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Old 02-17-2010, 07:22 PM   #28
EatRBBQ
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Join Date: 01-20-10
Location: Rockford, IL
Default RO Chef's Best - MIA - must be good?

Got out and snagged two more 55 gallon drums and most of the parts to UDS them up. In my travels I visited a handful of DoItBest hardware joints around the area. One place I had called, asked if they had the 40# bag of Royal Oak Chef's Best in stock and was told yes, "we have 4 or 5 bags."

That location was my first stop today and by the time I'd got there all they had was sold and gone, never even got to see the bags. The DoItBest Man said "oh, I remember yer call, I thought that was you here earlier buying all we had." Restock is next Tuesday. I guess the RO Chef's Best must be decent, someone locally is buying it regularly.

In any case, I snagged the following products for my UDS burn test:

Royal Oak 100% Natural Hardwood Lump (Red bag: Wal-mart)
Royal Oak 100% Natural "Steakhouse" Lump (Greenish bag: Menard's)
Stubb's Briquettes (Lowes)
Frontier Brand 100% Natural Lump (Lowes)

The RO Redbag, Wal-mart was on my list, easy enough. I saw the RO "Steakhouse" bags as a new arrival at Menard's, figured I might as well burn some and see what the difference is between the ROs. I suspect the "Steakhouse" stuff might be smaller chunks (yikes?)

I couldn't recall reading anything, any place, ever, about the Frontier Brand Lump, I'm even typing this before checking. I picked some up to include in the test because my local Lowe's guy said they stock it year round due to demand and he has heard it's good stuff. He personally uses nothing but Stubb's for grilling and smoking

By the weekend I should have 5 cloned UDS in my garage/driveway at one time for a day or three. I plan to run a reasonably scientific comparison burn/smoke. I'd like some input and ideas on how to keep measurements close enough to be fair to the differences in lump and briquettes.

I can use the same chimney for each rig, just run a notepad log for each UDS - time/temp/etc. So filling one chimney up to the top with each type charcoal to me seems like a volume comparison (I'm figuring to be fair I'll have to play chalkie black puzzle maker a bit with the lump).

Or I could weigh equally amounts, I have buckets and an accurate scale I could use.

I'd like opinions on which way to go here. I'm leaning towards using a volume test simply because I've never weighed before, I go by experience and what fits in the basket.

My basic plan is to load up a full chimney of (insert brand) charcoal, light it on a turkey frier with propane for 3 minutes, set aside for 10 minutes, load into my charcoal basket and let stand 1 minute, drop into a UDS with 1" air intake open on the bottom, 2" exhaust open up top. I'll position each UDS with air intakes and exhaust in same general location so each one gets the same weather and wind. Then begin logging time, temp, and anything else of interest. Repeat that for each brand, as well as run one other with what I normally use, Kingsford Blue Bag.

This smoker test would be about tracking time, temperatures, and length of burn. I'll photo log the entire run, post it on my website and probably here too, and in the end, probably the next day, I'll even compare remaining ash levels by volume, weigh, and sight.

Any input of suggestions on the "Smoke Burn Test UDS" or any intel on the Frontier Brand Lump is mucho appreciated!
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Rich (eatrbbq.com) Weber, Chargriller, assorted UDS
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