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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 02-16-2010, 06:23 PM   #16
C-Town Smoker
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If you are looking for a briquette that is going to produce the same amount of ash as lump FORGET IT! At this point, there is nothing on the market that can do it...besides that coconut stuff...and that seems pretty hard to come by!
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Unread 02-16-2010, 06:27 PM   #17
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I have been using blue bag K-ford. I only use 1 chimney's worth in my stick burner to get the party started. It's all wood after that. I always stock up on the K-ford at Home Depot's Memorial Day sale, it's priced real cheap. I buy enough to last me the whole year. I will continue to use it as long as I can get it cheap. It makes a great fire starter. I can appreciate your concern for it's use in a UDS. I also use it in my Weber kettles and I don't have any problems with taste or ash getting on my food. Like others have said here, I only use it once it is completely lit.
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Unread 02-16-2010, 06:32 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C-Town Smoker View Post
If you are looking for a briquette that is going to produce the same amount of ash as lump FORGET IT! At this point, there is nothing on the market that can do it...besides that coconut stuff...and that seems pretty hard to come by!

The naked whiz says wicked good briquettes is better than some lump.
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Unread 02-16-2010, 06:32 PM   #19
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I use the blue bag and have no problems with ash in my drum or wsm.
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Unread 02-16-2010, 06:45 PM   #20
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Using blue bag in my WSM. Next time near Lowes will pick up some Stubbs.

Thanks for the burn test.
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Unread 02-16-2010, 07:08 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EatRBBQ View Post
Do you mix because of whatever you have on hand or for another reason?

In the UDS do you notice a difference between those two brands?
I mix because that's what I saw the brothers in the UDS thread doin. Soakin up as much as I can and figured if it was workin for the folks here it'd work for me. I haven't done anything other than about a 60/40 mix so far (60 briqs/40 lump), so I can't compare one or the other.

I have been putting a few hardwood chunks in the mix too though for smoke.
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Unread 02-16-2010, 07:55 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiefOsceola View Post
I mix because that's what I saw the brothers in the UDS thread doin. Soakin up as much as I can and figured if it was workin for the folks here it'd work for me. I haven't done anything other than about a 60/40 mix so far (60 briqs/40 lump), so I can't compare one or the other.

I have been putting a few hardwood chunks in the mix too though for smoke.
Been doing the same thing...
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Unread 02-16-2010, 07:57 PM   #23
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Also anyone who has used the RO chefs select briquettes tell me what do you think of them...Just want some opinions bedore I buy a bag.
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Unread 02-16-2010, 09:16 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiefOsceola View Post
And to think I thought charcoal was charcoal before I joined up here. Little did I know! Been using Royal Oak & Kingsford mixed in my UDS so far (mainly because those are the 2 brands most readily available in a small town).


I've found something strange just by using the Kingsford briquettes to light my lump in my wsm. I pack my lump and wood chunks in tight, leaving just enough room for one layer of K and then light the K in the chimney and spread evenly. However, the funny thing is this: my briquettes are not burning down, not even after several hours like a rib cook. I'm finding them still large enough to use again, and they got lit and put on top of all the lump! Can anyone explain that? It's like the lump steals all the oxygen that the K needs to burn. The lump, BTW, is B and B, which is dense and burns a long time. I don't understand it, but I've noticed it twice, so I don't plan on mixing the two anymore.

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Unread 02-16-2010, 09:38 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by dudz View Post
Also anyone who has used the RO chefs select briquettes tell me what do you think of them...Just want some opinions bedore I buy a bag.
You and me both. Evidently, not too many folks have tried it.

BTW, I wouldn't be too concerned about ash with your UDS. If it's real windy, just shut your vents before you take the lid off. Ash choking the fire is mainly an issue with offsets.

Have you tried just straight Stubbs briquettes in your drum? I use lump, but really think it's "flavor" is often exxagerated. Once I smoked some chicken in an offset using RO lump and no wood just to see what it would be like. To tell you the truth, it could've passed for oven-baked, and nobody at the table disagreed with me, either! I'm sure my pallette isn't as discerning as others, but just sayin'...

The thing is, I don't want to "taste what Kingsford smells like", so I just use what smells good, which is pretty much any lump or "natural" briquette like Stubbs or the old Rancher I used to be able to get. Maybe the RO chef's select is all natural. I don't know for sure. I know, it's all in my head, but paraphrasing, even Jim Minion has expressed concerns about using his method with something like K briquettes. I believe he's used Duraflame hardwood charcoal....but yeah, folks have loaded chit loads of K into their wsm's and won contests, I know. It doesn't change the fact that the stuff stinks, though, does it?

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Unread 02-16-2010, 11:47 PM   #26
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Default Do It Best

Saw someone mentioning DoItBest hardware so I did a little research knowing we've got 2 or 3 locations local to me.

I found one location, on my route for running and chores tomorrow, that is showing stock for:
Royal Oak Chef's Best 40# bags
Royal Oak 100% Natural Lump 17# bags
Barbeque Wood Flavor brand 100% natural lump 10# bags (found some positive reviews, might as well test it too)
Hickory Chunks
Pecan Chunks

They even have a competative price on some hardware I need.
I even got the BBQ Widow's approval nod for purchasing some supplies for test runs and seasoning new smokers.

I've got a lead on some Stubb's at the local Lowes assuming no one cleaned them out tonight.

Good thing I'm picking up empty drums tomorrow, I'll have assorted charcoal to load them back up with for the ride home. My next UDS can get familiar with the fuel in the bag before a match has been struck. Maybe it will be good mojo!
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Unread 02-17-2010, 12:28 AM   #27
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I've used the RO Chef's Select in my CG offset and like it alot. Haven't tried it in the UDS yet.
Very natural smell/flavor even more so than that of Stubbs and long burn time.
fair amount of ash, but it's what I consider "soft ash" it falls away nicely from the burning center to allow a consistent burn.

It does spark a little bit as it lights, but not enough to make crazy sparks flying everywhere... it's 100% hardwood char which tends to spark a bit anyways in my expirence.

If you try it in the UDS, I would not add any wood chips or chunks to it, I think you'll get a great smoke from the briqs as they light... thats my plan anyways!

I use the pecan chunks and apple chunks from doitbest and love them as well. large chunks, small amount of bark - less than others I've tried - and a good price.
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Unread 02-17-2010, 06:22 PM   #28
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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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Unread 02-17-2010, 06:54 PM   #29
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^^^ I did mine by weight just because of the different weights and densities of each charcoal...let me know how it goes.
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Unread 02-17-2010, 06:56 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Russell View Post
I've found something strange just by using the Kingsford briquettes to light my lump in my wsm. I pack my lump and wood chunks in tight, leaving just enough room for one layer of K and then light the K in the chimney and spread evenly. However, the funny thing is this: my briquettes are not burning down, not even after several hours like a rib cook. I'm finding them still large enough to use again, and they got lit and put on top of all the lump! Can anyone explain that? It's like the lump steals all the oxygen that the K needs to burn. The lump, BTW, is B and B, which is dense and burns a long time. I don't understand it, but I've noticed it twice, so I don't plan on mixing the two anymore.

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Interesting.. I have never experienced this but it would be something to look into.
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