grilling 24x7 logo charcoal picture new york strip steaks hot wings on the charcoal grill

How Much Charcoal?


Grilling Tools

Tailgating Recipes



Recent Updates

Search My Recipes

Smoking With a Charcoal Grill, Ugly Drum Smoker, Pit Barrel Cooker and WSM

2014 Update: This site has come a long way over the years in terms of smoking and true BBQ. I started out with smoking directly on a charcoal grill. There are a few posts and explainations below on how to smoke meat on a charcoal grill. I then upgraded to a Weber Smokey Mountain. After a few years of that I decided to build an Ugly Drum Smoker. That was a great choice and is a really solid smoker. Then I got my hands on a Pit Barrel Cooker. So if you look over on the right side of each blog post you'll see a bunch of recipes and methods for smoking foods on a variety of smokers. If you need any help feel free to contact me and I can point you in the correct direction!

In addition to smoking on a Weber Performer I also use a Weber Smokey Mountain Charcoal Smoker which I think is the coolest thing ever! Check out photos of my Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker and learn how to light a Weber Smokey Mountain to hold 250 degrees all afternoon. I also posted a step by step minute by minute account of a typical smoke for a totally loaded WSM.

Using a charcoal grill to smoke meats!

You can make authentic barbecue on a Weber charcoal grill. All you need to do is remember a few principles. True BBQ cooking occurs with a very low temperature for a long time. True BBQ also incorporates smoke. To accomplish this on a charcoal grill you need to understand the correct amount of charcoals to add as well as how often to keep adding charcoals and wood chips.

a charcoal grill maintaining a perfect 250 degrees

A quick rule of thumb that I just came up with is to begin the smoking process with about 6-7 coals on each side. Take a look at the picture below, here I use Weber's indirect cooking baskets. Each basket has about 6-7 coals. When the coals are lit, I move the baskets to opposing sides of the grill and add wood chips. This will give you a perfect 250 degrees. Moving each basket to opposing sides allows you to indirect cook your meat. You don't want to cook authentic BBQ in direct heat or you will end up with burnt BBQ!

charcoal arrangment for smoking on a charcoal grill

You will need to be able to maintain a constant temperature of about 225 to 250 degrees for proper smoking. Check out my page on maintaining temperature to learn a bit more about this. You will need to keep about 12-14 lit coals in the grill at all times to maintain this temperature. Below is a picture from a pork shoulder smoke where we opened the lid to add some more coals and wood. This picture was taken about 10 hours into the smoke. Don't be afraid if you see some flame ups with the wood when you open the lid - this is normal. You can soak the wood in water to help with the smoking and to reduce flame ups but no matter how long I soak my wood it still flames up when the lid is open!

charcoal arrangment for smoking on a charcoal grill

Professional smokers make use of real wood burning smokers, rather than charcoal grills. But the purpose of this site is to make note that it is possible to make authentic BBQ on a charcoal grill. It takes patience and determination but it is well worth the hard work. One day I will upgrade to a real authentic smoker, but until then... my Weber Performer works just fine!

charcoal arrangment for smoking on a Weber Performer charcoal grill

Check out this youtube video on smoking meat on a Weber charcoal grill for more assistance.

Grilling with high heat over smoking woods.

Check out this page for grilling steaks over pistachio wood. It gives the flavor of grilling over a campfire!

Recent Posts

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...

By John Thomas
Find me on Google+
Copyright 2008-2014

rss feed twitter facebook
Print Friendly and PDF

Featured Articles

What do do with your side burner?!

Indirect vs. Direct Heat Grilling

Green Chile Double Cheeseburger

Easy Garlic Marinade

Photo and Recipe Archive
Click to Expand
Each Heading or Search

John Thomas Char-Broil All Star Blogger

Most Popular on

Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings with a Spicy Sriracha Dipping Sauce - Healthy Onion Ring Recipe
How to grill a steak on a charcoal grill - Grilling24x7
A homemade bbq sauce recipe, the whiskey sour bbq sauce recipe
An easy recipe for homemade guacamole on top of a bacon guacamole burger - perfect tailgate recipe
A Baltimore Maryland Style Pit Beef Sandwich Recipe Just like the Maryland State Fair and Chaps Pit Beef
An easy homemade gyro recipe using sliced brats and topped with an easy homemade tzatziki sauce
Pulled pork tacos with spicy sriracha cole slaw for leftover pulled pork
An easy method for smoking a BBQ brisket flat
The perfect chili dog chili sauce recipe
A spicy and sweet simple rib glaze
Homemade fast food copycat recipe that is so much better than McDonalds
rotisserie chicken on the Weber rotisserie attachment
grilled MD style shrimp with old bay seasoning steamed

Grilling24x7 Char-Broil Grill Online Coupon - Doesn't expire - Free coupon code for gas grill charcoal grill

Grilling24x7 Beer Bottle Opener Keychain - For Sale - Grilling24x7

Grilling24x7 Bottle Opener

Subscribe to Grilling 24x7 Recipes via Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Pit Barrel Cooker Review - Spare Ribs and Thanksgiving Turkey on the PBC -


Guest Posts and Partners

Contemporary Dining Suites, Dining Sets and Dining Furniture With Furn-On

Replacement Weber Flavorizer Bars for Great Performance!

Top Chef University App Review

Quality Grill Parts

A Few of My Favorite Grilling Sites/Friends

Anne Arundel County Builder - Anne Arundel County Custom Homes

Another Pint Please

Patio Daddio BBQ



Big Green Craig

I Hate JJ Redick
Baltimore Sports Blog

BBQ Dry Rubs

Homemade Pizza Recipes at PizzaPie24x7!

More Stuff

The most accurate grilling thermometer available - The Thermapen is simply the best.  No need to mess with the cheap stuff.

The most accurate grilling thermometer available - The Thermapen is simply the best.  No need to mess with the cheap stuff.

I get commission if you purchase through the above 3 links!