Dutch Oven Cooking Charcoal Briquette Temperature Chart and Guide

If you’re like most new dutch oven cookers you’ve just piled on the briquettes and hoped for the best. Sometimes it worked great, and other times, not so much. If only there were some scientific method to determine the proper number of briquettes to use so you can get more consistent results.

Fortunately there is! Someone has done the math to figure out how many thermal units each briquette generates and how many you’ll need to maintain the proper temperature inside your dutch oven.

The really good news is that its a surprisingly easy formula. Take the diameter of the dutch oven, double, and that is the number of briquettes to use for 350° F (about 180° C.) with slightly more of the briquettes on top. Increase for hotter and decrease for cooler temperatures.

The chart is below, but depending on the recipe and desired results you may want to alter the top/bottom ratio a bit. For example, when I make my pizza I try to really load the oven up to get hot temperatures, especially on the bottom, as pizza is better when cooked at hotter temperatures and I want the high heat to give a good crunch to the crust. That is where you still have to experiment, but that is half the fun, right?

Here’s the chart:

Temperature/#
briquettes
325°F 350°F 375°F 400°F 425°F 450°F
Oven size 160°C 180°C 190°C 200°C 220°C 230°C
8″
15
16
17
18
19
20
TOP
10
11
11
12
13
14
BOTTOM
5
5
6
6
6
6
10″
19
21
23
25
27
29
TOP
13
14
16
17
18
19
BOTTOM
6
7
7
8
9
10
12″
23
25
27
29
31
33
TOP
16
17
18
19
21
22
BOTTOM
7
8
9
10
10
11
14″
30
32
34
36
38
40
TOP
20
21
22
24
25
26
BOTTOM
10
11
12
12
13
14

Find this useful?  Let us know in the comments below.

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