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View Full Version : Differences of Royal Oak vs. Kingsford heat?


hankll
11-27-2011, 10:29 AM
I bought ten 16# bags ($2.49 ea) of Royal Oak from Kmart thanks to a heads up here on the Q-talk.....

Had been using Kingsford........

At about the same time, I added ball valves to all my inlet pipes. Two of them, I installed with a 2' riser pipe with a 90 degree elbow at the top and bottom and the ball valve at the top.

Question I have now is I have trouble reaching 350* temps. Is it the change in charcoal, or the ball valves (3/4") and the riser pipes?

I had trouble holding the temps down to 225* before I made the changes. I'm wondering, is the RO the problem or the pipes?

tamadrummer
11-27-2011, 10:55 AM
The best advice I have seen here and in life in general is to change only one thing at a time. If you are going to mess with your air, just stick with your air flow and stay with the charcoal you have been using.

If you are going to change your heat source, change that and dial it in with the air flow you are accustomed to and then after you have that down pat, change your air if needed.

If you do 2 things that are as major as you just did, it is probably a bit of both things you did that made the difference and you are basically beginning from brand new.

colonel00
11-27-2011, 10:58 AM
Well, it is tough to say for sure since you have introduced several different variables. Can you go into more detail about how you had it setup before? i.e. if you didn't have ball valves, how were you controlling temps? I am also confused about this: " I installed with a 2' riser pipe with a 90 degree elbow at the top and bottom and the ball valve at the top." Maybe a photo would help? Also, can you give us a better description of how you are running it now? For instance, how are you lighting the charcoal? Are all your valves and vents completely open?

Also, do you think the weather could be playing a part in this? After all, it is cooler out now and if you are only running with two inlets open, it could be difficult to maintain 300*+. Switch back to KB for a test run and see how it works. Lump usually will burn hotter and cleaner so I really doubt your issues are with your fuel source.

hankll
11-27-2011, 11:48 AM
The variable is, of course, that I switched the heat source and added ball valves to the equation. I always start out lighting my chimney with left over charcoal from last burn. Might try new charcoal instead. The minion method of lighting off my UDS is top down on a 11" deep x 18" diameter basket loaded completely full. I mix in a few pieces of oak or hickory chunks, usually.

For T-day, I did my turkey with apple wood chips I bought. Turned out pretty well, and after about an hour, the heat got up to 325* and then after awhile more finally reached 350*. This was with outdoor temps at around mid 60's.

I was wondering if my not having a chimney to create more draft flow (having the Weber dome lid prevents that) might possibly be a consideration.

I also just now remember that I added a 18" ash catcher pan that I drilled 1" holes in the sides that might have an affect on the flow, possibly. it is mounted below the 2 1/2" legs of my char basket.

Next time I smoke something I'll try a bag of Kingsford again. I was just wondering if others had noticed any difference in the brand of charcoal causing a heating difference....

colonel00
11-27-2011, 11:59 AM
Pretty much everything I cook now is off of a KISS UDS build. I use a Weber lid with no issues. It can be tough to get to higher temps and some times I need to open all three valves. One suggestion would be to start with more lit charcoal if you are doing higher temp cooks. As you describe below, it seems the temps were rising, it was just taking a while to get the extra charcoal going.

For T-day, I did my turkey with apple wood chips I bought. Turned out pretty well, and after about an hour, the heat got up to 325* and then after awhile more finally reached 350*. This was with outdoor temps at around mid 60's.

As far as the intakes, I do not have any experience with something like your setup but I know many people do use something like that with great success. I would think it might affect your intake draft a bit but I wouldn't think it would be that bad.

SouthernMagicBBQ
11-27-2011, 11:59 AM
I have no heat issues with Royal Oak or OL ' Diz charcoals. (Diz is made by Royal Oak now) I ain't never, (have never for yankees) liked Kingsford. It never gave me constant even heat. I also can't stand the sulfurous odor it has thanks to their use of powdered coal in the stuff along with a slurry mix of who-knows-what-all wood scraps.

hankll
11-27-2011, 12:46 PM
Pretty much everything I cook now is off of a KISS UDS build. I use a Weber lid with no issues. It can be tough to get to higher temps and some times I need to open all three valves. One suggestion would be to start with more lit charcoal if you are doing higher temp cooks. As you describe below, it seems the temps were rising, it was just taking a while to get the extra charcoal going.



As far as the intakes, I do not have any experience with something like your setup but I know many people do use something like that with great success. I would think it might affect your intake draft a bit but I wouldn't think it would be that bad.

I started out with magnets covering the inlet pipe openings and adjusting the heat by removing or leaving just a portion of the opening covered until I got the heat range I wanted.

I wanted the ability to light up my smoker and set the ball valves to a certain position and have that automatic heat setting every time. Well, it might get that eventually, but I'm still learning this set up. At present, I do open them all the way up to light up the smoker and build up the heat faster.

