The Hampton Smoker

What's up wtih what's going down? Does a tree falling on the ocean with no one around make a sound? Barbecue, BBQ, Bar-b-que. It's all in how you sell it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Woke Up New: 8 Hour Charcoal Basket Burn

It was a chilly day with lots of errands and chores, so it seemed like a perfect time to try out the Klose charcoal basket. I loaded it up about 1/2 to 2/3 full with Rancher charcoal, leaving a small space at the end closest to the smoke chamber free, because I would be adding more charcoal in just a minute. I lit about a 1/2 chimney's worth in a charcoal chimney and once those coals were burning nicely, I poured them into the empty space in the basket. Pack the coals nice and tight, the goal is to limit air gaps that will make the fire burn faster. I used a piece of wood as a placeholder for the spot where I wanted the lit coals-- at the last minute, I removed the log and just poured in the coals.

Once the lit coals were poured in, I closed the air inlet on the firebox to almost a finger in width and we went about our business. In an hour the pit was about 215 Fahrenheit. Perfect. I put on the brisket and ribs and threw 3 pieces of cherry wood on to the fire. I split the logs and cut them down to a good size for the basket.

At that point, with a few tweaks of the chimney and throwing on about that same amount of wood every so often for flavor, I was able to maintain the pit at 225 for 8 hours without touching the fire at all. If I had opened the lid to add wood less frequently, and had not had to glaze and watch the ribs, etc...I probably could have gotten an even longer burn. It was a really different cooking experience. Definitely easier on the body and, possibly, because of the reduced airflow, even moister. Most importantly though, it left more time to sit around and do this.

Today's song is a personal favorite and one that touches a very delicate nerve.
The Mountain Goats: Woke Up New


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