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DN
10-13-2013, 03:30 PM
The last couple of times I've cooked a brisket, I've burned through my charcoal after 3-4 hours. Once doing it low and slow and another hot and fast. Same Battle Box, both using Hasty Bake lump and BBQ Guru for temp control. Wondering if anyone else has experienced this? I was expecting the charcoal to last longer before having to replenish.

I'm also not past blaming the operator. Should I layer it in a certain way?

Thanks.

Teamfour
10-13-2013, 03:52 PM
This is based on my experience with my Backwoods which operates the same way as a Humphrey smoker. Lump burns hotter than briquettes and is not really need in these types of smokers. Also, unless you pack the lump real tight, there is a lot of air space in the fuel leading to a fast burn. For that reason I use only briquettes in my smoker and find they give a longer burn time than lump. I know some will disagree, but this is my experience.

ajstrider
10-13-2013, 04:02 PM
Lump charcoal being mismatched shapes tends not to pack in so tightly. And yeah, lump charcoal burns hotter and doesn't last as long, and with a lot less actual charcoal in the basket, it will burn out quicker. The advantage is way less ash and no chemical additives. This can be had in several brands of briquettes too if you pay attention to their labeling. If the lump is working out for you, I suggest trying some Royal Oak briquettes if you can find them.

If you are pulling out the basket and noticing you have unburned patches of charcoal, one thing you can do is to use firebricks to make an S shape of charcoal in the basket, forcing the charcoal to burn a better pattern and ensure it burns it all. Humprhey's makes some little metal dividers for the basket, you can see them on their website. Firebricks will do the same and can generally be found locally.

smokinit
10-13-2013, 04:14 PM
This is based on my experience with my Backwoods which operates the same way as a Humphrey smoker. Lump burns hotter than briquettes and is not really need in these types of smokers. Also, unless you pack the lump real tight, there is a lot of air space in the fuel leading to a fast burn. For that reason I use only briquettes in my smoker and find they give a longer burn time than lump. I know some will disagree, but this is my experience.

You nailed it:mrgreen:

DN
10-13-2013, 06:58 PM
Very helpful. I'll make the switch. Thanks.

K-Train
10-13-2013, 07:20 PM
As stated above briquets are the way to go. I can get a long burn with my Battle Box with the charcoal basket 3/4 way full

plowin-fire
10-14-2013, 12:00 AM
I am still trying to get used to vertical smokers, but I did get a longer burn time with briquettes. My cubed beast is hungry...

gtr
10-14-2013, 12:17 AM
After farking around with both lump and briqs in verticals, I've been sticking with briqs for a while now. Seems to be a more predictable burn for me.