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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 12-10-2017, 02:38 PM   #181
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Originally Posted by el luchador View Post
Ive always found it interesting that a lot of the global smoked food in other parts of the world use charcoal and not wood. could it be that wood smoked food is an acquired taste?
They use charcoal out of convienance just like everyone else who uses charcoal, even bbq'ers.

Just to be clear what is your definition of "embers" again?

I have large cookers of almost every type. Stick burner, insulated cabinet, and uninsulated charcoal smokers.

In general, everyone loves the "Q" no matter which cooker I use. I have blind tested stick burner vs cabinet many times and stick burner has won almost every single time. We are at over a 50 test subjects (more than that but being conservative) and can only remember a handful (less than 10, for sure) preferring the charcoal cookers. I may do this semi-scientifically to get real numbers since I cook on both many times, same meat/prep/temp.

Does this mean I wanna get rid of my charcoal cookers? No. They have their place and that is a HUGE place. Convienance is awesome especially when sleep is concerned.




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Old 12-10-2017, 02:41 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by Rockinar View Post
But the fact is nobody is lining up for BBQ at 3AM at any place that does not use offsets. And thats for a reason.
Good marketing, having prior exposure on television and being in an awesome hipster foodie clique that enjoys people that don't shave and drink craft beer??
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Old 12-10-2017, 06:48 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by Jason TQ View Post
Good marketing, having prior exposure on television and being in an awesome hipster foodie clique that enjoys people that don't shave and drink craft beer??
There goes my theory. I thought it was because all the line up and wait places wrapped their brisket in foil/paper and braised it tender
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Old 12-10-2017, 06:51 PM   #184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beentown View Post
They use charcoal out of convienance just like everyone else who uses charcoal, even bbq'ers.

Just to be clear what is your definition of "embers" again?

I have large cookers of almost every type. Stick burner, insulated cabinet, and uninsulated charcoal smokers.

In general, everyone loves the "Q" no matter which cooker I use. I have blind tested stick burner vs cabinet many times and stick burner has won almost every single time. We are at over a 50 test subjects (more than that but being conservative) and can only remember a handful (less than 10, for sure) preferring the charcoal cookers. I may do this semi-scientifically to get real numbers since I cook on both many times, same meat/prep/temp.

Does this mean I wanna get rid of my charcoal cookers? No. They have their place and that is a HUGE place. Convienance is awesome especially when sleep is concerned.




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Wood embers are embers from wood
Lump embers are embers from lump

In your comparisons were you comparing wood vs briquettes or wood vs lump, and in either case was the charcoal roaring or oxygen deprived?
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Old 12-10-2017, 08:38 PM   #185
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vinyl = stick burner
cassette = charcoal
CD = gas
blu-ray = pellets

8 track ?
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Old 12-10-2017, 08:47 PM   #186
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Sorry to say but I am trying to replicate the best I have ever had and that was franklins. My first job was at a BBQ joint in central Texas and I can't get away from that smell of wood fire. To each his own, but for me wood is the way to go. If franklins tasted that good on charcoal I would be trying to copy that. But it isn't.
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:25 PM   #187
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el luchador View Post
Wood embers are embers from wood
Lump embers are embers from lump

In your comparisons were you comparing wood vs briquettes or wood vs lump, and in either case was the charcoal roaring or oxygen deprived?
Me thinks no matter what variables I say were compared there would be a "reasoning" no matter the results. I think it's just you or the very few like you that prefer coals over true stick burning not figuring the other factors (cost, ease of use, etc....). Based on flavor most would prefer foods produced by a properly ran stick burner, in my and seems many heres experience.

We use lump in our charcoal burners. All hot and fast cooks (plenty of O2). Almost everyone still prefers wood, real wood, with moisture in it....12-15% is our happy place for most species.

The last cook was chuck roasts. Lump only, no wood added vs. cherry in a stick burner. Both cooking at 300 degrees.

The taste subjects all preferred the stock burner food. Said something was missing from the "lump only" sample.

Just as an FYI we are doing these tests because we are taking our show bigger, much bigger. So to make the best choices for us, including cooking equipment and materials we are testing recipes and said equipment/materials. We are taking the outcomes to produce a new menu and finalize all of our equipment choices.

The outcome is we are going to keep using both charcoal cookers and stick burners.

Set and forget (blower controlled) charcoal burners using wood chunks for sleeps sake. Stickburner for short cooks and times when we can take the time to tend the fire.

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Old 12-10-2017, 10:50 PM   #188
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I've always been a stick burner, and still am. But El Luchador has a point: many forms of grilling and smoking traditionally make use of glowing embers/charcoal for the cook rather than burning wood.

