Number of Coals to Use to Achieve the Desired Temperature

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Raine

Executive Chef
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
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3,549
Location
NC
Number of Coals to Use to Achieve the Desired Temperature



Coals must be used on both the top and the bottom of the Dutch Oven. Use only quality charcoal briquettes for consistent temperature control. The chart below shows you how many coals to use for a desired temperature.



Temperature 10" Oven 12" Oven 14" Oven
Degrees F Top Bottom Top Bottom Top Bottom
300 12 5 14 7 15 9
325 13 6 15 7 17 9
350 14 6 16 8 18 10
375 15 6 17 9 19 11




Note: Adding one coal to the top and bottom will raise the temperature of the Dutch Oven approximately 25 degrees. Or conversely removing one set of briquettes will lower the temperature by 25 degrees.
 

coalcookin

Assistant Cook
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
13
Location
Oklahoma
Temps of Dutch Oven

The rule that I always went by in placing coals on and around oven is 1/3 under and 2/3 on top. The quanities you have I agree. One more thing on placing coals never place directly underneath. Good Luck, Coalcookin:cool:
 

StirBlue

Head Chef
Joined
Dec 1, 2006
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Location
Illinois/USA
How long does a charcoal briquette last? That is to say once it has been fired and is considered a live red coal.
 

Dutchess

Cook
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
63
Location
Texas
I find the much simpler "3 up, 3 down" rule is a good starting point for charcoal distribution. What that means is you use 3 coals more than the diameter of the oven on top, and three fewer on bottom. So, if using a 12-inch oven, you would have 15 on top (12 plus 3) and 9 on bottom (12 minus 3). This method will get you to roughly 325-350°F, depending on weather conditions, etc.

A charcoal briquette will last about an hour, depending on the brand you use. If I'm cooking something that takes longer than an hour, then I start some fresh coals about 15 minutes before I need it (I leave a few briquettes burning in my charcoal chimney just for this purpose). One mistake many people make is to overstart their coals, and they're half burned away before they start using them.
 
Last edited:

coalcookin

Assistant Cook
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
13
Location
Oklahoma
Dutchess said:
I find the much simpler "3 up, 3 down" rule is a good starting point for charcoal distribution. What that means is you use 3 coals more than the diameter of the oven on top, and three fewer on bottom. So, if using a 12-inch oven, you would have 15 on top (12 plus 3) and 9 on bottom (12 minus 3). This method will get you to roughly 325-350°F, depending on weather conditions, etc.

A charcoal briquette will last about an hour, depending on the brand you use. If I'm cooking something that takes longer than an hour, then I start some fresh coals about 15 minutes before I need it (I leave a few briquettes burning in my charcoal chimney just for this purpose). One mistake many people make is to overstart their coals, and they're half burned away before they start using them.
Thats close enough to my formula as mine would be 16 top 8 on bottom. It all works just the same. I do like your idea of figuring though. Coalcookin:rolleyes:
 
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