How to Use the Charcoal Snake Method to Turn Your Grill Into a Smoker

Charcoal Snake Method to Turn Your Grill Into a Smoker

This article explains the snake method BBQ, including how to set it up, the benefits, and its uses. The charcoal snake method of grilling is one of the best ways to grill! If you haven’t tried it, you’re really missing out! Through this unique technique, you can create some of the juiciest, tenderest, and most beautiful pink chunks of meat.

It’s no secret that grill experts have been using the snake method for too long, but now it’s out. Now you can light up a charcoal snake with the innovative Looft Charcoal lighter, which lights briquettes and charcoal in 60 seconds. We’re ready to go!


Charcoal snake method: how does it work? Think about the time when you wanted to smoke a large piece of meat, but you did not have a smoker and did not wish to use one. Taking your grilling game to the next level may require more than just your versatile round grill.

Smoking and slow-cooking meat on a standard grill are possible, but the technique must be unusual. Those are the steps in the charcoal snake method. If you align several briquettes, effectively making a charcoal snake, with one end lit, the next row will ignite, and so on for a very long time.

Low-temperature barbecuing results in a stable, low temperature. You can also light wood with the briquettes by strategically placing them throughout the charcoal snake. This will give your meat a pleasant smoke fragrance when you cook it. A charcoal snake method is essentially what it sounds like, and snake method barbecue is seriously good.

Charcoal snakes can provide slow, steady roasting for anywhere from 12 to 15 hours if they are done right, with adequate ventilation and briquettes. Without needing to add any more charcoal to the grill, you get to enjoy more time with your grilling buddies when you use the set-and-forget method.


You will need the following items to use the charcoal snake method:

1. Any circular grill, such as a Weber Kettle. Those without a dedicated smoker can still enjoy low-temperature, slow-cooked meats, even if they don’t have a smoker. Any circular grill can accommodate a charcoal snake and water pan, as well as a charcoal snake. Our plan is to place the meat on the colder side.

2. No lighter fluid is used in the preparation of these briquettes. Whether you’re making a charcoal snake out of briquettes or lump coal, briquettes are better because they have a uniform shape and are easier to pile up. Their burning rate is also slower. Two rows of briquettes are placed two briquettes high against the inner wall of the grill, spaced about ten briquettes apart. The total number of briquettes is forty. A half-circle of material should cover the grill’s diameter. To ensure the snake is the right size and length for you, adjust the size and length.

3. Using chunks of wood for smoking. Charcoal snakes make smoking meat easy. To add a smoky finish, you can place some chunks or chips of smoked wood in the first half of the snake.

4. Pans for holding water. Water pan made of aluminum that is oven-safe. The meat will be moist and the temperature will be controlled by the water in the container.

5. You can start a chimney with a chimney starter or light a loft with a lantern. Charcoal snakes only require the first 2-4 briquettes to be lit. A chimney starter is needed to ignite the briquettes, and tongs are used to place them. In less than a minute, the briquettes will be red hot from a Looft lighter aiming straight into the snake’s tail.

6. Thermometers with probes. To keep track of the temperature while cooking, place a thermometer inside the grill. An automatic thermometer is much better than opening the grill to check the temperature.


Here is a detailed explanation of how to do it.

  1. The first layer of briquettes should be placed over the grate of your clean round grill. You should stop halfway through. The number of briquettes should range from 10 to 12.

  2. To create a half-circle, place the second layer of briquettes. Then, create a snake with two briquettes high by piling up a double layer of briquettes. Strategize the placement of wood smoke over the briquettes. Most of it should be placed over the snake’s first half.

  3. Fill the water pan three-quarters of the way with water and place it on the side opposite the charcoal snake.

  4. Fire up the charcoal snake on one side using a Looft lighter. A charcoal snake should be positioned on top of your main grill and your meat should be positioned on the opposite side.

  5. Allow the vents to open completely. Keep the temperature between 225 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Maintain the target temperature by closing and reopening the vents if the temperature drops.

  6. A probe thermometer should be used throughout the process to monitor the temperature and to ensure that the meat is cooked to the desired doneness. See below for ideas on how to use this method for barbecue!


A smoker’s or grill’s temperature is controlled not by the amount of charcoal it contains, but by the amount of oxygen it allows to enter. Keeping the grill lid closed helps prevent the heat from escaping, so keep it closed while checking on the meat.

For precise temperature control, you need a digital probe BBQ thermometer, which measures the exact temperature inside the grill. Temperature monitoring must be possible without opening the grill.

The lower vent should be opened entirely and the top vent half-opened if the temperature decreases, and it will. Fresh air will flow steadily into the fire, fueling it. Vents can be closed to lower grill temperatures.

