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The Fire

Scott SScott S Posts: 24
edited 4:09AM in EggHead Forum
I just read Elder Wards recipe for North Carolina pulled pork and the way I understood it he puts his meat on the grill befor all the coals are white and glowing. Someone please enlighten me on this[p]


  • Scott SScott S Posts: 24
    Scott S, Lets do that very thing...its a fun subject and I can see right off, your used to Briquettes..[p]Charcoal is a whole different set of fuel standards. First, you have all sorts of grades of charcoal..and sizes of lump from ground up fine stuff to huge chunks stuffed in a bag. From Maple to Oak to Hickory to mesquite and all sorts of hardwoods in between. Most is Oak or Hickory that is used or on the bag it says Pure hardwood lump charcoal.[p]You never watch it turn white...never..or your past your cook time..and wasted your fuel.[p]The essential is to get a small red hot core fire started. How you do that is up to you. Electric starter, starter cubes or newspaper. Or anything else other than a chemical starter fluid.[p]I will suggest to start a low and slow start up..start with a small amount of charcoal in the bottom on the grate. Large chunks. When those are red hot, then add (I just dump it in) your reserve charcoal on top to midway up the firechamber walls. Then add your soaked or dry lump smoking woods to the charcoal. Then add more charcoal depending on the long term cook. I have filled all the way level with the firering top where I have jiggled the grate to get it down. By this time the smoke will really be rolling out the top of the charcoal. I mean thick..blinding smoke..Great for briskett and boston butt or jerky. [p]You will notice that even with a red hot fuel startup..your still sitting at less than 200F degrees..Barely crack open the lower vent and leave the top daisy wheel slots wide open. [p]Now you can start to regulate the burn..opening and closeing the lower vent to manipulate your temps...Go for it....
    My version and subject to all sorts of improvisions by others..

  • GfwGfw Posts: 1,598
    Scott S, it has been a while since I read EW's recipe, but my common practice for low/slow cooks is simple - when the starter cube is gone (burned up), I spread on the wood chips, put the grids, firebricks, etc in place and drop the meat in the BGE. I then bring the dome temp up to the desired level and let it cook - works good for me. :~]

    [ul][li]Gfw's BBQ[/ul]
  • RhumAndJerkRhumAndJerk Posts: 1,506
    Scott S,
    “Before all the coals are white and glowing” only applies to briquette type charcoal specifically to know when the lime and other toxic nasties have burned away.
    When dealing with lump charcoal, as in EW recipe, the trick is to not get too much lump burning. Whether or not you sort the lump by size is a personal preference, I do and most do not. Basically, by placing the fire starter on top of the lump, only a very small amount of lump will catch on fire. When the fire starter has burned out and the dome temperature is just under 200 (even 150), put the meat and smoking wood on and then stabilize the temperature as close to 200-225 as possible. It has taken from one to three hours for the temperature to go from 150 to 225. [p]Remember to leave the daisy wheel all but closed and the bottom vent full open until the temp gets to 225. This allows for the maximum smoke absorption by the meat when it counts the most.[p]Hope this helps,

  • Scott S...., Dunno how that happened but your handle got stuck on that one...Now they can all blame you...Heeeeyaaa

  • not Jonot Jo Posts: 22
    Scott S,
    I am a newbie, but let me add one thing I learned today. Don't stir the charcoal and by stir I mean don't even tamp the durn stuff down with a nice poking stick. The justification that I was just adding wood cubes to smoke didn't make any difference to the fire's temp.

  • ChefRDChefRD Posts: 438
    Scott S,
    Whats been said is correct. When using 'lump style' charcoal
    there is no reason to wait to start cooking as you would when using briquets. Since there is no fillers or additives you just put on the food whenever you feel like it. I wait until the cube fire starter is totally out and by then I have a very small circle of hot coals and thats when I put on some wood and add the meat and sit back and wait for about 18 hours, more or less, and then just enjoy the PP. :)
    Hope this helps,

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