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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 01-17-2011, 10:10 PM   #1
AMoore
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Default Lump vs. Charcoal

I was introduced to smoking from a friend who competes. He believes in lump over charcoal because it burns longer, cleaner and hotter. He is successful with his techniques. Is this just preference or is lump better. I use lump because I have had success and it does burn cleaner. It is a bit more expensive. I use Cowboy Lump and my friend uses Wicked Good. Any thoughts or suggestions will be appreciated.
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Unread 01-17-2011, 10:16 PM   #2
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Just a brethren suggestion...try something in lump besides Cowboy!!!! Anything!!!
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Unread 01-17-2011, 10:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meat Burner View Post
Just a brethren suggestion...try something in lump besides Cowboy!!!! Anything!!!
AMEN meat burner

Cowboy is not the best, greatest, or even good. its made of framing parts. not really hardwood.

Royal Oak lump costs me 2$ LESS than cowboy AND its is 3 pounds MORE. i can buy a 11.5 pound bag of RO lump for 6.37$

To answer your original question. Totally depends on the charcoal briquetts you use. they do have 100% all natural briqs which is lump in pillow form.

Here are a few in briq form:

Kingsford compititon
Stubbs 100% all natural
Wicked good
Rancher

Briqs are great for even distrbution of heat and since they are all natural, the ones above, you get a very clean, crisp flavor. Lump is great for grilling because it does indeed burn way HOT. Since it burns hotter, it will burn faster. It does produce less ash which is nice. However, using it in a large charcoal basket, at times, can be annoying. The uneven shape of each piece sometimes frustrates people when trying to pack it in a space. But thats what a hammer is for right?

Some people swear they can taste a difference between kingsford blue bag and 100% natural briqs. I dont use anything but 100% natural because it is available and its a good price. Plus when people see me using lump, they think its a real wood fire that i slaved over to tend. hahaha

hope this helps
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Unread 01-17-2011, 10:49 PM   #4
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The wonderful world of charcoal, laid out in all its glory, right here:

http://www.nakedwhiz.com/lumprankpoll.htm

this is a fantastic website - lots of great info - these guys are very serious about testing charcoal.

There are some good briqs - Rancher (& Trader Joes, which is Rancher), Royal Oak Briqs, WG, but for long cooks I like lump due to having less ash to deal with - I've been using RO, Nature Glo (which is institutional RO I think), and when I feel like spending a ton of money, Real Montana - this is amazing stuff but really expensive esp. considering it needs to be shipped. I do make sure I have their maple lump around 'cause it lights up quick and burns super hot so it's good for temp drops.

If you are in an area where you can get Ozark Oak, that's good stuff. I think Hasty Bake is OO rebranded - there's other good stuff out there, I just haven't tried it all (yet!).
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Unread 01-17-2011, 10:53 PM   #5
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It's a personal preference, there is no correct answer here. I prefer lump myself, just so you know where I'm coming from. It definitely burns cleaner and hotter, but in general, I do not agree that lump burns longer. Some brands of lump can burn for quite a while, but Kingsford briquettes can burn for a very long time for a lot less money.

The reason I like lump is because of the reduced ash, and faster response to air adjustments. I also like lump better because it is just wood, that's it, nothing else. In fact, some lump even produces a smoky flavor in food.

Stay away from Cowboy, and tell your friend that uses Cowboy that they should do themselves a favor and start looking at other brands of lump. Cowboy is truly that bad.

Pretty much anyone, anywhere can find Royal Oak lump somewhere, many get it from Wal-Mart. Wicked Good is basically top of the line lump. It burns hot, and burns for a long time. It is pretty pricey though, but worth it as long as you can afford it. Otherwise you should check out the Royal Oak.

The 100% hardwood briquettes mentioned above also work, but I still prefer lump. It is truly personal preference, there is no one correct answer or else we would all be doing it that one way.
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Unread 01-17-2011, 10:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigabyte View Post
It's a personal preference, there is no correct answer here. I prefer lump myself, just so you know where I'm coming from. It definitely burns cleaner and hotter, but in general, I do not agree that lump burns longer. Some brands of lump can burn for quite a while, but Kingsford briquettes can burn for a very long time for a lot less money.

The reason I like lump is because of the reduced ash, and faster response to air adjustments. I also like lump better because it is just wood, that's it, nothing else. In fact, some lump even produces a smoky flavor in food.

Stay away from Cowboy, and tell your friend that uses Cowboy that they should do themselves a favor and start looking at other brands of lump. Cowboy is truly that bad.

Pretty much anyone, anywhere can find Royal Oak lump somewhere, many get it from Wal-Mart. Wicked Good is basically top of the line lump. It burns hot, and burns for a long time. It is pretty pricey though, but worth it as long as you can afford it. Otherwise you should check out the Royal Oak.

