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jfletcherMD
10-11-2015, 08:05 PM
Anybody have any experience with this stuff?

I bought a bag a couple of months ago at the local Wally-world during a 4th of July sale. "Okay..." I thought to myself "you like Stubbs marinades, Stubbs sauces are decent (especially for on-the-fly cookouts/tailgates/etc) and it's a natural hardwood briquette - why not try it out?"

Finally got around to using it during my last two cooks (a bone-in turkey breast, and a bacon-wrapped venison leg roast.) Set up my 18.5" WSM the same way that I have dozens of times before. Lit 20 briquettes in the chimney and used the Minion method to light the cooker - just like I always do. No water/foiled pan for the turkey, and full water pan for the venison. Added three chunks of cherry/one chunk oak for the turkey and two chunks oak/two chunks pecan for the venison. :nerd:

I found that while this particular charcoal gave off a nice "hardwood" aroma when being lit, it burned REALLY hot, and with much more ash and white smoke than many other brands I've tried, and even good ol' Kingsford Blue. Had to adjust my dampers six times within the first two hours just to get the cooker to stay DOWN at 250. Countless more vent adjustments during the cook to maintain 250-275. Never really got the classic "cool blue smoke," even after the coals had all ashed over. As such, I finished both cooks with noticeably more "blackened" meat (i.e. ash and creosote) than I ever have before. The turkey skin was completely inedible, and the bacon on the outside of the leg roast wound up as a treat for the dogs. :mad2::mad2: Luckily, the meat inside still tasted good, and had no appreciable creosote or residue on it.

So what have you guys found? Did I just pick up a bad batch, or is this "hot and dirty" burn style simply par for the course when using this charcoal? Don't think my technique was off, as I've been cooking on this same smoker with the same methods for several years now, and using several different brands of charcoal as my primary fuel, and I've NEVER had this issue before.

Maybe it's good for "hot and fast" direct grilling?

AClarke44
10-11-2015, 08:25 PM
I don't think anyone around here has ever used or heard of Stubbs! :shocked:......lol. just kiddin!

Stubbs is my go to coal for smoking. Some people say it puts out more white smoke than KBB but I really don't think so. It smells way better than KBB and in my opinion helps with flavor. I'll use Kingsford when I'm cooking other things but when going low and slow Stubbs is what I use!

As far as your experience goes, that's definitely not what I've found. Maybe you did get a bad batch possibly or maybe your fire wasn't right from the beginning. Not sure but for me Stubbs is best..

Decoy205
10-11-2015, 10:03 PM
I think you lit too many to start the minion. Light around 6 briqs and it will smoke a lot but once it gets going you get only clean smoke flavor. In my experience KBB makes way more ash than Stubbs.

Bludawg
10-11-2015, 10:31 PM
Anybody have any experience with this stuff?

I bought a bag a couple of months ago at the local Wally-world during a 4th of July sale. "Okay..." I thought to myself "you like Stubbs marinades, Stubbs sauces are decent (especially for on-the-fly cookouts/tailgates/etc) and it's a natural hardwood briquette - why not try it out?"

Finally got around to using it during my last two cooks (a bone-in turkey breast, and a bacon-wrapped venison leg roast.) Set up my 18.5" WSM the same way that I have dozens of times before. Lit 20 briquettes in the chimney and used the Minion method to light the cooker - just like I always do. No water/foiled pan for the turkey, and full water pan for the venison. Added three chunks of cherry/one chunk oak for the turkey and two chunks oak/two chunks pecan for the venison. :nerd:

I found that while this particular charcoal gave off a nice "hardwood" aroma when being lit, it burned REALLY hot, and with much more ash and white smoke than many other brands I've tried, and even good ol' Kingsford Blue. Had to adjust my dampers six times within the first two hours just to get the cooker to stay DOWN at 250. Countless more vent adjustments during the cook to maintain 250-275. Never really got the classic "cool blue smoke," even after the coals had all ashed over. As such, I finished both cooks with noticeably more "blackened" meat (i.e. ash and creosote) than I ever have before. The turkey skin was completely inedible, and the bacon on the outside of the leg roast wound up as a treat for the dogs. :mad2::mad2: Luckily, the meat inside still tasted good, and had no appreciable creosote or residue on it.

So what have you guys found? Did I just pick up a bad batch, or is this "hot and dirty" burn style simply par for the course when using this charcoal? Don't think my technique was off, as I've been cooking on this same smoker with the same methods for several years now, and using several different brands of charcoal as my primary fuel, and I've NEVER had this issue before.

Maybe it's good for "hot and fast" direct grilling? Cook where the pit wants to burn clean there aint no perfect or magic temperature. I've used Stubbs with great success I could care less what the temp is as long as it's a clean burn.

