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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 11-05-2006, 01:14 PM   #1
jpw23
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Default Sam's Choice charcoal

anyone use this stuff? Found a skid of it at our local wallyworld, bought 200 pounds....big briquettes...says 60% larger....anyway...got stuff to cook with.
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Unread 11-05-2006, 01:41 PM   #2
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Sam's Choice is people!
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Unread 11-05-2006, 01:43 PM   #3
jpw23
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is that anything like soylent green?
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Unread 11-05-2006, 05:24 PM   #4
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Did a little test fire this evening......seems to burn hotter( had to adjust the dampers a bit) and seems to burn longer, guess that goes along with being bigger than the regular charcoal........just might go back and buy another 200 pounds.
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Unread 11-05-2006, 05:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpw23
Did a little test fire this evening......seems to burn hotter( had to adjust the dampers a bit) and seems to burn longer, guess that goes along with being bigger than the regular charcoal........just might go back and buy another 200 pounds.
You may want to wait a little bit and experiment some more. If you try to maintain a small fire with that stuff it will go out on you. Kind of like trying to heat your house with wood that's not quite seasoned (not that I've done that). 1 brick of K will burn by it's self until it's gone. Not so with Sam's choice, in my experience. A single brick requires several buddies to give him moral support, and cheer him on to finishing. Leaves a lot of ash too. But I have not tried that stuff for several years. They could very well have switched vendors and offer an entirely different product than I tried.
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Unread 11-05-2006, 05:40 PM   #6
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Jay, i think Id hold off on the additional 200 lbs. i remember a thread about sams being lousy and causing twice the ash because of the binders used to make the stuff. Seems like the Kapn had a great thread awhile back. Ill try to find it.
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Unread 11-05-2006, 05:41 PM   #7
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But then again, if that's all that is available to you, it's gotta get the job done. Just adapt and make it work. I wish I could burn pecan and cherry but oak is what's available to me. I burn oak.
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Unread 11-05-2006, 05:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerguy
Jay, i think Id hold off on the additional 200 lbs. i remember a thread about sams being lousy and causing twice the ash because of the binders used to make the stuff. Seems like the Kapn had a great thread awhile back. Ill try to find it.
It did make quite a bit of ash but, it did maintain temps for a good long time, I did not load the fire box as heavy as I would with Kingsford...a half a basket and one half chimney.....got 3.5 hours @ 275....now this is average temps, had a little tweaking to do....and you guys may be right and this is crap...but, it still beats the hell out of splitting wood and making your own( which I am doing now) I have not been thrilled with new Kingsford at all.......too much ash, burns way to fast....I don't mind tending the fire but, enough is enough....they really need to go back to the drawing board on this....its great for grilling and that is their target demographic but, the rest of us suffer for it......Pooh told me how to make my own lump and I have been doing that....just takes a lot of time.
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Unread 11-05-2006, 06:18 PM   #9
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I have used the Sam's Choice several times now and I like to use it for my initial fire. To start my fire, I put about 15-18 pounds in the fire box, the perimeter of which I've lined with a double row of oak/pecan. Then I dump a large load of "chimney lit" SC on top in a "scooped out" area. That set up keeps my offset at 250 ish for about 5 hours without tending anything except the intake.

When the temp starts to fail, I add RO lump (probably because I have a bunch of it). At the time of "rebuilding the fire", I do have to rake out a lot of ash from under the fire grate. But that's not a big deal if you're prepared to do it. My pit has a moveable plate that virtually closes the passage between the fire box and the cooking chamber.

When its time to re do the fire; I shut the plate to the cooking chamber, reline the pit with pre heated wood, dump in unlit lump and spread to to the sides with long tongs, dump in a chimney full of lite lump and scrape out the ashes from under the fire grate. This all takes less than a minute with no notable loss in heat.

I like Sams Choice because its cheap ($5 for 20#s), has very little unusable pieces (as compared to lump), has a great carrying bag (that I use as a trash bag at the pit when empty), and is a geat size (60% larger) that doesn't fall through the fire grate.

After using this stuff, any other charcoal is WHIMPY. I had some old Kingsford that was dwarfed by the Sams Choice.

And... this is not a paid advertisement for Walmart!!
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Unread 11-05-2006, 06:19 PM   #10
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We have used it not the best like old Kingsford or Duraflame but price was right
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Unread 11-05-2006, 08:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin
But then again, if that's all that is available to you, it's gotta get the job done. Just adapt and make it work. I wish I could burn pecan and cherry but oak is what's available to me. I burn oak.
Kevin - Depending on where you are at in S. MN, I might be able to get some Missouri Hickory and Pecan to you. Pecan isn't in our area, but they have it down in Southern MO where my uncle is. If you live SW MN, my family is in NW IA, so I get there from time to time. If you live near I-35, my office is outside of Saint Paul and I have been known to drive from KC to the TC's. Could drop you off a load.
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Unread 11-06-2006, 10:14 AM   #12
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I use it as well and like the price AND the performance. Beats that new Kingsford crap...
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Unread 11-06-2006, 12:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlin_MacRae
I use it as well and like the price AND the performance. Beats that new Kingsford crap...
Most anything beats the kingsford crap right now.........I think I will go ahead and stock up.....they had a few bags of royal oak hidden back in a corner, might buy that to.
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Unread 11-06-2006, 11:13 PM   #14
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As usual, it sounds like it works for some and not for others.

I am definitely going to try some . . . I need a way to get the heat going in a more economical manner.
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Unread 11-07-2006, 01:04 AM   #15
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Sam's sucked for me. Glad it works for you. I do like the bags of hickory though...
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