For example, a traditional North Carolina pit for cooking pork has two parallel chambers, one for burning wood down into embers, and one in which to shovel the embers under the pork. All the cooking is done by the embers, not by burning wood.
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Old 12-11-2017, 03:52 PM   #189
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Maybe some of you stick burners can help me out here. If lump charcoal is lump because it is wood that is not completely burned to ash, then it should still give you a smoked taste in your bbq similar to burning stick wood. If you are burning lump charcoal made from white oak it should still have some of what makes it white oak. I realize that it is not the same as the complete process of burning sticks of wood in your smoker, but it will flavor your bbq, somewhat like the wood it was made from. Not trying to really make a point with my posts on this thread, just trying to learn something here. Thanks
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Old 12-11-2017, 05:42 PM   #190
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JokerBroker View Post
Charcoal is for heat and wood is for flavor. Having said that, the quality of the raw food and the seasonings are far more important than the heat source and the biggest thing is getting the food off of the heat at the right internal temperature.
I'm not disagreeing with any of your points. It's interesting though that I just got a Uuni Pro pizza oven. What they recommend is put down some charcoal to get a steady heat basis. Then when you're getting ready for a Neapolitan pizza (900F), throw on some small splits to bring the fire up.
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Old 12-11-2017, 06:01 PM   #191
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Originally Posted by bcm1947 View Post
Maybe some of you stick burners can help me out here. If lump charcoal is lump because it is wood that is not completely burned to ash, then it should still give you a smoked taste in your bbq similar to burning stick wood. If you are burning lump charcoal made from white oak it should still have some of what makes it white oak. I realize that it is not the same as the complete process of burning sticks of wood in your smoker, but it will flavor your bbq, somewhat like the wood it was made from. Not trying to really make a point with my posts on this thread, just trying to learn something here. Thanks
Moisture in the wood is the main difference but also when you burn a log of hardwood you have chemicals being burnt off that have already been burnt off in lump during the process to make it charcoal.

Alcohols
Benzene
Zinc
Methane
Potassium
Sulfur
Sodium
Magnesium
ETC...

Basically, wood burns and some chemicals dissolve and some chemicals attaches to other chemicals present in the meat (myoglobin and such). Some of those important hardwood chemicals are aromatic polymers. Love me some cherry and hickory aromatic polymers....;)


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Old 12-11-2017, 06:15 PM   #192
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Originally Posted by el luchador View Post
yes, ive been cooking with wood recently, trying to love it, but cant.
El,

I couldn't agree more. A few years ago purchased a Lang, so excited I could hardly stand it. The Honeymoon wore off real fast when I had to wake up every couple of hours to feed it wood.

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Old 12-11-2017, 06:21 PM   #193
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Thank you for taking the time to share this information.

I smoked a pork butt on my 18.5 WSM Using B&B oak lump charcoal only. I wrapped it when the internal was @ 170 degrees. Took it to 200 degres, removed it from the smoker, and let it sit wrapped for a couple of hours before pulling. It had that great white oak taste, but overall wasn't much bark on it. I actually liked the flavor it had but one of my family members stated that it needed more smoke so I am now adding very small chunks of white oak & hickory to the lump embers. My family members seem to like it much better. Anyway, as I stated I'm only a backyard guy. Thanks

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Old 12-11-2017, 07:21 PM   #194
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Talkin about the differences between sticks and charcoal, I often see a similar tension just amongst stick burners on this site (like me).

What I mean is that many of us stickburners focus on minimizing El Luchador's issues with sticks -- getting a bigger pit, making it out of thicker steel, including a bigger firebox, insulating the firebox, etc. All with the goal of getting more stable temps, having to add wood less frequently, being able to sleep longer, or at least fuss with the pit less frequently, at night. Sometimes also with the goal of using less wood.

But all these pit attributes work to create a more stable temp by creating a bigger thermal mass. In other words, the bigger, thicker steel maintains a more stable temp as against the sticks that are tossed in from time to time. So I keep wonderin, doesn't that mean the hot steel is serving as an oven and cookin the meat apart from the smoke of the sticks? In other words, as we increase the size, thickness, and efficiency of our smokers, aren't we cookin more with an oven and less with a smoker?

I don't know the answer, but I'd sure like to understand it. I'm guessing it's probably a matter of balance, as with most things in life. Using a cheap, thin steel smoker that consumes lots of wood probably isn't the answer; but using a super-insulated, super-efficient pit likely isn't the answer either. As Aaron Franklin says, you need good air and smoke flow thru the pit.
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Old 12-11-2017, 07:29 PM   #195
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OklaDustDevil..
I have the cooker I think you are referring to. It drafts very hard. No stale air.

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