How do you refuel?


Steve Petrone

TVWBB Diamond Member
My last double butt and brisket cook needed more fuel...usually I will clear a pocket of lit fuel and then add more unlit. This cook I just got lazy and poured Royal Oak charcoal on top. DUMB. Let me say it again, DUMB. The worst most acrid smoke bellowed for too long. The unlit in a pocket seems to light minion style with out the bad smoke. Any thoughts?
When I add briqs, they're usually unlit. No real reason, just been doing it that way a long time without probs. I've always added Kingsford unlit and haven't notice a problem with smoke or smell.. I just add 6 or 8 or so with tongs, probably scattered around the bowl in a random fashion.

I just push the lit over with a garden trowel on a long handle, then put some unlit in the area I made.
When doing butts I pretty much figure a load of charcoal won't make the cut. Around 10 hours I knock the ash down and throw on a couple of handfuls on top of the lit. I repeat throwing more on every hour or so til I get enough to get through the smoke. I have read throwing too much on at a time would make the temps drop. That is why I do it the way I do. That is the first I have heard of the smoke like you had.
Tony, that is why I am shifting little by little to lump.

My best refueling with charcoal is done when I clear an empty pocket for adding unlit coals and allow them to light MM style.
When smoking butts, I remove the body of my smoker, throw a chimney of lit coals and a couple chunks of hickory at about 10 to 12 hours. Before I load the hot coals, I aggressively stir the old coals while the body is removed. I like the fact that the smoker temp returns to my target more quickly when removing the upper two portions. You say you are shifting to Royal Oak charcoal? Have you been using Kingsford??
I use the door as a chute and open it up part way and let the unlit charcoal slide on in. If i put a lot in I then push it over. My friends like the showmanship of this technique
David, this Kingsford change has woken me up. Kingsford, the old, was great. Mostly it was all I knew. Marketing speak like "light's faster and burns longer" kinda rubs me the wrong way. Others don't seem to resond positively to it either. I just thought of a good analogy.

New Exxon Ultra Gas: Gets better gas mileage and gets you there faster! ....and costs 8% more. How hard would that one be to swallow?

I am not saying that it is not posssible to both light faster and burn longer but you only wonder....

So, I have tried Royal Oak briqs, RO lump, and Cowboy lump. Cooking with lump will do one thing. It will make you wonder about the stuff in those briqs you have been burning. Lump does not give off those acrid odors.

I do not profess to be one of the better cooks around here-cause I am just like the blind squirrel who occasionally finds an acorn-but I do try to be observant. This cook with charcoal added mid-cook, produced a real stink. I think I can taste it. Had I not smelled that stink when adding the charcoal mid cook, I probably would Never complain BUT having experienced that smell...I can taste it.

Yea I know what they say about beer, most people can't tell what they are drinking after the first one...all that having been said, in my heart, I think using LUMP is better.

I will continue to use more of it in the future. The dozen bags of new K I bought will probably last longer than I wish. Do not fret over old or new K or any other charcoal. Many have used it for years with fabulous success, winning the biggest and best competitions. I won't argue with their success-something I'll not ever achieve.
I do understand. I don't like the adding fuel, but I swear it has something to do with the humitidy level, average temperature at night and sea level where I live - I can not get a full cook of butts without adding more charcoal at the 10 to 12 hour point. Once I traveled with my WSM once back to Belmont NC and smoked 4 butts, I could tell a difference. I think I might have added a little at 14 hours, but that was more precautionary. Oh well, I may just have to try the lump. Thanks for the advice!

You might check into your walmart. Some are now carrying B @ B lump instead of Royal Oak for the same price.

Burn time is somewhat longer than Royal Oak though ash seems heavier (but still not a problem).

Got 16 hours on my last cook with B@B.
It is my understanding that lump users have to add too.

The Wallys here have Royal Oak-I have not seen B&B.