On T-day, with my turkey, I wanted the 350* range to get a faster cook and have the skin as crispy as when one comes out of an oven. My disappointment was that it took over an hour to get it up to that temp.

I have given some thought to setting an inner basket maybe the size of a large coffee can to create more inner area to flow air to the lit coals, but that will also reduce the surface of lit coals, and might reduce my ability to get the higher temps when I want them.

---k---
11-27-2011, 01:29 PM
Well, the ball valves will likely have a smaller opening than before. The inside of the ball valve tapers down. Some ball valves are really small inside - it varies.

I've read many people struggle with a ball valve up high like you have. I don't know if it is really caused by the elbow and height or something else. But, that is a long path for the air to have draw in through (engineering books would say that friction along the pipe length will cause boundary layer conditions that could further restrict the air). I've read that using a 1" ball and pipe helps.

RO, in my experience, works really well. But, it takes a little longer to get started and going than Kingsford. You may have to experiment with lighting more charcoal and definitely letting it go in the chimney much longer.

I think you should go back to K for one or two cooks. Once you are happy with the valves, etc. switch back to RO. Should be only minor differences.

Also, weather plays a big part. Did you go from warm weather cooks to cold weather? Wind? Wind does really bad things to smokers.

hankll
11-27-2011, 07:26 PM
Wind was a factor on my T-day smoke......coulda been the reason. I'm going to play with the K vs. RO as you suggested, and I may go back and re-engineer the 3/4 pipe intakes to 1" components. I saw a YouTube vid that looked like the guy had car exhaust pipe on his, using an electrical flat cover for his valve on top of the pipes. That would definitely be cheaper than the ball valves @ $10 or more a pop.

hogzgonewild
11-27-2011, 07:59 PM
hankll,

I had the same problem in my UDS. First 2 times I used Royal Oak, and I had a hard time controlling the temp, it was either 180 or 325* and that was with just small changes on the ball valve with other valves closed. If I opened the lid, it would jump up to 400+ degrees.

This weekend I did a turkey on my UDS with Kingsford Blue. She stayed right at 225-250 the whole time and never moved....

I think the royal oak just burned too hot for it.

hankll
11-29-2011, 06:45 PM
I'm going to do a full packer beef brisket this weekend.......so I'll get a bag of the Kingsford and see how that goes. I was intending to do a hot and fast smoke that I saw described on here. I may not have the temps I want for that but if I can get it to 350* again, it should be alright. I'll have my remote thermometer in it and go for the 150* range and foil it.

I'll do another thread later on to show Pron

pmk011
11-30-2011, 04:02 PM
" I was just wondering if others had noticed any difference in the brand of charcoal causing a heating difference...."

My preference is ROYAL OAK. I have also used kingsford, but I couldn't get the higher temps that I did with RO in the offset smoker.

GEORGIA CRACKER(FROM TEX)
11-30-2011, 04:35 PM
The variable is, of course, that I switched the heat source and added ball valves to the equation. I always start out lighting my chimney with left over charcoal from last burn. Might try new charcoal instead. The minion method of lighting off my UDS is top down on a 11" deep x 18" diameter basket loaded completely full. I mix in a few pieces of oak or hickory chunks, usually.

For T-day, I did my turkey with apple wood chips I bought. Turned out pretty well, and after about an hour, the heat got up to 325* and then after awhile more finally reached 350*. This was with outdoor temps at around mid 60's.

I was wondering if my not having a chimney to create more draft flow (having the Weber dome lid prevents that) might possibly be a consideration.

I also just now remember that I added a 18" ash catcher pan that I drilled 1" holes in the sides that might have an affect on the flow, possibly. it is mounted below the 2 1/2" legs of my char basket.

Next time I smoke something I'll try a bag of Kingsford again. I was just wondering if others had noticed any difference in the brand of charcoal causing a heating difference....

I did the same thing with my UDS RE: ash pan on the bottom. Could not regulate my temps as before. Finally pulled it out and went back to just foil on the bottom to catch the ash. Now things are back to normal. I guess it stirred up the air intake enough to change the amount getting to the coal basket or sumppin!

hankll
11-30-2011, 06:04 PM
I did the same thing with my UDS RE: ash pan on the bottom. Could not regulate my temps as before. Finally pulled it out and went back to just foil on the bottom to catch the ash. Now things are back to normal. I guess it stirred up the air intake enough to change the amount getting to the coal basket or sumppin!


I was wondering about that pan (converted 18" portable grill, that I drilled 1" holes around the vertical sides) Kinda wondered if that might have also been another factor besides the other two variables, heat source and ball valves.

I'm in no way dissing the UDS.....it is a fantastic addition to my cooking outdoors repertoire. Ooo, I used a big word that time! :rolleyes: