NEEDED a Ranch kettle, that would end up being a lawyer and the subsequent need to find a new home and wife, not going down that road, ever!
You should go for it. Then I'll know where to get a used 26 when you move up to the ranch.
 

Sam Bee

TVWBB All-Star
Dag Nab it! Now I really want a 26!!!
But, then I’d need the bigger roti, a suckling pig, a half barrel of beer, and half a dozen buddies!
No, then I’d decide I NEEDED a Ranch kettle, that would end up being a lawyer and the subsequent need to find a new home and wife, not going down that road, ever!
Get the bigger roti...





If you cook it they will come...
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Sam,
With that rig, I would be forced to go get one of the whole “Halal” lambs from Costco and throw a helluva party!
Might have to do it anyway!
 

Cliff Bartlett

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Get the bigger roti...

If you cook it they will come...
Love the shots and set up Sam. I remember as a kid growing up, people would bring similar hand made grills to the city park and put on large bbq feeds. Well, probably not with that rotisserie, just self made grates. Beer, soda and great bbq. Those were good times.
 

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