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lump charcoal
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DBA1954





Joined: 13 Aug 2013
Posts: 148


Location: Orchard Park NY

Post Post subject: lump charcoal  Reply with quote

will lump charcoal impart much smoke flavor if used by itself?
Post Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:32 pm
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Wood River BBQ Team





Joined: 16 May 2013
Posts: 426


Location: Tucson, AZ

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Maybe some other Lang forum listers might find this interesting. Up until 1 hour ago, my impression was lump charcoal was the next best thing to cooking with hardwood. Lump is made from hardwood scapes from saw mills, which is carbonized into irregular size pieces that look like tree limbs. It burns hot and leaves little ash because it doesn't contain the binders that are added to briquets. You can buy lump that is suppose to contain only mesquite and a couple of other hardwoods and they probably would add a smoke flavor but I've never used them so I can comment.

Here's why I don't use briquets. They begin as saw dust and chips from mixed wood which is cooked down to 25% of their original weight and then crushed and mixed with strach, sodium nitrate, limestone, borax and more saw dust and then formed into briquets. As a result they produce a lot of ash BUT briquets are more consisten bag to bag than lump. The binders are too much crap for me. A better choice is Competition Briquets, which only contain starch and a little borax.

Now to the bottom line. I've been using COWBOY BRAND. I have 2 bags and both are going back to the store today for a refund and here's why. This morning I stumbled on a site I googled "the great charcoal debate; briquets or lump". In that site was a reference to "the naked whiz's lump charcoal data base" or www.nakedwhiz.com/lump.htm. They rate a couple of dozen brands and Cowboy is below average. After I review the brands of lump available in Tucson, I'll be able to make a better lump choice.

Don Gillette

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Post Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:24 pm
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Wood River BBQ Team





Joined: 16 May 2013
Posts: 426


Location: Tucson, AZ

Post Post subject: Reply with quote

I said they rated "a couple of dozen brands" -- actually they rate 95 brands many of which may not be available in any given area. Royal Oak (made in USA) is available at Walamrt and will be my choice after I return the junk Cowboy brand.

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Post Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:53 pm
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DBA1954





Joined: 13 Aug 2013
Posts: 148


Location: Orchard Park NY

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but can lump be used by itself of does it really need wood for proper flavor?  I am assuming it needs more then just the lump. My charcoal basket should come before the weekend, just wondering how much I will use it with a brisket I'm doing.
Post Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:19 pm
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animal





Joined: 14 Jul 2010
Posts: 388


Location: Wisconsin

Post Post subject: Reply with quote

Charcoal alone really wont give any smoke flavor, it loses its smoke when being heated to make it, but all you have to do is mix in a few hardwood or fruit wood chunks  and it works great. I even put wood chunks in the charcoal on my Weber kettles. As Wood River said I also stay away from Briquettes as much as possible, and yes Cowboy lumps is  not one of the better brands, I have had really good luck with Royal Oak lump.

I don't use charcoal in my Lang, wood is cheap here in Wisconsin, and when there is a good storm in the area a lot of folks bring me their trees that went down.
Post Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:39 pm
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Wood River BBQ Team





Joined: 16 May 2013
Posts: 426


Location: Tucson, AZ

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Here's what works for me. Assume I'm trying to hit 250F. I fill my basket to about 1/4 with lump and add about 3 "beer Can" pieces of camp fire wood on top of the coals. I then light it with my weed burner and let that burn to a nice bed of coals on the top -- minion method. That will get me to about 260F and I start the cook. I have to take into consideration the weather and wind to maintain 250F and I might have to add some lump. At about 90F internal I stop adding lump and start adding hardwood, while still trying to maintain 250F. Too much hardwood or even lump and that sucker will get away from you. At 145F internal I stop adding hardwood and go back to lump and again trying to maintain a constant temp of 250F through the entire cook.

Others on this list might have a different method and you'll develop what works for you but you have to start somewhere and the somewhere I started with was unfortunately all over the place because I didn't have a clue where to start. Keep a record of your cook for future reference.

For me, the Lang is not a "set it and forget it" cooker as is a propane or pellet cooker. It's like a good woman -- it requires my constant attention.

Don Gillette

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Post Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:30 pm
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DBA1954





Joined: 13 Aug 2013
Posts: 148


Location: Orchard Park NY

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This week I split a bunch of Cherry maple and Hickory into ~2-3" diameter splits. Tonight I took a bunch of 16-18" splits and cut them in thirds on the chop saw. I have a big bucket to work from. Can't wait to see how they work tomorrow am (4am !) ... I'm lucky I have a lot of wood to use.  .... brisket time !
Post Posted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:59 pm
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dummy que





Joined: 21 Jul 2013
Posts: 5


Location: stoutsville ohio

Post Post subject: lump Reply with quote

you must be useing kingsford (two steps above cow patys) an read the msds sheet it is verry scarey check out royal oak bricquets the msds sheet list char and limestone as ing. i use it to start my coal base then go to wood
Post Posted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:39 pm
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animal





Joined: 14 Jul 2010
Posts: 388


Location: Wisconsin

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Get one of these to light your wood and dont use charcoal at all if you are using it to light a wood fire, just dont get the one with the built in ignition,  after a couple uses it doesn't work, this one is great, been using it for years, and if you pull the trigger for full on the neighbors will think there is a jet landing in your yard Smile


http://www.harborfreight.com/propane-torch-91033.html
Post Posted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:40 pm
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Wood River BBQ Team





Joined: 16 May 2013
Posts: 426


Location: Tucson, AZ

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I purchased the above torch today at Harbor Freight. With a 25% off coupon I couldn't pass it up. I've been using a much smaller weed burner, which worked but this unit with max BTU's of 500,000 will work better. If I attached the unit to my Lang and hit the lever I could probably get the smoker to orbit my yard!!

The directions say to use teflon tape on the threads but one of the reviewer on the Harbor Freight site stated that's not correct because the tape will make the rubber "O" rings leak. It could be like any opinion is worth but I've decided not to use the tape. Anyone know for sure about the tape?


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:05 pm
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