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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 04-20-2008, 01:41 AM   #1
Mr. Bo
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Default Briquets vs Lump

I have a long story and then a simple question to present to you. Recently I moved to the Sonoran desert community of Bisbee, Arizona. In the process, I temporarily left my family and my smokers in southern Oklahoma. There, Mrs. Bo professes to be cooking as good or better Q than I have ever produced. The children, of course, agree with her. Of these facts my delema is born....

Being lonely, bored and listening her tell me about the ribs, brisket and fatties she was smoking, I went to Lowes and bought a Blue Rhino table top gas grill the first week end that I was here. Please understand that money was tight and that's all I could afford at the time. For at least a few days, that grill appeased my appetite for outdoor cooking.

But, the next week I got a pay check, went back to Lowes and bought an ECB, a new chimney and some lump. Bear in mind that this is my first foray into lump as a fuel for any cooker, this cooker is new to me and money was still tight. ( My family and smokers will be here soon.)
A trip to Safeway later, I had a 7# brisket flat, a fatty and some pork ribs that were about to be subjected to what I thought was "low and slow" smoking. Boy was I wrong on that one......

Everything is prepped and put on the ECB which is filled with lump because I had no briquets. Nu-Temp probe is inserted into the flat and set to 170 so I can spray and wrap when the time is right. All is good or so I thought... The flat was done in 2 hours and the ribs and fatty were toast...

Here is my simple question...
That lump burns really hot compared to charcoal briquets doesn't it???????



Has any one used this brand before???
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Unread 04-20-2008, 07:43 AM   #2
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Mesquite lump is great for grill steaks, not so great for an ECB.

Yeah, lump burns hot, but once to get used to it, you'll never go back.

Have your wife bring down some Ozark Oak, it is a top brand.
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Unread 04-20-2008, 08:49 AM   #3
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lump is the only fuel to use in an egg. you need to be able to throttle the air supply down do control the heat output of the lump, otherwise, it'll burn away at 1100 degrees.
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Unread 04-20-2008, 04:19 PM   #4
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Yeah, lump burns hot, but once to get used to it, you'll never go back. [/quote]

I agree, but I did not like to do long smokes with lump, but love to grill with it.
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Unread 04-20-2008, 07:42 PM   #5
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I use lump all the time--in the egg, the Klose, the WSM, wherever. I think you probably are suffering from an air control problem. Some judicious use of aluminum foil gaskets will tighten the ECB up, and you should be OK. The lump can burn hotter, but it needs air to do it, so keep the air under control and your fire will be too.
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Unread 04-20-2008, 11:55 PM   #6
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The air control (or lack of it) was the biggest problem then. I did another cook today with a small roast and a couple of fatties. Only this time I used charcoal with just a little lump in the pan. Things went much better this time than the first two did.

If things go as planned, the family and every thing else will be here in less than a month and I can put the ecb on Freecycle....
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Unread 04-21-2008, 12:09 AM   #7
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I use briq's to start with two chimney's and then have a bed of lump around where I pour it in. Works great, but burns fast. I find myself readjusting the coals more often than with briq's but I do not the addititives in the bag.
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Unread 04-21-2008, 12:43 AM   #8
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When I get my WSM down here, I'll experiment with the lump / charcoal mixture and the air flow to get longer burn times for the all nighters.
Understood about the additives in the briquets but they haven't killed me yet. I sold my Bandera during the winter because I had trouble getting it up to temp and keeping it there. Now I wish I'd kept it since I've learned that it was just me not putting enough fuel in it to get it there. My bad for sure.
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Unread 04-21-2008, 09:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick's Tropical Delight View Post
...you need to be able to throttle the air supply down do control the heat output of the lump, otherwise, it'll burn away at 1100 degrees.
I would suspect that this is the problem, not the fuel. Yes the lump does burn hotter, but the ECB is a nightmare to control the incoming airflow on, especially without any mods. Even with the water pan filled, it's still almost like cooking over an open flame with a limited baffle. Not that the ECB can't turn out some decent Q, but takes a little practice IMO. I scorched a few fatties myself on my ECB until I got used to it, but now that I have a couple of Mods and know how mine runs, I can turn out some of the best chicken in the city on it.
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