Control of Smoke From the Grilling Area

Control of Smoke From the Grilling Area

Traditional BBQ involves smoking. The real article is meat cooked at low temperatures, over live coals, with hardwood added to provide that delightful smokey flavor. 

Whether you possess a specialized smoker or a regular kettle grill, it’s a skill that everyone can become proficient at.

1. Get the coals ready for a lengthy, leisurely cook.

Smoking is indirect cooking that often occurs over several hours at low temperatures. Utilize alternative coal arrangements and a mixture of ignited and unignited coals to sustain the fire for an extended duration. Now, let’s examine some of those smoking techniques.

2. Dual-Zone Fire: Parallel Arrangement

Ignite a complete chimney of charcoal and stack the ignited coals on both ends of the grill, creating an empty area in the middle without any coals. Put a metal pan with hot water in this vacant area to assist in controlling the temperature and increase the humidity in the grill.

3. The Charcoal Serpent

A commonly used technique for slow smoking on a kettle grill. Arrange unlit charcoal in two rows along the outer perimeter of the grill, covering about 75% of the circumference. 

The two rows will create a shape resembling the letter C along the edge – some individuals perceive it as resembling a snake, which is why it is called that. Place damp wood chips or chunks on top of the line of embers to enhance the smoky flavor. Put a metal pan with boiling water in the middle of the snake. Next, ignite around six to eight charcoal briquettes in a chimney.

Once prepared, stack all the burning coals at the front of the charcoal arrangement. The embers will gradually burn for several hours. Pause for a few minutes, then introduce your meat for a lengthy, leisurely smoking process. If you require additional time, you can add extra briquets to the snake’s tail.

4. Smoke Reduction Method

The burn-down technique is excellent for cooking slowly and at a moderate temperature if you are a smoker. Place unlit coals in the charcoal bed and add a small number of lit coals on the top. The embers on top will gradually ignite the ones beneath them and burn steadily over time.

5. Significance of Water Pan

Many committed smokers have a water pan incorporated. When smoking on a kettle grill, it’s crucial to have a foil pan filled with boiling water. Fill the pan with 2 to 3 liters of water — or if you’re feeling daring, you might try using beer, apple juice, or wine.

The water pan generates a warm, damp atmosphere, crucial for smoking. Moreover, the water pan holds heat and assists in maintaining consistent temperatures to prevent the occasional drastic changes from smoking in a kettle.

6. Include Smoke Wood

Wood smoke enhances the flavor of BBQ, so consider using it. You can utilize bigger pieces of wood or the simple Kingsford® Chips ‘n Wood Chunks that have been soaked in water.

Various types of wood give multiple tastes. Hickory, mesquite, and oak wood provide a strong taste to meats such as beef and pig. Apple, cherry, and other types of fruit woods are less intense and are well-suited for cooking pork and fowl.

7. Smoke between 225°F and 250°F

Maintaining a steady temperature is crucial for smoking. The optimal temperature range for most smoking is between 225°F and 250°F.

An easy method to track temperature is by inserting a meat thermometer into the upper vent of your grill, allowing the probe to hang down and gauge the temperature of the air within the grill.

If your temperature exceeds 250°F, shut the vents to decrease the oxygen level and lower the temperature. If your temperature drops below 225°F, fully open the vents to allow more oxygen and raise the temperature. Further information about temperature regulation can be found here.

8. Maintain the Fire

Ribs, brisket, and pulled pork require significant time to smoke correctly. Thus, it is usually necessary to add additional coals. There are two approaches for adding coals.

One option is to include additional unlit coals, which can be done once temperatures decrease. Include unlit coals; the lit ones will ignite them gradually.

The second approach is to include ignited coals, which is crucial when the temperature falls below 225°F and requires a rapid increase. Have a chimney prepared to ignite a fresh set of burning coals, then cautiously transfer them into your cooker or place them using tongs.

9. Avoid looking!

The most challenging aspect of smoking is not raising the cover. You allow precious heat and smoke to get out whenever you take a quick look. Avoid giving in to the temptation – we suggest waiting patiently while having a delicious drink and playing cornhole.

Keep the lid on to prevent drastic temperature changes or prematurely depleting your coals. Open the cover only when you need to verify the internal temperature of the meat or add additional coals.


In summary, Gaining proficiency in smoke management in your grilling area is possible with the appropriate methods and knowledge.

By following these easy steps, you may improve your BBQ skills and amaze friends and family with deliciously smoked meats full of tempting taste. So start the grill, appreciate the smoking technique, and enjoy the tasty outcome!





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