How Much Charcoal To Use In Grill And Smoker For Great BBQ Experience

It is important to know how much charcoal to use in the grill and smoker. As you are making the BBQ and using the charcoal fuel then you need to know the charcoal quantity and quality as well for the grill and smoker.

For a perfect and balancing cooking process needs to know the perfect charcoal and its quantity while BBQ. Because charcoal generates the heat and then the heat is converted into your cooking box. Then this heat will become the source of heat in making your food.

Important Factors

When you start making BBQ and start grilling on your smoker. The first factor is, how much time you are making food and grilling.

And second, an important factor is how much temperature needs to grill and smoke. This factor is common and is mostly set in all fuel types.

You need to determine the charcoal amount and oxygen amount as well. So that’s you know the heat work in the cooking box.

Don’t be confused about the charcoal measuring and balance amount. Because it’s not like a sauce and meat. It is just a piece of charcoal. When you buy them from the market, they are only measured on a weight scale.

But there is still a need to put the charcoal in a box with the balanced amount. For that purpose, you need to select the charcoal box and know its size. After that, you will put only this charcoal.

You need to select the charcoal chimney according to your smoker heat box. But on the grill, you need to see the grill’s lower side and to know how much food and BBQ you will be making.

Best Suggestions

Select the chimney and firebox for the smoker. Put the charcoal in it and start burning over heat. Chimney and box are the devices that give you benefits by measuring the coal.

Charcoal For Food

As you know charcoal gives heat and smoke, then this smoke converts into your food and makes it tender and ready to give you an amazing taste.

So, there is a need to know how much charcoal is required for all food items baking and making process.

  • When you are making tender meats and want tenderness in your food, like fish, salmon, and other items like this stuff. Then you must select the quarter of the chimney with the charcoal to give heat and smoke.
  • For making the burgers, steak, sausages, olives, broccoli, and other stuff. You must select half of the three-quarters of a chimney. This quantity gives you medium heat and makes your stuff in a better way.
  • Now for more hard meat like full chicken, lamb, and sear meat you must select the full chimney. So that charcoal burns fully and gives your food hard and fast heat to cook perfectly and completely. 

All this information about the charcoal quantity is basic and normal. If you have found more than measured ratio.

On the grill, you must put out your charcoal when it’s needed and according to the meat quantity. But in the smoker, you must put a large and heavy amount of charcoal to burn quickly and gently.

charcoal quantity for grill and smoker

Charcoal System

When you start anything for that you must set up and make its system perfectly.

2-Zone Cooking Space

When you are using a grill then use the two-zone cooling system. This system is very useful and reliable. You can control your cooking space.

Control the heat and set the temperature according to need. In other words, using direct and indirect methods use less fuel.   

When you have a lump of hard stuff meat like lamb and good sear meat piece then that time zone is best for the consistent cooking process.

One thing to remember is that constant high heat isn’t suitable and perfect for your food and meat. Because it becomes the cause of burning the food.

If you have a steak and fish and want instant BBQ, then it will become burned and give a bad taste. If you have high heat because it only burns the upper skin or burns the exterior. Inside the meat will be uncooked.

Spread and Shrink Setup

In Grilling Charcoal Shrink because when you add the charcoal for producing heat and smoke. Then you put out your charcoal inside or under the grill. Where the heat and smoke directly reached the food and meat level.

So charcoal is also need to set and put into a specific area of the grill.

In Smoker Charcoal Spread because smokers have separate grill and only need grill for placing the skews and meat. But the heat and smoke in the smoker reached from the heat box to the cooking chamber.

This means that is indirect method would have a large and massive quantity of charcoal fuel due to low and slow, high and fast speed of heat.

Types of Charcoal

Charcoal is a common fuel type that is used to generate heat and smoke for making BBQ.

There are different five types of charcoal:

  1. Lump Charcoal.
  2. Charcoal Briquettes.
  3. Hardwood Briquettes.
  4. Coconut Shell Charcoal.
  5. Binchotan.

But mostly two are used for making BBQ and Grilling. Because all have different qualities.

Only Charcoal Briquettes and Hardwood Briquettes are used for making BBQ and grilling. Both are made of natural wood.

Hardwood Briquettes

Hardwood and lump charcoal are used mostly in BBQ. Because it is made of natural wood. Natural wood is cut out directly.

This charcoal type creates less ash than others and you can make a lot of food, meat, and BBQ for a long time because of less ash. Moreover, this is not generating any type of chemical which has not become the source of any harm.

Charcoal Briquettes

Charcoal Briquettes are the natural wood fuel type. It has more qualities than others. Because this charcoal burns quickly, gives lighter light, burns hotter, burns for longer, and create very less ash.

Seasonal Charcoal

As you made BBQ on Grill and smoker, you must note down the seasonal demand for charcoal.

For that purpose and ease, we tell you about the best charcoal for the winter and summer season as well. You do not need to worry about knowing and confuse that which type of charcoal is used for the long burn because of weather.

Let’s read the seasonal charcoal.

Best for Winter

For the winter season Charcoal Briquettes are best because of gentle heat, smooth fire, light burn, consume heat, and many more qualities.

This charcoal does not generate more ash than others and burns for the latter. Because in the winter season you must need to make BBQ after some days according to weather demand. It gives you the best fragrance of charcoal burning as well with the cool air blowing.

Best for Summer

Hardwood Briquettes best for the summer season. Because in the summer season BBQ and Grilling set rarely because of hot weather. In the backyard when the weather is cool then make BBQ on a grill or smoker.

But the Hardwood/lump is best because of creating less ash and burn for a longer time. Once you burn it, does not cool quickly because of hotter and higher burning.


How many types of smoking levels?

There are two types of smoking levels. One is low and slow which is used normally for making daily recipes, which is around about 225 to 250 F.

The second is hot and fast which is used for a gentle cooking process which is around 325F.

Which method is reliable in between 2-zone or the traditional method?

Both are good and reliable, but the 2-zone cooking space method takes less space and consumes less energy than the traditional setup.

Why do you have to need to select seasonal charcoal?

You must know and select the charcoal according to season. Because it determines the amount of charcoal and takes your budget in the right place.


How much charcoal do you have to use in the grill and smoker? this is very important to know for you. Because you have craze about the Grill and Smoke, but you have not any idea of the charcoal amount. For this, we had to tell you each process and method to select the charcoal amount.

You can use the chimney which saves your budget. Another option is to use the 2-zone cooking space. Where you select the specific place in the grill and smoker. And set the charcoal at the side for giving only heat directly to the meat. Further, we elaborate on the seasonal selection of charcoal for the on the basis of quality of charcoal.