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Best Way To Stack Charcoal Briquettes, Oct (2021)

Today I am going to share the best way to stack charcoal Briquettes . 

There are different methods or configurations out there on how to stack the charcoal. 

For Eg : Pyramid Stack method, two zone parallel fire configurations, easy classic two zone method, Direct grilling method and the most relatable snake method. 

However, of all the methods the best one has always been the snake method for me. 

I am going to explain to you step by step how to use the snake method to stack your charcoal perfectly .

This method is perfect for maintaining heat as well as prolonging the use of charcoal . 

I find it to be the most efficient way. Let’s dive in..

# Best Way To Stack Charcoal Briquettes – Snake Method

This method is perfect for even and  sustained heat. 

Smoking for long upto 8 to 12 hours needs a little bit of extra preparation.

It is extremely important to avoid very high temperatures and maintain fuel for long. 

In this method we stack the charcoal as a wrap around the inner charcoal grates as a snake. 

Hence it is known as the Snake Method.

Best Way To Stack Charcoal Briquettes Image
Best Way To Stack Charcoal Briquettes – Snake Method

Step 1 : Start with charcoal placing.

Place two briquettes side by side. 

These two briquettes will form the two rows . 

Best Way To Stack Charcoal Briquettes Step 1 Image
Best Way To Stack Charcoal Briquettes Step 1

Step 2 : Repeat

You would start to add 2 briquettes in the same manner . 

Continuing this depends on how long you want to cook or how much fuel you have.

The charcoal burns , after it finishes the first then moves to the next ones to burn. 

I usually do 1/3rd of the way around the charcoal grates.

Now stack above the previous layer more charcoal. Do it in the similar way as.

shown in the picture.

Best Way To Stack Charcoal Briquettes Step 2 Image
Best Way To Stack Charcoal Briquettes Step 2

Step 3 : Adding Wood Flavours

Now in case you want to add some wood flavour you can add wood chips as the next layer.

Since food can absorb smoke only certain times , it is good to introduce it at the initial layers.

Best Way To Stack Charcoal Briquettes Step 3 Image
Best Way To Stack Charcoal Briquettes Step 3

Step 4 : Using Water can

Place a water can at the centre.

This helps to regulate temperature . Also creates an indirect heat zone on the grill.

Which in turn prevents the food from drying out in long cooks.

Best Way To Stack Charcoal Briquettes Step 4 Image
Best Way To Stack Charcoal Briquettes Step 4

Step 5 : Lighting the charcoal

Light about a dozen briquettes separately. 

And when they are about to ash, place them at the beginning of your charcoal snake stack.

This should slowly start igniting the charcoals in the snake stacks.

Best Way To Stack Charcoal Briquettes Step 5 Image
Best Way To Stack Charcoal Briquettes Step 5

# Watch how it is done

This same method can be used to stack charcoal in a big green egg and many other grills too.

Here is an example in a weber grill.

# How to arrange charcoal in a smoker ?

I like to use the two zone method of charcoal stack for smokers. 

This method is very simple. 

Keep or arrange the charcoal on one side of the charcoal grate. 

And keep the other side empty. This will produce two heat areas.

One side will give direct heat and the other side simply provides lower temperature. 

This you can utilize accordingly.

Here is an example for you to see.

Best Way To Stack Charcoal Briquettes - Two Zone Method Image
Best Way To Stack Charcoal Briquettes – Two Zone Method

# How to stack charcoal for burgers?

When I am making burgers I always go with a concentrated fire method of charcoal stacks.

These are perfect for quick cooking foods eg : Burgers, Thin Steaks. 

You simply need to poke holes in the bottom of the pan, place the pan in the centre of the grill, and pour in lit coals  in the pan.

Best Way To Stack Charcoal Briquettes - For Burgers Image
Best Way To Stack Charcoal Briquettes – For Burgers

FAQs

# How many charcoal briquettes to use for 400 degrees?

½ to ¾ full chimney of charcoal briquettes is the best amount to use for 400 degrees.

# How many briquettes in a bag of charcoal?

So in 1 pound of kingsford original it is about 18 briquettes. 

And the standard bag comes to around 18 pounds. 

But this can very much differ based on the product.

# How much charcoal to use for smoking?

1/2 to 3/4 of a chimney if you are using briquettes . 

While for Lump charcoal it  may be 1/3- to 2/3 of a chimney. 

Since charcoal is more related to heat and not the smoker, It is better to use it only as much as required during smoking.

# When is charcoal ready to grill?

Once you light the charcoal , the fire will start subsiding . 

Slowly you should see the coal turning gray from the borders.

The ashes then will spread to each briquettes .

Once this occurs you can be sure that the charcoal is ready. 

This may take from 10 -15 minutes to get ready.”

# How much charcoal to use for burgers?

1/2 to 3/4 of a chimney . This quantity of charcoal you can use for burgers.

# How to light charcoal?

If the charcoal is not easy to light then you can use a newspaper . 

Once you stack the charcoal you can burn the newspaper . 

Then taking the burning newspaper you can burn the charcoal. 

This way you can light charcoal. Always  works best for me,

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