Originally Posted by spareheat
NOW FOR SOMETHING CHALLENGING.
I did a smoke last week for a shelter in town, as mostly the whole state was out of power due to the big snow storm we got. I usually use plain charcoal briquettes but this time I had some bags of hardwood lump coals. I love using it for grilling, but wasn't sure about smoking. So I tried it. After 1 hour, I really didn't like the smell coming out of the smoker.. ashtray-like. To avoid the food getting its own ashtray taste, I wrapped the 4 pork butts I was doing (2 smokers) in foil and left it over night. Early the next morning, all the coals had just about gone out, and the temperature was dropping. So I purchased some regular briquettes and saved the rest of the cook until ready. The meat was very tender (all wrapped up) and tasted fine with some brown sugar added, though it had a slight ashtray smell.
So the question.. how would you smoke with the hardwood lump coals? The 2 problems I saw was the nasty smell of it smoldering, and very difficult heat control and length. It was considerably hotter in the beginning, and it all burnt out by the next morning. I frequently do smokes overnight with plain charcoal briquettes without any issues.
And finally, say there is a technique to doing this with hardwood lump coals. Is there a reason to bother with it? I merely HAD them so wanted to use them, but wouldn't buy them for smoking. Definitely for grilling though!
I built my first drum a few weeks ago as well I have just started using lump. I have been fighting bad smoke and temp swings everytime I use the drum. I read this yesturday, I today I did a test burn with only bricketts. WOW. FINNALLY thin blue smoke and stable temps
I was about to give my drum away, but I think I'll keep it a little longer now. No more lump in my drum. Thanks[/QUOTE]
Not sure why that happened? I exclusively use Royal Oak lump in my drums and grills for the last 5 years and never have any issue with temps of over-smudging. I've run it for 16 hours and still had quite a bit of charcoal left. Not much ash since there's no filler or coal in it either.