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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 03-28-2014, 11:50 AM   #1
MrPowerful
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Default Pit Barrel Cooker Charcoal and Lump Tips?

Hey Guys!

This is my first post. I've been cooking for years on a modified ECB, but now I'm using a Pit Barrel Cooker. I see a lot of people on here own this, so I figured this would be a great place to ask for advice. Has anyone made permanent transition to any other type of charcoal other than Kingsford (recommended by PBC Company)? I'm pretty new to using charcoal, previously used wood, gas, and electric. I'm pretty concerned about how my temp and cooking times would change, or do I not need worry about that? Anyway, I'd love to hear what you guys think!
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Unread 03-28-2014, 12:03 PM   #2
Moose
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In speaking with the owner of the PBC Company (Noah), he did indicate that hardwood briquettes were fine to use, as well as small chunks for smoking.

Using all lump charcoal would change the whole cooking dynamic, and probably not advisable.
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Unread 03-28-2014, 12:28 PM   #3
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I haven't used lump but I've used Stubbs and RO natural briquettes. I haven't noticed a significant difference in the temperature. I use the method by BBQchef33 in this thread and temp settles in around 250-275.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=157225

I'm going to get KBB when I need to replenish as the PBC is set it and forget it.
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Unread 03-28-2014, 12:28 PM   #4
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I've used plenty of lump in mine, no issues at all. I do occasionally have to change the inlet to get the temperature I desire, but once there, it has always run fairly consistent. I've never done more than 5 hours and am afraid you would only probably get 6-8 hours on lump.

I pretty much use anything that can burn in mine, including some hardwood for higher temp cooks. It all depends on what you're trying to cook and what temperature you're looking for. Any charcoal should work.

I know Noah recommends KBB, possibly for good reason, but I haven't noticed any negatives with using other brands/lump...
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Unread 03-28-2014, 02:49 PM   #5
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75% all natural hardwood briquettes. Prefer Stubbs-Trader Joes and Kingsford Competition. I make an indention and once it gets going the other 25% added is Ozark Oak-B%B or any good lump. I use about a tennis ball size chunk of pecan, sometimes hickory.

Honestly there are lots of ways of getting there, most depends on the taste profile you and your family desire. Experiment and have fun. I've not used KBB in a couple years-or more
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Unread 03-28-2014, 04:19 PM   #6
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You can get the hang of using anything in there, but since you mentioned you're new to charcoal/wood cooking, i'd just stick to the kingsford blue as directed until you get bored with the ease of use and want to play around with something.
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Unread 03-28-2014, 05:47 PM   #7
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Lump doesn't work all that great in a pbc setup IMO. Use high end briquettes.
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Unread 03-28-2014, 06:03 PM   #8
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I use lump in mine regularly with no issues at all. The temp has been pretty much the same 275-300 as compared to briquetts. I've never used kingsford as I don't like the stuff. The only briquettes I use in the PBC are Stubbs but lately I transitioned to using lump only.

IMO the only advantage of a briquette is it's size uniformity but I found that Royal Oak lump is pretty consistent in size so that's what I use mainly for the PBC. I've used Mesquite lump and Cowboy as well with excellent results.

I say learn the cooker a bit and use lump and see which works better for you. It works the same with the exception of mequite which burns hotter but nowhere near where it'll mess up/burn your food.
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