Lump vs. Briquets

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DJ
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Lump vs. Briquets

Postby DJ » Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:23 am

What are the advantages of lump vs briquets? I burn lump from time to time in a charcoal basket built like the one Klose builds...burns in an "S" pattern....I have never tried briquets in the basket and am wondering how it would work. I currently get about 5.5 to 6.5 hrs of steady heat, 235* or so during the burn. I normally start with wood, remove most of the burning embers, light up the lump and worry bout it staying lit....seems to take me about an hour to get it going good. In the meantime, my temps have dropped in the pit. I've tried lighting it with a chimney, propane and live embers with about the same success rate, always burns, but takes a while to get it going and get the pit temp back up. I have to remove/re-locate the live embers so as not to light the entire basket at once.....would be sweet, but would definitly cut into the burn time....
Note, I can pretty much only get cowboy lump at this time, Love the Wicked Good, but no one here is carrying it.....
Lowes/Home Depot/Cowboy...is ok, but, it ain't wicked good.
dj
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Burnt Food Dude
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Postby Burnt Food Dude » Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:16 am

Cowboy lump charcoal IMO is the bottom of the barrel lump charcoal. I do know some people swear by it but I think its bad. Quality control leaves a lot to be desires. I've found bolts and nails in the bag. some of the wood had nails in it.

See if there is a restaurant supply place close by you. If there is see if thay can get, or carry, Royal Oak or Nature's Glo lump charcoal. They are both the same thing but the Nature's Glo comes in 40 pound bags. I get Natures here from a local meat house that caters to restaurants.

I use a WSM which is different from an offset firebox but here is what I do. After I pour the lump in the ring, I'll put my hand on the pile and press and swish the lump around. I try to pack it down tight to take up the extra space. As it packs down I'll load in more until I get the amount desires. Then I'll light 1/2 a chimney of briquetts (Royal Oak if I can find it) and dump it in the middle of the packed lump. Button up the WSM and bring it up to temp.

It should keep going without to many drops in temp during the cook.

The lump will burn a little hotter and faster than briquettes but will have a lot less ash. You may have to keep a tighter watch on the lump for heat. In the WSM I can get a 12 to 14 hour burn with lump. With briquettes I can get 16 to 18 hours.

At my last contest a guy was using 2 chargrillers, an ECB, and another cooker I didn't recognize. The ash from my 3 WSMs, on lump charcoal, was less than the ash from 1 chargriller. He was a little shocked about how little ash I had.

The secret is to get the lump packed tight.
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DATsBBQ
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Postby DATsBBQ » Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:45 am

I use lump exclusively in the ceramic. If need be, I can get 12 to 14 hour burns with very little ash. The WSM, well I'm still working on that critter as I've used it less than 6 times but over the 4th of July it went 12hrs plus with fuel left after the butt was done. I used a mixture of lump and charcoal on that cook.

The Naked Whiz has a really data base on lump. I agree with BFD about Cowboy, but I go a step further and flat out call it the worse lump on the market.
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DJ
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Postby DJ » Sun Jul 20, 2008 5:18 pm

Thanks Guys
I'll do some looking and see if I can find something other than the Cowboy.
dj
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Burnt Food Dude
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Postby Burnt Food Dude » Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:44 pm

I've heard from some people that said they found plywood and flooring material in Cowboy. If that is true, I wonder what kind of fumes it is giving off with the smoke.
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Postby TX Sandman » Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:05 pm

DJ wrote:Thanks Guys
I'll do some looking and see if I can find something other than the Cowboy.
dj


I find Royal Oak lump in Wally World. In Maine, you'd have to stock up before end-of-season, but I think you'll like it better than Cowboy.

Lump burns hotter and quicker than briques. Briques are easier to control temps with, though, as they're designed for more even temps and burn times. Briques will have a *lot* more ash than lump because of the binding agents used in their construction.

Ultimately, IMO, it comes down to what you can find and what you like. I know some guys who buy coal by the pallet-full direct from the manufacturer, so there are ways around local supply, but they'll be expensive.
Rob - TX Sandman
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"...grilling is fun and tasty, but it isn't brain surgery and the patient won't die if you mess up."
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