How to Use a Grill’s Side Fire Box

While using the Side Fire Box to smoke takes time, the results are delicious. You can set up your Side Fire Box for smoking properly with the help of this article to ensure the best heat, even cooking, and more. We also have you covered if you’ve never used the Side Fire Box or Offset Smoked. Here is our step-by-step tutorial for using the side Fire Box.

How To Use A Side Fire Box

1. Attach The Side Fire Box

You can easily add a side fire box to your charcoal grill if it doesn’t already have one. You can read the manuals and watch tutorials about the Char-Griller 2-2424 Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box

2. Season Your Grill

Before you begin smoking, season your grill and Side Fire Box if you haven’t already. After thoroughly drying it, clean the grill with warm water. Oil the grill’s entire surface. We advise using vegetable oil in a spray bottle. Open all the vents after coating the grill completely, then start a small fire in the Side Fire Box. For 30 minutes, burn it. When the fire has gradually subsided, you are prepared to smoke.

3. Light A Chimney of Charcoal

Fill a Charcoal Chimney and light it. Allow it to burn until the lumps or briquettes start to glow and cover in ash. It ought to take around 15 minutes.

4. Dump The Coals Into The Side Fire Box

Place the coals in the Side Fire Box once they are prepared. Make sure the chimney vent on the left of the barrel and the vent on the right side of the side fire box are both at least halfway open. You would add wood chunks or chips at this stage to flavor your food. A word about wood: Although you can build a fire out of wood in your Side Fire Box, we do not advise it since it is challenging to keep the temperature of a fully wood-burning fire constant.

5. Bring Smoker Up To Temperature

Temperatures between 225 and 275 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for smoking. We prefer to stay close to 250 when smoking food in the Side Fire Box. When preheating the grill, be sure to keep the lids on the barrel and the side fire box closed.

6. Add Food

Adding the food is the exciting part now. You might need to adjust the vents to ensure everything is at the right temperature once you add the food you want to cook. You can use a pit thermometer to determine when to check on the smoker without having to spend all day doing it.

7. Add More Fuel As Needed

The idea that you can simply add charcoal to the Side Fire Box to increase or maintain the temperature is a common one. As adding already-burning coals will help maintain the temperature better than adding unlit charcoal, we advise starting a new chimney of charcoal each time.

8. Rotate The Food

You should rotate the food once every two to three hours to make sure that everything cooks and smokes evenly. You should move the food that was farther away from the smoke so that you can move the food that was closer to the smoke. To ensure even smoking when using large pieces of meat, rotate them in a circle.

9. Keep Your Food Moist

 You can place a pan of water under the food to catch any drips and keep water circulating in the chamber if you are concerned that your food will dry out. Another choice is to mist the food about once an hour with apple juice, water, or beer.

Setting Up The Side Box Fire For Smoking

Bbq, Bbq Fire

1. Light Charcoal

No more than three-quarters of the way full, a charcoal chimney should be filled with charcoal. Light a newspaper or fire starter under the chimney. Wait until there are no longer any active flames on the charcoal and let it fully ash over.

2. Fill The Side Bar Box

Place the Side Fire Box with the fully-ashed over charcoal. Lock the main barrel’s lid and the lid of the side fire box. Halfway open the smokestack damper and the side fire box damper. Any wood chunks or chips should be added after waiting 10 minutes. For starters, don’t add more charcoal to the Side Fire Box than four handfuls of chips, three chunks, or one log. This will stop temperature fluctuations.

3. Add A Water Pan

Either put a water pan underneath the grates where your meat will be, or place a loaf pan on top of the grates just above the Side Fire Box. The water will produce a humid atmosphere that will guarantee moist meat, even cooking, and help keep the main barrel’s temperature constant.

4. Check The Dampers Again

The temperature in a large barrel should not exceed 250 F when using the Side Fire Box (275 F at the very highest). For low and slow cooking that lasts more than six hours, offset smoking with the side fire box is intended. Use indirect heat in the grill’s main barrel if you need or want to cook something quickly. Check the side fire box and smokestack dampers. Close the dampers to a quarter open if the grill temperature is higher than 275 F. Open both dampers to the three-quarters open position if the temperature is not yet 250 F.

5. Start Your Cook

Place your meat on the grill and start smoking it once the main barrel reaches 250 F. To make sure the grill maintains a constant temperature of 250 F, you must keep an eye on both the temperature of the main barrel and the temperature of the meat.

6. Add More Coals

Prepare a second half chimney of charcoal if the temperature in the main barrel begins to drop. Wait until it has burned completely to add fuel to the side fire box. After adding the charcoal, wait five minutes before adding more wood.

In Conclusion

Even though the smoked meat on your BBQ grill may pique your interest more, you won’t be able to enjoy the delectable food if your firebox fails. Make sure you purchase a grill with a firebox made of premium aluminum or stainless steel to avoid disappointment. You can choose between an offset firebox or a firebox directly beneath the grill depending on whether you want to grill or smoke your meat. Just keep in mind that the firebox’s longevity depends on regular maintenance. Happy grilling!