Serious Eats: Talk
Adam recently linked back to a post that mentions going through 3 or 4 chimneys worth of charcoal.
That reminds me of a question -- do the amounts of coal used on TV shows match your reality?
The America's Test Kitchen demos always show surprisingly small amounts of coal in use -- their cookbooks are similarly frugal, with advice like "3/4 of a chimney" during long and slow cooking.
But in practice I've found that unless I really fill my (big Weber brand) chimney to the point where the coals form a dome and start overflowing, I don't really have enough coals to either (a) completely cover the grill or (b) last more than a cycle or two of grilling. It doesn't matter if the coals are to be "banked" to one side either. I'm using regular old Kingston brand.
Does this match your experience?