ArnieTex
10-11-2015, 10:34 PM
It does butn quite hotter.

BBQ Freak
10-11-2015, 10:49 PM
it dose burn hot so you will haft to adjust you cooking method but Stubbs is all I use even when I just do burgers on the grill but I use a lot less when doing so .

Harbormaster
10-11-2015, 11:01 PM
I have used Stubbs in my WSMs and have not experienced what you described. It's one of my favorite charcoals.

pjtexas1
10-12-2015, 12:46 AM
I have seen the thick smoke at startup. you have to let it clear up before putting meat on. Never had anything taste bad with stubbs.

IamMadMan
10-12-2015, 03:21 AM
I use Stubb's charcoal.

Creosote build up as you described does not come from charcoal itself, but rather from a fire that is not cleanly burning. It is important that you have proper airflow and not choke the fire down to a smoldering state where the creosote compounds form and condensate on the meat.

Like the others have said, YES it burns hotter, so you have to adjust your cooker, but also yourself and your technique. Use a thinner minion chain and start with less briquettes, and remember the hotter the charcoal the hotter and faster your wood chunks will burn.

jjjonz
10-12-2015, 06:56 AM
I think for the money you just can't beat Stubbs. Never had a bad experience .

jfletcherMD
10-12-2015, 08:58 AM
Thanks for all the feedback, fellas - looks like I'm definitely going to have to try Stubbs again! Maybe this time I'll find a bag that hasn't been sitting on the bottom of a pallet in the corner of some Wal-Mart warehouse for who-knows-how-long!! :wink:

I completely agree with BluDawg and Madman in that it's far more important to get a clean burn than to try to "lock in" to a particular temp. Guess I was just really surprised because by using my normal routine and one of my "go-to" charcoals (Kingsford Comp, Trader Joe's Natural Briqs, or Nature's Grilling Natural Briqs) my cooker usually locks into a sweet spot somewhere between 250 and 275 and holds it for hours without any sort of adjustment, so the wild fluctuations I experienced during these past two cooks caught me completely off guard. I guess this is where experimentation and experience comes into play - as you use different brands of fuel, different woods, cook in different conditions, etc. you learn what kind of fine tuning you've got to do to get and keep a good cook. Based on my experiences during these two cooks, and some of the advice I've gotten here, I'm hopeful that my next go-round with Stubbs will be different - I'll keep you all posted!

Like I said in the first message - despite the idiosyncrasies of my two cooks, the most important thing is that the "core product" (the turkey breast meat and the venison roast itself) still turned out REALLY tasty! No complaints about either from me or the wife - or the dog, for that matter!! :clap2:

Thanks again!

lantern
10-12-2015, 09:06 AM
I use Stubbs all the time and think you ran into a combo of problems here.


One, stubbs does smoke more at the very start due to the cornstarch binder. Once it's heated up an in full minion mode it burns nice and clean. You just have to wait on it.


Two, as it does like to burn hotter you have to start with less and DO NOT chase the temps. When I try to keep the temps below 265-275 I've found that it chokes and smokes nearly all dang day.

Just let it ride and adjust your cooking times(and methods) to suit your temps. You'll be glad you did.


Sorry....I was late to post




On a side note. I set my Stubbs to burn across the pile instead of in the middle or spread over the entire top(think coffee can placed to the side against the fire ring). IMO, it gets more air, burns cleaner and ignites the other coals with less smoke as the cook goes on.

jfletcherMD
10-12-2015, 09:15 AM
I use Stubbs all the time and think you ran into a combo of problems here.


One, stubbs does smoke more at the very start due to the cornstarch binder. Once it's heated up an in full minion mode it burns nice and clean. You just have to wait on it.


Two, as it does like to burn hotter you have to start with less and DO NOT chase the temps. When I try to keep the temps below 265-275 I've found that it chokes and smokes nearly all dang day.

Just let it ride and adjust your cooking times(and methods) to suit your temps. You'll be glad you did.


Sorry....I was late to post




On a side note. I set my Stubbs to burn across the pile instead of in the middle or spread over the entire top(think coffee can placed to the side against the fire ring). IMO, it gets more air, burns cleaner and ignites the other coals with less smoke as the cook goes on.



^^ Good advice! Thanks, Chris! Don't worry about posting late - after all, your message had to go "all the way across North Carolina " to get here to Greenville! :-P:roll:

CabinFever
10-12-2015, 02:35 PM
Stubbs is my favorite, somewhat due to so much less ash than KBB. More so due to better flavor

MisterChrister
10-12-2015, 03:41 PM
When I'm not using lump, I'm using Stubb's. Love it