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Old 12-22-2005, 11:30 PM   #1
jgh1204
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Default Mesquite Wood/Lump Charcoal

If you have read some of my posts, you will see I am no fan of mesquite. My dad did not like it and my mom does not since many places that use mesquite, the que comes out musty, bitter, just a weird twang to it.

However, I have noticed lately, that at least 2 places I have taken my mom, they used mesquite and there was just a good smoke taste without the bitter twang to it.

After reading the smoke color threads, I ask you mesquite lovers, are the places where the que tastes weird using mesquite, cooking with too green of wood, getting to much dark or white smoke and no blue?

I have a few bags of mesquite that are several years old that someone gave me, but I have never used.

Also, I am planning on a big cook this weekend and wanting to use lump and hickory chunks. Does mesquite lump charcoal burn cleaner than mesquite wood? I doubt I can find any other lump around here besides mesquite. Most of the mesquite lump does come from Mexico.

Ok, this post is rambling and all over the place, but what do ya'll think?
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Old 12-23-2005, 01:45 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgh1204
If you have read some of my posts, you will see I am no fan of mesquite. My dad did not like it and my mom does not since many places that use mesquite, the que comes out musty, bitter, just a weird twang to it.

However, I have noticed lately, that at least 2 places I have taken my mom, they used mesquite and there was just a good smoke taste without the bitter twang to it.

After reading the smoke color threads, I ask you mesquite lovers, are the places where the que tastes weird using mesquite, cooking with too green of wood, getting to much dark or white smoke and no blue?

I have a few bags of mesquite that are several years old that someone gave me, but I have never used.

Also, I am planning on a big cook this weekend and wanting to use lump and hickory chunks. Does mesquite lump charcoal burn cleaner than mesquite wood? I doubt I can find any other lump around here besides mesquite. Most of the mesquite lump does come from Mexico.

Ok, this post is rambling and all over the place, but what do ya'll think?
I don't quite know how to address your question but I will try.
1st...I don't know where the mesquite tastes wierd and if you have mesquite that is old, put it in a firepit on the patio and sit around the fire while you are cooking with fresh wood.
JUST KIDDING.......
It could be that some places have a very high temp on the fire and add
additional wood as they are cooking which can create a foul taste not
necessarily mesquite....Hickory can be hateful also.
However, since Mesquite is so plentiful down there, you might try the
MINDEN method with charcoal and a few cut wafers of mesquite so
you will get the slow smoke that will enhance the meat.
As far as charcoal goes....I have had good luck with any kind...just maintain the cooking temp.
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Old 12-23-2005, 05:24 AM   #3
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Some places I know that burn wood use oak as the main wood and add Mesquite to the fire for flavor. try Royal Oak lump with mesquite chunks for the flavor. alittle milder that way but still get the mesquite flavor.
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Old 12-23-2005, 06:41 AM   #4
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I can tell you I did not care for mesquite untill I went to Qfest1 in Texas. Green mesquite can really tant a pit forever. The older mesquite should be fine as long as there is no rot and it has been kept dry. Bill Cannon burns straight mesquite in his pits and all the Q he made for us was awesome. So I would start with a oak or charcoal base and add a little mesquite at a time for your first couple of cooks. My woods off choice is Pecon, Oak, Hickory, Apple, Cherry, and Maple. I will eat food cooked with mesquite but to be honest Bills has been the only Q I truely liked.

If you are concerned about the Mesquite being to strong you can also pre burn it in a chacoal chimney and only add the burnt coal to you pit.
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Old 12-23-2005, 08:26 AM   #5
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1204,

I have use mesquite charcoal (Lazzaro) many times, but just as a coal / heat source and use either Hickory or Pecan to get my smoke. The charcoal burns clean and adds a smooth flavor. I also use the Lazzaro for grilling fajitas, steak and chicken. The mesquite charcoal is not near as strong as regular wood. If your coal bed gets low and you don't want to add more wood, use your charcoal chimney to burn down the charcoal to white and add it then. Don't just add the charcoal to your fire box, as the charcoal will then add the taste your not looking for. You are free to call me if you want 817-401-2670 anytime from 0600 - 2100 hrs.
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Old 12-23-2005, 08:35 AM   #6
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Thanks Ya'll for the replies. I will scout out some lump tonight.
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Old 12-23-2005, 08:35 AM   #7
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mesquite can work just fine. If I have plenty I'll toss a couple splits on to help bring the pit up to temp since it burns hot hand fast. I cook primarily with oak or pecan, but add some mesquite now and then for flavor now and then. If you aren't sure just add a few pieces now and then along with some of the hickory.

The suggestions about burning the mesquite down to coals will work well too. Cooper's in Llano has a good reputation and that's the only way they cook. They burn the stuff down and then shovel the coals into the pit.
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Old 12-23-2005, 09:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorge
Cooper's in Llano has a good reputation and that's the only way they cook. They burn the stuff down and then shovel the coals into the pit.
And Cooper's makes some damn good brisket. JMHO
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Old 12-23-2005, 05:13 PM   #9
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Throw out the mesquite and get you some hickory, cherry, and/or maple........but that's this old MoFo's opinion........I can't stand mesquite........to me, using it is as bad as lighting your charcoal with lighter fluid. Sorry if you don't agree, but this has always been my opinion.....Guess I got some of that nasty taste myself somewhere's along the way.
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Old 12-23-2005, 10:24 PM   #10
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Sk, that has always been my opinion of mesquite too, but as mentioned, recently, I have had some mesquite bbq that was quite good.

I found some mexican lump mesquite and will try that with hickory chunks

The test will be tomorrow night when my mom tries it.
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Old 12-24-2005, 07:46 PM   #11
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Hey, them's almost fightin' words in San Antonio! Every other tree here is a mesquite! I try and mix it with hickory when I cook with it. Turns out some great ribs!
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