Comments for Should I use charcoal or wood as a smoker fuel?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 10, 2010
by: Anonymous

Use wood you get better smoke charcoal adds flavor too!


Jul 07, 2010
Charcoal or Wood for Smoking - and TIME
by: Rick (FL via AL)

I have also used a side box smoker for years. I Grill with charcoal in the main box, but when it comes time to use it as a side box smoker I've found that the key to my success is TIME, low temperatures in the cooking box (140 to 160 as a "max"), moisture - and low / slow smoking.

I start the firebox with a charcoal briquette load and when it's going good I add the first wood load over those coals. After that, I'll reload the firebox as necessary - maybe 1 1/2 to 2 hour intervals and keep a pan of water on the grill at the passage between the firebox and cooking box to provide moist heat and keep the high heat away from the meats.

Beer Can Chicken, 4 to 6 at a load might take 3 to 5 hours. 2 fair sized Turkeys 5-7 and a half dozen Boston Butts - is a full day (or night before) smokin' - 10 to 12 hours and occasionally more to get to the fully cooked, falling off the bone point.

As in another reply, I also cover the meats with foil from the start to hold down on the over smoking - but with the low/slow/moist heat process you do get deep flavor penetration without it being overpowering.

Jul 07, 2010
Add Burning Wood
by: bk

Instead of adding raw wood to fire, use a separate pit or small grill to have a fire going at all times with wood burning. Then add more of the burned down wood as needed - it's a very easy way to control temperature in the pit your smoking with.

Jul 07, 2010
Wood or Charcoal in smoker

If you put charcoal in the fire side and did not get but 100 and some degrees you did not put in enough charcoal, or maybe your temp. gauge is not accurate.

Here's what I have done for the past 18-20 years.

Put about 15 pound of charcoal in fire box, after they all turn white put on the meat, lets says ribs on the grill part( upper compartment) add mesquite( the only smoke wood I use, buy at Walmart or somewhere) or hickory chips etc. It doesn't take but 2 or 3 big pieces or a handful of little pieces.

Smoke for one hour at 250 degs. then wrap in aluminum foil cook another 3 hours on 250 degs.

If you want you can put in oven on 250 and do the same thing and you don't need as much charcoal. After they bake, pour liquid fat and water out of packages. Now you are set, you can freeze some for later or put ribs on grill and baste with sauce till browned to your taste, we like them blackened.

If you want you can put sauce in package after draining and stick back in oven for 15 20 minutes. The main thing is don't smoke over an hour and be sure to cook on 250 degs. this is what makes them fall off the bone tender.

Randy Jarrett

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to FAQ's.

Return to Should I use charcoal or wood as a smoker fuel?.

Solo Build It!

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Charcoal Grills

Build A Brick BBQ Grill

Stainless Steel Inserts For a Brick BBQ Grill

Stainless Steel Charcoal Grills

Adjustable Height Charcoal Grills

Charcoal Barbecue Grills

Cook 'N' Serve Range

Custom Made Charcoal Grills

Custom Built To Your Specification

Replacement Stainless Steel Cooking Grates

Replacement Stainless Steel Cooking Grates


Offset American Smoker Manufacturing

Reverse Flow Smokers

Custom Built Trailer Smokers

Commercial Smokers

Please Help
Keep This Site Free!

Many Amazon merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click this link and purchase from them...

It makes no difference to the price you pay but it really helps me continue improving this website. If you like what I'm doing then save this link and use it every time you go to Amazon. For whatever you purchase through this link (it doesn't have to be barbecue) I heartily thank you in advance.