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Old 06-29-2012, 04:59 PM   #1
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Question WSM on Lump: Any benefits to Charcoal Briquettes?

In the manual of the WSM it's mentioned, that the WSM is designed to be used with charcoal briquettes, and the use of lump is not recommended.

Can anybody explain the difference to using lump?

Is it burning hotter and fuel consumed faster on lump?

BTW I am not using water in the water pan any more, but a foiled 18" clay saucer in a foiled water pan, if that matters. Lump costs about the same as briquettes around here, so this is not about the price.
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:12 PM   #2
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I'm not sure why the instructions state to use briquettes, but I have recently started using lump and like the flavor profile better. I was using Stubbs previously.

I think I will use lump for short cooks from now on, and will continue to experiment with lump on long cooks (Butts & Briskies). I cook hot & fast, but the main reason for the switch to lump was for the flavor profile.
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:18 PM   #3
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Some briquettes create an intolerable odor to some folks. Lump generally does not.
Some briquettes create an inordinate amount of ash. Lump generally does not.
Some folks read the WSM manual and do what it says. Others come here or go to TVWBB.

I was a die hard lump user (RO, Grove, B&B, etc...) until I discovered Royal Oak Chef's Select (ROCS) briquettes. It's all I use now. Great aroma, low ash, all natural, and very consistent.

If lump is used in a WSM, and you load the fuel by packing it as tight as you can, burn time differences between lump and briquettes are negligible in my experience.

Experiment. Buy a bag of lump and a bag of briqs. Do a cook with each. Log the cooks and see which performs better. Get as granular as you want with what you record. I logged most of my early cooks until I knew what the WSM was going to do, when, and how.

You can ask all the questions you want here, but until you do it yourself in your own cooker it will be theoretical. Experience is your best teacher.
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:21 PM   #4
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yep, the trick with lump is to pack it tight. seperated/loose lump doesn't burn well.
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Still Smokin View Post
I'm not sure why the instructions state to use briquettes, but I have recently started using lump and like the flavor profile better. I was using Stubbs previously. I think I will use lump for short cooks from now on, and will continue to experiment with lump on long cooks (Butts & Briskies). I cook hot & fast, but the main reason for the switch to lump was for the flavor profile.
Sounds good to me, I should have asked this question earlier, then I would not have bought another ~44 lbs of briquettes today, but lump instead. I am definitely going to try it, but please tell, what do you you consider as "short cooks" in this context?
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Old 06-29-2012, 06:11 PM   #6
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I use lump exclusively in all my cookers except the Lang, which is a stick burner. The WSM, the UDS and the two small off-sets really like the lump. Nice burn, good smell and taste and almost no ash production are my reasons. Lump IS more expensive here but I'm no going to scrimp a few pennies when it comes to taste!

Long cooks of 12 hours or more or short cooks on the grill, Lump all the way.
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Old 06-29-2012, 06:12 PM   #7
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I think lump burns hotter and faster than bricks. I use bricks for longer smokes.
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Old 06-29-2012, 06:17 PM   #8
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The only difference I have found between lump and briquettes in my WSM is that, before I had a temperature controller, the briquettes were easier for me to hold at a constant temperature. I still use briquettes, because the I hate buying a bag of lump, and having a good percentage of it tiny pieces that fall through the grate. It's just a personal gripe of mine.

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Old 06-29-2012, 07:56 PM   #9
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I've read somewhere Weber does not recommend lump with the WSM, as it does burn hotter, and it can run away with high temps if you're lighting too much at a time. With the use of the minion method, this simply can't happen, plus of course packing the fire basket tightly..

Feel free to use lump.

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Old 06-29-2012, 08:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harbormaster View Post
Some briquettes create an intolerable odor to some folks. Lump generally does not.
Some briquettes create an inordinate amount of ash. Lump generally does not.
Some folks read the WSM manual and do what it says. Others come here or go to TVWBB.

I was a die hard lump user (RO, Grove, B&B, etc...) until I discovered Royal Oak Chef's Select (ROCS) briquettes. It's all I use now. Great aroma, low ash, all natural, and very consistent.

If lump is used in a WSM, and you load the fuel by packing it as tight as you can, burn time differences between lump and briquettes are negligible in my experience.

Experiment. Buy a bag of lump and a bag of briqs. Do a cook with each. Log the cooks and see which performs better. Get as granular as you want with what you record. I logged most of my early cooks until I knew what the WSM was going to do, when, and how.

You can ask all the questions you want here, but until you do it yourself in your own cooker it will be theoretical. Experience is your best teacher.
Great post. I also use Royal Oak Chefs Best. I get mine from doitbest.com with free site to store delivery.
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Old 06-30-2012, 04:39 AM   #11
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None of the brands you have over there are available here, so no Kingsford and no Royal Oak. Just bought those 44 lbs of Tarrington House briquettes yesterday, because they were slightly cheaper than the Weber Long Lasting Charcoal Briquettes I used so far, to see if there really is any difference in how long they last.

Lump is about the same or slightly cheaper than briquettes here. Before I got my WSM, I always only used lump on my African Cow Dung Charcoal Grill 15", because just once I tried some no-name briquettes and they left some strange taste on the meat, which I didn't like at all.

BTW How do you light lump the Minion way? Do you just substitute briquettes with lump, so if I usually light 20 briquettes in the Weber Rapidfire Chimney, would I then use 20 pieces of lump, or does it require less or more?
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:09 AM   #12
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"Harbomaster" and "caseydog" made some good points.

I use KBB and RO lump.
Temperature control is easier with briquettes though they do make more ash then lump.
KBB is cheaper, so I use it for most of my cooks in my WSM. I save my RO lump for grilling in my kettle, because it does burn hotter.

Bob
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by This is not your pork! View Post
Before I got my WSM, I always only used lump on my African Cow Dung Charcoal Grill 15", because just once I tried some no-name briquettes and they left some strange taste on the meat, which I didn't like at all.
Could it be the cow dung grill that left the bad taste?











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Old 07-01-2012, 05:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoothsmoke View Post
Could it be the cow dung grill that left the bad taste?


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Old 07-01-2012, 08:40 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harbormaster View Post
I was a die hard lump user (RO, Grove, B&B, etc...) until I discovered Royal Oak Chef's Select (ROCS) briquettes. It's all I use now. Great aroma, low ash, all natural, and very consistent.
Best charcoal made. (I assume you mean Chef's Best.)

Last edited by Vision; 07-01-2012 at 09:49 AM..
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