View Full Version : Weber Smokey Mountain with Lump Charcoal?

05-28-2013, 08:32 AM
A friend of mine introduced me to the BBQ BRETHREN forum and I love it (you guys are awesome). I have a 18.5 inch Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker and my buddy recommended I use lump charcoal instead of briquettes. However, the owner's manual says not to use lump charcoal.

My question is: can I still use lump charcoal even though the owner's manual does not recommend it? I just want to make sure I don't ruin my cooker. From what I understand, lump burns hotter and maybe that doesn't work well with the Weber smoker?

(Please note that I am NOT asking whether you prefer lump to charcoal or vice versa).


05-28-2013, 08:42 AM
Yes. You can use lump. However I recommend you follow the directions of using briquettes and mix. I use all natural premium briquettes mixed in with about 25-30% Lump. Time, ambient temp, humidity,wind, altitude etc etc all play a role in fire management. Experiment and find what works best for you. That's more than half the fun.

05-28-2013, 08:45 AM
short answer, yes.

i did find, however, a steadier, more consistent temp with briquettes. i know many on here use lump with great success, so YMMV. experiment and use what you like best.

05-28-2013, 09:34 AM
I always use lump with great success. I think I had to use Kingsford briquettes once and was amazed at the gray ash production.

05-28-2013, 09:41 AM
I use all lump in mine, no problems, works great.

05-28-2013, 09:42 AM
Experimenting with different ratios of briquettes and lump will not ruin your cooker. Find the mix that works best for you.

Cliff H.
05-28-2013, 09:46 AM
I put a glove on and kinda pack the lump down. That works great for me.

05-28-2013, 09:48 AM
No problem using lump in a WSM.
Best results are achieved if you arrange the lump so it's packed very tightly.

05-28-2013, 06:11 PM
As most have said here, I've used both with great success. Briqs will give you a longer, more consistent burn (temp management is so easy you almost feel guilty, and a full coal basket in my 22.5 will last me 12-14 hours easily), but lump will give you less ash, which leads to better air flow. I've found that I tend to prefer the flavor that lump gives, but I have a hard time getting lump packed in tightly enough, which causes me to have to add new coals about twice as often. That could be more to do with the cook than the fuel, however...:oops:

05-28-2013, 06:13 PM
Forgot to mention the other, BIG advantage I've found with lump: it takes close to an hour for me to get briqs to full combustion and that beautiful thin, blue smoke. Takes me less than 15 minutes with lump.

05-28-2013, 06:13 PM
i always start with briquettes, but if I add fuel I add lump

i HATE the thought of adding kingsford and letting that nasty white kingsford smoke touch my food.

El Ropo
05-28-2013, 06:38 PM
Weber also instructs wsm owners to use water in the pan, that's not needed either. Many people use a wsm with lump and no water! Their food turns out wonderful, so I don't know what the wsm product testers are doing to come to these conclusions.

05-28-2013, 07:22 PM
Lump is the only way to go. Better heat control and less ash IMO

05-28-2013, 09:55 PM
Lump, no water. :-D