Advantages of Charcoal Snake Method and How You Should Make One

Advantages of Charcoal Snake Method and How You Should Make One

Grilling is one of the most exciting things people do during vacation or even on the weekends. Everyone loves to do it because it is an excellent way of having a good time with family and friends, where you can have your favorite smoky mouth-watering barbecues. 

The first thing that goes through our mind is a fancy grill to cook the best at our place. However, high-quality grills always require a considerable amount of money. 

But if you want the barbecue flavor without spending a lot of money, then there is an alternative cooking method available for you.

In this article, we have determined to discuss the advantages of the Charcoal Snake Method and how you can make one of them for your next barbecue party.


What is Charcoal Snake Method?

It is one of the ways of cooking with indirect heat, mainly when you keep the food a little distant from the fire and cook it in deficient heat by continuing on the grill for long hours. Furthermore, the time interval of grilling depends on how many foods are on the grill. 

You might wonder how the word snake associates with a grilling method, but it is indeed a part of the process because it guides you on how you will arrange the briquettes in the grill. As it organized in snake shape, thus is called Snake Method.

Advantages of Making Charcoal Snake Method

Several reasons make this method indeed very useful for everyone. Some of them are listed below to give you a brief idea about how making this can be beneficial for you.

• Low Expense

We are all aware that a good grill will cost you a lot of money. However, using this method for grilling can be economically helpful for you. It is because this process does not require a lot of charcoal. All you need is a small amount of charcoal, approximately one bag that you can use for several smoking sessions. 

• Easy Maintenance

If you are a little lazy about checking out your griller every time, then this method is for you. It does not require 24/7 inspection; however, your only job is to check whether the heat is too high or low because it might affect your grilling. 

Besides, the heat shield which you can easily create by tucking some foil paper around the food will help you to maintain the heat. As long as the outside wind and temperature are precise, you do not need to worry about the grill.

• Serve Various Purposes

The griller you are making is quite similar to a smoker. You don’t need to by a smoker as this grill can do the job of smoking meat. 

You can use it for your other methods like domino/fuse, the top-down burn method, ember, and minion methods that will save your money from buying a new tool.

Besides, you can clean it by following an effortless procedure. On the other hand, fancy smokers are quite a lengthy process to clean.

Steps to Build Snake Method

There are certain things you need before you start building this griller. Let’s see what those necessary materials are.

The Things You Need to Begin with:

The beauty of the charcoal method is that it is straightforward and easy to make. All you need to do is follow some steps and keep every required material beforehand.

Preparing the Charcoal Snake

Preparing the Charcoal Snake
  • You have to start by organizing briquettes into two layers by creating a half-circle. The first row should attach to the edge of your griller, and the next row should connect to the first one.
  • Then continue the same process for making the snake taller and put one more layer on the top.
  • Now it is time to put some chunk of woods. You should maintain at least three to four inches gap between each of them, and also approximately four pieces are enough for one time. However, if you prefer the smokier flavor, you can consider adding wood chips over there.
  • The next step is placing the water pan. It is one of the essential parts of the griller because it helps to regulate the temperature. Also, it balances moisture throughout cooking.
  • Finally, fill your bucket with water and try to keep around three-quarters of the pan.

Lighting the Charcoal Snake

Lighting the Charcoal Snake
  • The very first step toward lighting the griller is to organize some briquettes bottom of the chimney starter.
  • Then take a towel or a piece of paper dumped into vegetable oil for lightening the chimney. However, you can also use some fire cubes in it.
  • Now put some charcoal in one corner of the snake.
  • Use some tongs for lit where some of them should be placed on unlit briquettes and some on the top of the first row.
  • To keep your food away from the smoke, place the lid in an appropriate position.

Food Placement

Food Placement

If you are done with this procedure, it means now your snake is utterly ready for setting food. So, try to place your food in the middle portion of the grate. You should be careful while putting food because it should not go directly above the snake.

Moreover, you can apply either direct or indirect grilling. Therefore, put the food over burning charcoal if you want very smoky vibes, else keep your food away from the charcoal and cook it in a low flame.

Temperature Adjustment

Temperature Adjustment

When you are done with putting your favorite dish in the grill, then you might think about how to control the flame. It is an essential thing to consider because your food might burn if the fire is too high. 

At the same time, the very lower heat can end up with half-cooked food. Thus, you need to make sure that your food is cooking at an appropriate temperature. Some of the ways are given below to do it.

  • It is vital to keep both the upper and lower vents open.
  • Check the temperature with your dual probe thermometer, and if it hits 200° F, then you need to adjust the bottom vent of your griller.
  • To keep the pace of oxygen, you can slightly close it as long as you do not reach your desired temperature.
  • Regardless, the best way to manage the temperature is to open the vent when you need to increase the heat and close it when you think the heat is too much.
  • Try to keep the heat constant for better-cooked food.
  • Finally, if the accurate inspection is essential to you, then consider using two thermometers — one in the grate section and another in the food section.



Things to Consider

There are a few things you need to be careful about before or while you are working on a charcoal snake method. Considering these factors can give you the maximum output from this method.

• Organize the Briquettes

The first step of this method is to organize the briquettes. Thus, you should put them in a way that all of them will remain well-packed. There cannot be any gap between those briquettes; else, it might create some issue while you lit the flame.

• Check the Amount of Burning Materials

The amount of burning materials decides how long the heat will continue. Therefore, if you think you need more time to prepare your food, in that case, add more fuel.

If you are planning to use this method in winter, then you need to be more cautious about organizing the briquettes.

• Use A Thicker Wall

As we know, a thicker wall can absorb heat and can keep it for a long time. Hence, if the weather is a bit cold, then try to arrange an impenetrable resistance that can insulate heat.

Furthermore, even though it is a very simple and straightforward process, you need to consider a few things to get the best result.

Charcoal snake method kettle grill

• Maintain the Temperature

So, if you do not want your hard work to go to waste and have the actual taste, then maintain the temperature very carefully. It is because high temperatures can burn your food, and also shallow temperatures will end up taking a very long time to cook.

• Condition of The Ground

Besides, another factor is the condition of the ground because depending on that, you need to adjust briquettes. If the soil is humid, then you will need more fuels as it tends to absorb more heat than the drier one.

Final Thoughts: You might wonder that charcoal grill requires way more work than using gas for it. However, this method can give you a completely different flavor and taste that cannot be possible with any other process.

One of the best parts of this method is that you do not have to worry about buying an expensive smoker if you wish to have a barbecue party with your friends. Therefore, you will always have an alternative if your smoker is broken or you do not have one.

So, if you want to enjoy your weekends with smoky, delicious barbecues, then you should try this method.

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Theresa Lori

Hi, I'm Theresa. My passion for grilling delicacy gradually built during the time I was living with my parents. My family members especially my mother was a great fan of grilled dishes to and from the love of food. I started preparing smoked food with my mom. This bonding helped me to know more and more about to smoke, grill what always I share on So, in two words you can call me a BBQ lover.

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