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Smokin Gator
04-04-2007, 09:35 AM
I did a search here and found some other threads but thought I would start a new one on this topic...

I have been wanting to use lump charcoal in the UDS but the only thing I have found around here is the Cowboy Lump. I tried it once but most of the bag was really small pieces and a ton of dust. So... I've decided to start making my own. I have access to lots of oak and figure if I make one batch each time I run the smoker I will be ahead of the game.

I found this site with some pretty simple instructions:

http://www.nakedwhiz.com/makinglump.htm

I've been poking around for a while looking for what I need. Last week I finally found an empty 30 gallon drum with a lid from a local Texaco oil change shop (it is what gear oil comes in). Then I needed another 55 gallon drum but the place I have gotten them before doesn't have any right now. I happened to have to go to the bus shop for our county's school system and as I was coming out I decided to go around back and ask someone if they ever have any drums a person could get. They said they had some and would be glad for me to take one. They asked what I was going to use if for and after telling them they said they would use their new plasma cutter to cut the top out and cut the large whole in the side... SCORE!!!!

I am planning on making my first batch this weekend and will post some pics in case anyone is interested.

Harbormaster
04-04-2007, 10:21 AM
Gator,
Awesome finds man!
I want to start my own retort as well, but I was thinking about trying a 30 gal drum on an LP turkey fryer burner, just to see if it works. I have access to both 55 and 30 gal, so if it doesn't work on the LP burner, I can fall back to the original design.
I have access to hickory like there is no tomorrow, and figured why not make my own?

tony76248
04-04-2007, 10:32 AM
Try ebay. I have seen them here in Texas for $5.

here is a link: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260095953685

brdbbq
04-04-2007, 10:53 AM
I'm interested

Smokin Gator
04-04-2007, 11:01 AM
Gator,
Awesome finds man!
I want to start my own retort as well, but I was thinking about trying a 30 gal drum on an LP turkey fryer burner, just to see if it works. I have access to both 55 and 30 gal, so if it doesn't work on the LP burner, I can fall back to the original design.
I have access to hickory like there is no tomorrow, and figured why not make my own?

I don't see why that wouldn't work... Let me know.

DaChief
04-04-2007, 11:09 AM
I did a search here and found some other threads but thought I would start a new one on this topic...

I have been wanting to use lump charcoal in the UDS but the only thing I have found around here is the Cowboy Lump. I tried it once but most of the bag was really small pieces and a ton of dust. So... I've decided to start making my own. I have access to lots of oak and figure if I make one batch each time I run the smoker I will be ahead of the game.

I found this site with some pretty simple instructions:

http://www.nakedwhiz.com/makinglump.htm

I've been poking around for a while looking for what I need. Last week I finally found an empty 30 gallon drum with a lid from a local Texaco oil change shop (it is what gear oil comes in). Then I needed another 55 gallon drum but the place I have gotten them before doesn't have any right now. I happened to have to go to the bus shop for our county's school system and as I was coming out I decided to go around back and ask someone if they ever have any drums a person could get. They said they had some and would be glad for me to take one. They asked what I was going to use if for and after telling them they said they would use their new plasma cutter to cut the top out and cut the large whole in the side... SCORE!!!!

I am planning on making my first batch this weekend and will post some pics in case anyone is interested.

Cool, I'm with you on nothing but the Cowboy around here. When you make it....do a double batch and i will come up and help you use it :biggrin:

swamprb
04-04-2007, 11:22 AM
Your a better man than I! I thought I scored and found 40lb bags of Lazarri Mesquite lump for $13 but when I was getting ready to load the drum, I opened the bags and the lumps were huge. Like Miguel Rowe worked at the lump yard that day! I had to bust up damn near every piece and had to dump about 10lbs of dust, what a farkin' mess. But it sounds like you have a plan!
Take some pics of the process.

Brian

Puppyboy
04-04-2007, 01:26 PM
Ok, I just read through the lump web site. So you are actually "smoking" the wood and turning it into lump. I was thinking you just burned it until it turned into coals. Interesting.