Vents should never be completely closed. First of all, there is a possibility that the fire will be extinguished by lack of air. It is possible that the meat will be irreparably tainted if you smoke wood while cooking.

In no time at all, you will be able to get the hang of varying vent configurations on every grill you own. Fork-tender barbecue requires a constant temperature, whether it be ribs or Texas brisket.

Here are some ideas to try when it comes to smoking meat

Here are a few smoked meat ideas you can try now that you have a snake method BBQ smoker set up.

  • Wings made with chicken. Wings that are smoked are so tender that they fall off the bone, and they look super good when they are smoked. It is best to cook white meat and chicken in sweet woods, such as maple and cherry.

  • Beef brisket. Smoke and glaze your brisket with your favorite sauce to make it fork-tender. The best brisket comes in all varieties, from Texas style to hot and spicy. A Southern-inspired feast awaits when you rub it with spices!

  • Salmon smoked with dill. This recipe is easy to make after smoking a large piece of meat and using the residual heat. It takes about 90 minutes to prepare, so you can make it after smoking a large piece of meat. In case you need to extend your charcoal snake, you can do so.

  • Turkey that has been smoked. Using indirect heat at 325°F, turkey legs can be smoked for about an hour. The aroma of roasted birds is enhanced by pecan and apple-smoking woods.

  • A whole chicken smoked over an open fire. Chickens can be eaten whole as well. Depending on the size of your chicken, cook it for at least 45 minutes at 350°F or for up to four hours at 225°F.

  • It’s meatloaf time. The meatloaf tastes great when it’s smoked in a smoker. When the meatloaf reaches a core temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, remove it from the heat. Meatloaves are best cooked with mesquite wood.

  • The pork belly. By using the snake method, a seven-pound pork butt can be prepared in about 10 hours. For each pound, it takes approximately 80 minutes at a low temperature of 250°F. Make sure the pork butt is glazed for the best results!

  • It’s pork belly time. Pork belly smoked in smoke? That’s great! A temperature of 225°F will take about 8 hours. BBQ sauce is a delicious way to make the pork belly sticky and meaty. During caramelization, the sauce becomes rich and creamy.

  • The glaze on the ham. The charcoal snake method makes it easy to grill a glazed golden ham with brown sugar glaze for holiday dinner parties. At 225° to 250°F, it takes about three hours to double-smoke (pre-cooked) hams.

  • Platters with skewers. There are skewers for everybody, from meats and chickens to vegetarians. If you’re not a fan of food on a stick, how do you say no? Then cook a larger portion of meat while you make these. Appetizers made from skewers are delicious!


In its essence, the Minion Method is similar to the snake method, but it differs greatly from it.

The Minion method involves placing plenty of coal on the grill, typically briquettes, and spreading them thinly. Once these unlit briquettes are topped with burning briquettes, you can continue cooking. A Minion method ensures steady cooking temperatures for long hours by lighting the briquets above the ones below.

How does the Minion method compare to the snake method? It depends on the situation. A single charcoal ‘snake’ might not suffice on a large grill using the Minion method. In addition to being cooler, the snake works better on smaller grills. The snake method differs from the minion method in this way.

With both methods, you can cook your favorite meat slowly for a long time, and wood smoke can be added to both. As for smoking, the snake method lets you set a time when your wood will ignite. The minion method doesn’t allow you to do this without opening the lid.



It is important to have a good sense of timing when grilling. You’ll eventually have to open the grill and check the meat using both a meat thermometer and your touch after several hours. The moment you see it, you’ll know.


This kind of problem practically led to the invention of the Looft lighter. All you have to do is point and shoot. Light charcoal with the lighter in less than a minute using air and resistance.


That’s for sure. Almost all charcoal snakes have at least two layers, but some even have three layers (pyramidal). Fatter snakes take longer to consume, and grill temperatures are higher as they get fatter.

Is the grill method compatible with a Kamado-style smoker or an egg cooker?

There might not be enough space for a hot and a cold zone on some models due to relatively small surfaces. Using indirect heat, the meat needs to be placed away from the charcoal snake.


In addition to being effective and free, the charcoal snake method is also fun! It’s easy to fall in love with outdoor grilling again when you see those briquettes fall one by one, ensuring a steady temperature.

When you’re having fun, long cooking hours seem like minutes. Make yourselves a great smoky meal and tell your friends all about the charcoal snake method. A weekend spent with friends is one of the best things you can do. What’s for dinner now that smoking is easier than ever?

Let us know what you think of the charcoal snake method! This is unlike anything else, and it’s game-changing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *