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Coal burn straight down and leave a ring of unburied coal. Any idea why?

I use an electric starter and when I look at the charcoal after a long 12-18 hour cook, it seems where I lit the charcoal, in the middle of the firebox, the coals burned straight down and leave a ring of unburned lump around the edges of the egg. This usually happens when cooking a butt or brisket. Any idea what I'm doing wrong? Thanks for your help in advance.


  • DfishelDfishel Posts: 104
    That just happened to me! I was cooking a brisket.
  • TonyATonyA Posts: 582
    It's not uncommon for a fire to burn straight down. People have long recommended putting a column filled with wood and charcoal down the center for this reason.
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,811
    Just a suggestion here, but that chimney effect comes from air flow strictly fed from the lower vent and up through the center. I think you might want to check your firebox holes as they are undoubtedly badly clogged. A clean out just might help you a lot.
    L, M, S, &  Mini
    And oh yes...also a 17" BlackStone gas fired griddle! 
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • RRP, I'm going to check that in the AM. Thanks for the help. That makes perfect sense.
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