Oldbob
04-04-2007, 01:43 PM
Good Find Gator !! I have access to Lump at a reasonable price...but ya never know...

Txngent
04-04-2007, 01:43 PM
Isn't it heating the wood to lump? I think the holes in the bottom of the 30gal. will allow some fire, but mainly heat. Kinda like a burning food dehydrator?

Sawdustguy
04-04-2007, 02:06 PM
Cool Beans! I have seen it done by a couple of people. Keep us updated with lots of pictures.

Azinine
04-04-2007, 06:20 PM
Definately interested in how it turns out. Pictures please!!

Muzzlebrake
04-04-2007, 08:33 PM
why not just cook with the wood instead of burning it first???

lol

QansasjayhawQ
04-04-2007, 09:02 PM
why not just cook with the wood instead of burning it first???

lol

That was my reaction too . . . at first. But then I started thinking. (I know, I know, I need to try to not think so much . . . it's a habit I have.)

When I cook with lump, it's because it creates more heat than smoke. I can control the amount of smoke better by placement of the splits of wood in relation to the lump. The lump burns the wood to make only sweet, thin blue smoke.

When I tried cooking strictly with wood once, there was a lot more smoke and not as much heat compared to what the same amount of lump would put out. It also didn't last as long as the lump.

So going to the trouble of making lump to use has its advantages.

Mooner
04-04-2007, 09:33 PM
I saw something on tv about this just last night. They said in order to make hardwood charcoal you burned wood chunks or logs in the absence of oxygen. Basically what happens is you burn off all the other fillers in the wood and what your left with is 100% pure carbon.

Smokin Gator
04-05-2007, 07:05 AM
why not just cook with the wood instead of burning it first???

lol

I am really making it for use in the UDS. It really isn't practical to use all wood in it. In the BSKD I will still use mostly wood as that is what I like.

I am thinking of making a burn barrel though and using coals in the BSKD to keep the sweet blue better.

Harbormaster
04-05-2007, 10:08 AM
Ok, I just read through the lump web site. So you are actually "smoking" the wood and turning it into lump. I was thinking you just burned it until it turned into coals. Interesting.

Isn't it heating the wood to lump? I think the holes in the bottom of the 30gal. will allow some fire, but mainly heat. Kinda like a burning food dehydrator?

The correct term for the process is "Destructive Distillation". (Learned that in High School chemistry class) Essentially, the wood is 'burned' in a low oxygen environment. Much of the moisture, VOCs, toluene, and aromatic esthers are cooked out of the wood, leaving behind a purer form of carbon. Some of the buproducts are left behind, which is what gives flavor to the smoke. I am going to vent my barrel so the byproducts are sent back into the flame to be burned. Well, someday I will.

Smokin Gator
04-06-2007, 10:33 AM
Well... I picked up the 55 gallon drum from the bus shop today. The drum had contained anti freeze and they told me to just wash it out.

I came home and drilled the holes in the 30 gallon drum and decided I would rather be safe and so I am burning them both out now. I plan on making the first batch of lump tomorrow. I'll post pics then.

creepyrat
04-06-2007, 12:41 PM
cool, i have made char cloth which is tiny when compared, shoe polish can and a nail hole to vent.

smokinbadger
04-06-2007, 10:27 PM
I'm interested to see how this turns out as well. By the way, there's a pretty interesting article on the history of charcoal making in the 19th century at: http://www.connerprairie.org/historyonline/fuel.html As it turns out, the charcoal maker, or collier, was a pretty important part of the community in those days.

Smokin Gator
04-07-2007, 08:26 AM
I've got the lump kiln fired up. I took a couple of pics of the initial set up and will post them later with the finished results.

Gotta go the the store and get my ham for tomorrow!!!

BBQ_MAFIA
04-07-2007, 09:10 AM
Gator:

Thanks for the link. I don't know if I will ever make my own but it's great to see how it's done.

Smokin Gator
04-09-2007, 03:28 PM
Alright bros... Here is a rundown on my first attempt at making lump.

It certainly wasn't difficult... I just followed the directions from the link in post 1.