The 100% hardwood briquettes mentioned above also work, but I still prefer lump. It is truly personal preference, there is no one correct answer or else we would all be doing it that one way.
Chris,

You don't use Matchlight? And I thought you were darn good cook!
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Unread 01-17-2011, 11:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meat Burner View Post
Just a brethren suggestion...try something in lump besides Cowboy!!!! Anything!!!
You said it!!!! Most frustrating stuff I've ever used! They sell a ton of it, and for just ole basic grilling, it's fine. If you're trying to smoke on a low slow burn, I wouldn't give you a penny for it....

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtr View Post
The wonderful world of charcoal, laid out in all its glory, right here:

http://www.nakedwhiz.com/lumprankpoll.htm

this is a fantastic website - lots of great info - these guys are very serious about testing charcoal.
Definitely check out this site! My last butt cook was done w/ Stubbs bought from Lowe's. Worked just fine. I've also used RO with good success. I've got a bag of Original Lump that I will experiment with next, which also makes Rancher, I believe. Both all natural...

The one thing I will say about the bricks, is it does seem to burn more evenly for me, or at least in Ole Blue. Definitely stick w/ the natural bricks though, and good luck!!!
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Unread 01-17-2011, 11:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btcg View Post
Chris,

You don't use Matchlight? And I thought you were darn good cook!
You weren't supposed to reveal the secret!
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Unread 01-17-2011, 11:08 PM   #9
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I was trying to be somewhat nice with my response but the "Cowboy" lump is about the worst I have ever used. There is a lot of it around here for sale. We use about 50/50 lump and briqs most of the time. We like that combination. But "Cowboy" lump ain't in the 50/50 mix.
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Unread 01-17-2011, 11:08 PM   #10
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Matchlight is the Sh*t! I personally like that lightable bag kind. just light the bag and sniff away. Talk bout a party! haha jk
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Unread 01-17-2011, 11:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigabyte View Post
You weren't supposed to reveal the secret!
Me bad....sooory.
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Unread 01-17-2011, 11:14 PM   #12
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On a serious note:

I stopped by Home Depot today in Rockville, and they had a ton of Matchlight on sale today: $5.99 for a big bag. Smiled to myself and walked on by.

They had a pallet full of the Cowboys at the same price. Having used it one time (and having most of the bag left), I'd never buy it again. The remainder of what I have is for emergency use only.

No deal on any of the Kingsford around here.
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Unread 01-17-2011, 11:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btcg View Post
On a serious note:

I stopped by Home Depot today in Rockville, and they had a ton of Matchlight on sale today: $5.99 for a big bag. Smiled to myself and walked on by.

They had a pallet full of the Cowboys at the same price. Having used it one time (and having most of the bag left), I'd never buy it again. The remainder of what I have is for emergency use only.

No deal on any of the Kingsford around here.
i know huh? it drives me nuts. utah never has deals on charcoal. i once told walmart that another walmart sold RO lump for 4.87 a bag. it worked but the walmart was back east. never did that again. i felt bad for ripping them off
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Unread 01-17-2011, 11:26 PM   #14
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I started out using Stubbs natural briqs and Kingsford Competition briqs, and they are both good. I then got into using lump. I've tried the Lazzari (hard to light), Cowboy (not good), and a few others (they were on sale). Lately, I have been using Best in the West Mesquite Lump (not sure where it comes from) mixed with the Stubbs. BITW is not the best lump...it's average. However, Smart and Final sells 40 lb bags for $14.49.........it's been working very good for me and I do notice a slightly different (better) flavor from the "mesquite."

The briquets, in my opinion, heat more evenly. In my limited amount of smoking and grilling, I've found using lump is a little trickier to maintain temps (it's probably more attributable to the user), but like a couple other posts mentioned, I currently mix natural briqs with lump, depending on what/how I'm cooking.
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Unread 01-17-2011, 11:32 PM   #15
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Yeah Matt,

They had 2 big bags bundled together for $15.99 + tax, but that's hardly a good deal. I've got 3 full bags of the blue in my garage + 1 bag of this stuff Whole Foods sells (still unopened).

Stopped at Lowes sunday and one of the workers had all the Kingsford up on a lift. I guess they're moving it to the back of the store until spring.

So I said to the guy: "I'd buy a pallet full if you reduced it (it's $8 something a bag there, too).

The guy said: "A pallet? Really. You should have been here last week, it was a buck a bag."

Now, I was there. It was $8 something a bag. I've been watching both places.

The guy's attitude p'd me off, but I didn't respond.

I should have said :

"Yeah, but Home Depot had it for fifty cents a bag."
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