How Does the Charcoal Snake Method Work?
The snake method, also known as the circular coal arrangement method, is the arrangement of charcoal in a circular arrangement on the grilling grate.
This method is also often called the fuse method of charcoal burning in Australia. This is because, just like a fuse, it guarantees you steady temperatures by preventing your grill from overheating.
Burning charcoal briquettes are placed on one end of the arrangement, which sequentially ignites adjacent charcoal briquettes till all of them reduce to ash.
This progressive burning of the charcoal briquettes renders stable temperatures that can be used for barbecuing over extended periods.
This method is ideal when you want to smoke your meat for several hours without continuously adding charcoal during the cook. Paired with one of our recommended wireless grilling thermometers, It gives you the freedom to set-it and forget-it till it is time to eat!
When set-up correctly, the snake method guarantees 12 hours of steady, low heat for your cookout! This constant heat is especially helpful in kettle-style charcoal grills and affordable barrel-style charcoal grills since these grills don’t have well-insulated walls.
To improve heat retention in thin-walled charcoal grills, it’s best to use a water pan. The water pan absorbs excess heat and releases steam instead. This prevents your meats from drying out and acts as a natural reservoir of heat when the charcoal dies down.
High-quality Kamado grills have much better insulation than their charcoal counterparts, but you can use the snake charcoal burning method with these grills too. Just be sure that you are not using a heavily stacked snake because the cook may become too hot.