6751

30 gallon drum loaded with chuncks of oak

6753

Drum inside the drum with fire underneath

6754

After 4 hours in the kiln

6755

One of two nice bags of finished lump

I will definitely do this again as I have tons of oak and no good source for lump other that Cowboy.

Meat Burner
04-09-2007, 03:39 PM
Gator...that is way cool!!!! Is it worth the effort?

Brauma
04-09-2007, 04:11 PM
Cool thread. I doubt I'll ever make my own lump beacuse Ive found a Royal Oak supplier. But its neat to see how its done and see someone do it.

Pyle's BBQ
04-09-2007, 06:45 PM
Don't forget pictures of your first burn with the new lump. It will be interesting to see what kind of burn you get from your new hobby.

Meat Burner
04-09-2007, 09:25 PM
Gator, I'm with Pyle's BBQ and interested in what kind of burn you get as compared to other products you have used. Keep us posted.

Smokin Gator
04-10-2007, 06:38 AM
Don't forget pictures of your first burn with the new lump. It will be interesting to see what kind of burn you get from your new hobby.

I will do that... The lump was ready for my cook this last Sunday but I was apprehensive about using it with a huge ham and my family waiting for dinner:oops: I went ahead and used briqs.

I will use the lump tomorrow and let you know...

Oldbob
04-10-2007, 07:25 AM
Great Thread Gator....if You have access to Lots of Oak,then this is the way to go !! I too am looking forward to the first cook with it !!Keep us Posted Brother!! and thanks for the Pictures.

DaChief
04-10-2007, 01:23 PM
I will do that... The lump was ready for my cook this last Sunday but I was apprehensive about using it with a huge ham and my family waiting for dinner:oops: I went ahead and used briqs.

I will use the lump tomorrow and let you know...

Way Cool!! how did that ham turn out???

Smokin Gator
04-10-2007, 01:39 PM
Way Cool!! how did that ham turn out???

I was actually a little disappointed in the ham. The glaze was awesome but I didn't think the injection had the affect I was hoping for. Next time I think I will try another injection recipe but keep the glaze.

Meat Burner
04-10-2007, 10:05 PM
Gator, have you had a chance to use the lump again you made? Curious what you think about the flavor and burn times.

jpw23
04-10-2007, 10:19 PM
I will do that... The lump was ready for my cook this last Sunday but I was apprehensive about using it with a huge ham and my family waiting for dinner:oops: I went ahead and used briqs.

I will use the lump tomorrow and let you know...
Did you keep a fire burning the entire time?

Smokin Gator
04-11-2007, 07:10 AM
Gator, have you had a chance to use the lump again you made? Curious what you think about the flavor and burn times.

No, I did an overnight cook last night but used an open bag of briqs. I will let you know when I cook with it.

Did you keep a fire burning the entire time?

Nope, I shut the air intake and saved the briqs that were not burned. I added the rest of the open bag and fired it back up for last night's cook.

Smokin Gator
04-18-2007, 02:11 PM
I wanted to do a burn to season the new UDS. I decided to use the lump I made for the first time and see how it burns. I put about 1/2 bag of lump and started it with about 3/4 of a chimney of Kingsford briqs. It has been going now for about 2 hours at 275. I can definitely tell a difference in the temps with the same amount of air. The lump burns quite a bit hotter. The smell is great (I did put on one small piece of hickory) and the smoke is very sweet and blue.

I am going to let it chug for a while and throw on a meatloaf later. I'll post how it turns out and give a report on how long the lump is burning.

DaChief
04-18-2007, 04:27 PM
I wanted to do a burn to season the new UDS. I decided to use the lump I made for the first time and see how it burns. I put about 1/2 bag of lump and started it with about 3/4 of a chimney of Kingsford briqs. It has been going now for about 2 hours at 275. I can definitely tell a difference in the temps with the same amount of air. The lump burns quite a bit hotter. The smell is great (I did put on one small piece of hickory) and the smoke is very sweet and blue.

I am going to let it chug for a while and throw on a meatloaf later. I'll post how it turns out and give a report on how long the lump is burning.

Sounds good. Keep us posted.