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Establishing/maintaining fire

ShelbyShelby Posts: 803
edited 7:41PM in EggHead Forum
Doing my first overnighter tonight. What's the best way to ensure the fire stay and hold temp overnight? Should I bring it up higher so more coals are involved or after it reaches temp, adjust the vents and add meat? Doing a brisket indirect so I'll want a low temp for about 15 hours or so.


  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Shelby, I first make sure I have a "hot seat". Thats a nice red hot center core fire. Over which I have added all my set up charcoal and smoking woods. So I am belly up to near the grill on the top of the fire ring, or a few inches below it. I just came in from doing it also. Added my fresh charcoal after making sure I had some fire down below. I was using the last of my 9 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. cook of jerky and lastly chicken quarters. Now a large "Shoulder Butt" is on for tomorrow.
    One of the things I do is to take a wire or in my case a 1/4" bent rod and work it up in the holes in the grate and wiggle back and forth like a windshield wiper blade the portion that sticks up into the grate holes..When I see bright embers falling back, I know I have a hot fire in there and I reset my ash vent door back to a crack and go to bed. I do that in 3 or 4 locations, being sure not to overdue and disturb my charcoal too much. The fire is working its way normally..chunk per chunk. All it needs is some air to get to it from below.
    I don't know if you ever saw a wood burning wood stove or a coal fired furnace, but they had grate shakers in em. Last thing before going to bed..we had to shake the ashes down and cap the fires till morning. Then all we had to do was open vents..shake em a bit..and we had a roaring fire in a few minutes.
    Works the same way here. Just controlling it a bit more.

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