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Unread 09-05-2013, 03:00 PM   #1
winochef
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Default Gravity fed smoker fuel?

I am considering a gravity fed smoker those that have one which fuel do you use? Some people say they use briquettes because lump will cause bridging. I know you have to be mindful over the size of lump charcoal you put in there but Has anyone encountered a real problem?
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Unread 09-05-2013, 03:14 PM   #2
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I use Stubbs briqs in my Stumps. Heard good things on stumps forum.
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Unread 09-05-2013, 03:19 PM   #3
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I have an Assassin Smoker and you can use either lump or briquettes without any problem . The charcoal chute opens from 6" to 8" helping to eliminate bridging. I have used lump and briquettes with equal success. The lump does produce a lot less ash. I have mainly been using Kingsford blue because I have a gob of it that I want to use up.

The Assassin does a fantastic job and is available in both a standard and the larger 28. It comes with many features that other gravity smokers lack and it includes a BBQ Guru. For Labor Day I cooked 2 slabs of ribs, a small brisket flat and a 3lb boneless turkey breast, plus a big pan of beans all at the same time and they came out great. I encourage you to check it out if you are wanting a gravity smoker.

Here is a thread that includes a video of my first cook on my Assassin after seasoning it.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=166449
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Unread 09-05-2013, 03:55 PM   #4
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Stubbs briqs. If you use lump make sure they are not to big to cause bridging.
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Unread 09-05-2013, 04:37 PM   #5
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Yes mep l I'm looking at the Assassin! I myself like lump and I have heard to carefully on the size of lump you use. Do you put wood in the fire pan or do you put some thruout the lump in the chute?
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Unread 09-05-2013, 04:51 PM   #6
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I have run both Lump and Briquettes in my Stumps. I have on occasion encountered a bridge with lump, but it was rare. Being paranoid about it though, I have a metal rod I would run down the side of the chute from time to time just to make sure I wasn't bridging.

All that being said, I switched to using GFS or Stubbs Briquettes a year or so ago. It seems I get a more even temperature with the briquettes. I also have not had a bridge since switching.
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Unread 09-05-2013, 05:10 PM   #7
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Have used RO lump in my Stump's for 5 years, about 75 cooks and not a problem with bridging but I guess the odds with catch up.
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Unread 09-05-2013, 06:30 PM   #8
winochef
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I guess if you are aware of the size of the lump you shouldn't have a problem. I wasn't aware briquettes provide more consistency, both burn and temp.
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Unread 09-05-2013, 06:42 PM   #9
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I use a Digi Q and I would not break my lump into same size pieces so as bigger pieces started to burn, I would get temp spikes. At least that is what I attributed it to. Once I switched to briquettes, my temp holds rock steady.
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Unread 09-05-2013, 09:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winochef View Post
Yes mep l I'm looking at the Assassin! I myself like lump and I have heard to carefully on the size of lump you use. Do you put wood in the fire pan or do you put some thruout the lump in the chute?
I have only been putting my "smoking wood" in the ash pan. I haven't mixed any in with my charcoal. I have just been dumping my charcoal down the chute whether I'm using lump or briquettes. The lump that I have been buying is repackaged Royal Oak and most of the pieces are under 6" long.
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Unread 09-06-2013, 09:38 AM   #11
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OK, I'll ask...What's bridging?

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Unread 09-06-2013, 10:33 AM   #12
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Bridging is where 2 or more pieces of charcoal don't drop down to the fire grate and block the gravity feed chute.

I've always used Stubbs briquettes in my Superiors.
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Unread 09-06-2013, 07:27 PM   #13
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Bridging is when the pieces of fuel kinda mesh together so they are wedged tight from one side to the other preventing them from falling down the chute, and the fire goes out.
Most newer gravity fed smokers have tapered chutes (wider at the bottom) making it less likely to get a bridge.
The fuel needs to be just dropped easy into the chute, and never packed down (THAT will cause a bridge).

+1 for Stubbs in a gravity-fed smoker. Good stuff.
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Unread 09-06-2013, 10:11 PM   #14
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I use Ozark oak lump on my assassin and it will bridge, but rarely. You can catch it right away by setting an alarm on the guru.

The main culprit in bridging is condensation from the burned charcoal collecting on the top of the chute and dripping back down on the uncooked charcoal causing it to form a mess of fused charcoal. Odd shaped pieces can make it worse, but this can happen with briquettes as well.
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