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Teamfour 07-27-2013 07:01 PM

Total Fail with Stubbs Charcoal
I cooked my first KCBS comp this weekend. Since KBB gets such a bad rap (I have no issues with it in my BWS Party), I decided to try a bag of Stubbs.

We loaded the basket up inn the Party and dumped about 10 lit coals (KBB) in the right front corner. The temp climbed to about 160 from the lit coals and then started falling like a rock. I opened all vents, exhaust, and turned on the Guru. For 30 minutes the temp continued to fall to about 120.

We decided to pull the basket out to see what was up. As soon as we removed the basket and set it on the ground, the entire pile of briquettes ignited with a very strange white, wispy flame and a nearly toxic smoke cloud. We quickly dumped the entire basket in a bucket of water.

After that scare, we loaded up with KBB and lit it with a Weber cube. Temp came up to 240 as usual in about 40 minutes.

I wouldn't touch Stubbs again if it was free. In fact we left the half full bag for the trash guy at the end of the comp, and they picked up everything except the Stubbs.

HeSmellsLikeSmoke 07-27-2013 07:06 PM

Sounds like the Stubbs version of matchlight ?

Edit: Well I find no mention of such a Stubbs product. I can see an oxygen starved fire bursting into flames when you put the basket out in the air, but the toxic smoke cloud part? Weird.

IamMadMan 07-27-2013 07:25 PM

I've used Stubb's and Kingsford Briquettes in my Humphrey's (sort of Backwoods Clone) with no problem from either. I now have found that I get better control from using lump charcoal. Even though many cookers are similar, they do operate differently.

I hope you did well in the comp considering your misfortune.

Dauvis 07-28-2013 10:07 AM

I had the same problem the first time I used it. It was windy with drizzle that day. I am thinking that Stubbs is really hygroscopic and pulls moisture from the air. The second time I used it, the weather was dry and hot. I did not have any problems and I was using the same bag.

TroyA65 07-28-2013 04:57 PM

Only time I've had a problem with Stubb's was when I tried to cook the day after a huge rain...I think it got damp from the open window it was under. Otherwise it's been great!

caseydog 07-28-2013 05:03 PM

I had a similar experience with Stubb's charcoal once. It looked to me like my charcoal was wet, even though it didn't feel wet. It made very little heat, and a lot of white smoke.


Teamfour 07-28-2013 05:33 PM

Interesting comments about moisture. I did fill the basket about five hours ahead of time and had it sitting outside the smoker. Maybe that was the problem

Gasket 07-28-2013 05:33 PM

I have only used Stubbs once, as I prefer cooking with lump. It was a cold and rainy night and I was doing a butt. I got the temp in my WSM up to 225* and it stayed there for 10+ hours. All in all I'd say it was a pretty good experience with the Stubbs.

boogiesnap 07-28-2013 06:09 PM


Originally Posted by Teamfour (Post 2568863)
Interesting comments about moisture. I did fill the basket about five hours ahead of time and had it sitting outside the smoker. Maybe that was the problem

that can occur with any charcoal. i used stubbs for @ 2 years(i use KBB now)and never once had a problem.

one time, at band camp, i prepared my WSM for a cook the night before, including filling the charcoal ring. i forget what coal i used then, wicked good, maybe?, but i had a real hard time getting it to temp.

RemoGaggi 07-28-2013 06:39 PM

I've used Stubbs once and I really didn't notice any difference from the Kingsford Competition (Costco) I been using.

With that said, it appears that Stubbs is not "thicker than water" and to get your "everlasting love" of the flame going consistently, you will need to do some "shadow dancing" with the KBB, and hopefully it will "be your everything"! (Shout out to Boogiesnap)

ChickenWang 07-28-2013 06:43 PM

I have used Stubbs for years and have never had a problem with it. Like others here have said, maybe it was just the weather.

ICDEDTURKES 07-28-2013 07:27 PM

Ive used a couple a bags of Stubbs in the Akorn with good results.. I find my vents are a "fuzz" more open than with lump but good none the less.. I have a bag for a few months now but am so dialed in with lump in the Akorn I have not touched it.. When I use it if I have problems will report back..

nthole 07-28-2013 10:29 PM

I've used Stubbs for years without problem and love it. Sounds very odd.

QansasjayhawQ 07-28-2013 11:49 PM

I like Stubbs a lot - gotta say it must've been something other than the Stubbs that caused it to behave that way.
I use it all the time in all my cookers.
I keep it out in the garage where it's dry and cool all year round.
I'm glad you were able to recover.

mbshop 07-29-2013 01:47 AM

i'm not that carefull with my charcoal and i have never had problems with any that i have used. rain, shine , whatever. but i do have to say that one should never do a cook or comp with a new to you charcoal. you need to get things down before that !!

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