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Posted: 6/8/2014 4:40:57 PM EDT
Curious....I've been using a gas grill with wood chips for smoke but am looking to move to a charcoal grill. My question is, if you use lump charcoal from a certain type of wood, is the smoke going to just be that wood's? For instance, I can buy Diablo mesquite lump charcoal. Is using this going mean all I have is mesquite smoke? I like using mesquite chips, but sometimes I use apple or pecan. Or even cedar planks. Will the mesquite lump overpower using anything else or can I still use the chips?
Link Posted: 6/8/2014 4:44:44 PM EDT
Dinnertime??
Link Posted: 6/8/2014 4:51:16 PM EDT
You can still use chips. The lump won't overpower if you also use chips or wood chunks. I use a lump which I believe is also mesquite based and other flavor chunks all the time.

If you have a Costco in your area consider Stubbs lump. $16 for a 34lbs bag. Good value
Link Posted: 6/8/2014 6:24:59 PM EDT
If the lump is properly kilned, it will have little to no smoke. The kilning process burns off most of the wood's "liquors" or "tars", so all that is really left is carbon (which produces a flavor neutral smoke.) Good lump is upwards of 90% carbon, so you will get a little smoke out of the remaining wood.

Mesquite charcoal will still produce quite a bit of flavor of that little amount of wood left in the charcoal. Oak, hickory, or other domestic hardwood charcoal is the way to go if you want to control the smoke flavor and intensity.......use a high carbon content domestic hardwood lump and add your own wood chunks.

For more info than you ever wanted to know about lump charcoal, visit here: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/lump.htm

Good lump is also brittle. If you drop a chunk on the ground and it shatters, good stuff. Also, it should have a shiny metallic sheen, and make a metallic "tink" noise when you shake the bag. If it's a dull black and makes a dull thud when you drop it, it's still wood......which isn't necessarily a bad thing if you want the same smoke as the species of wood it comes from. But there's no telling with some of the foreign stuff.
Link Posted: 6/10/2014 2:51:01 PM EDT
I use charcoal only, and lump charcoal almost exclusively. I also do a good deal of smoking. About 20 minutes or so before I'm ready to cook I'll fill up a bowl with wood chips then cover them with water. Once I start cooking, I'll throw a handful of the wet wood chips directly onto the charcoal once it's at cooking temperature. I've never had the lump charcoal (which is usually mesquite because it's easy to get in my area) overpower the other smoke flavors. I usually wind up using hickory or apple, depending on the meat.
Link Posted: 6/13/2014 3:29:30 PM EDT
fuck Stubs lump . I found tongue and grove and rocks in a bag .Royal Oak is good stuff.
Link Posted: 6/13/2014 5:59:38 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By hobocat:
I found tongue and grove and rocks in a bag .
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Yeah, some of the places use construction scrap in their charcoal--sub floor scrap, trim & molding, etc. When asked how they claimed to be "all natural" when there's plywood in the bag, they say plywood is made with resin and resin comes from trees. BS.

As far as the rocks go, that's going to happen with ANY lump charcoal. Concrete, insulation, etc is another story......but a rock or two is unavoidable with the manufacturing process and sue to the fact that a char-dust covered rock looks just like a chunk of charcoal. Also, anything that's encased in a tree might not show up until the charcoal burns away and you find it in the ash (more rocks, barbed wire, nails, bullets, arrowheads, etc.) If you find any metal banding, that's also part of the manufacturing process--it usually comes out in one big strand, but sometimes it breaks up and makes it way into the bags.
Link Posted: 6/14/2014 8:24:54 PM EDT
Gracias gentlemen!
Link Posted: 6/16/2014 10:42:49 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By hobocat:
fuck Stubs lump . I found tongue and grove and rocks in a bag .Royal Oak is good stuff.
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+1

I stay away from the mesquite lump as it is overpowering. I have also had bad experience with the stuff made outside the U.S. The Royal Oak is good, but the Big Green Egg brand is the best, though pricey.
Link Posted: 6/17/2014 5:03:31 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By SvenFrost:

The Royal Oak is good, but the Big Green Egg brand is the best, though pricey.
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Not according to most people's votes.......

http://www.nakedwhiz.com/lumprankpoll.htm
Link Posted: 6/17/2014 10:42:37 AM EDT
When I use lump, I use the Royal Oak (made in the USA version) from Walmart. Its a good quality brand, made of a mix of hardwoods that in my limited experience, does not impart much smoke flavor by itself. I've never found any signs that the wood they used is left over construction material.

That said, I'm one of those guys who doesn't really get what the big deal is about using "natural lump" charcoal. I prefer to use standard Kingsford Charcoal most of the time.
Link Posted: 6/17/2014 5:18:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/17/2014 6:47:44 PM EDT by delorean]
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Originally Posted By airgunner:
That said, I'm one of those guys who doesn't really get what the big deal is about using "natural lump" charcoal. I prefer to use standard Kingsford Charcoal most of the time.
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The problem with briquettes is that you don't know what you're getting in the bag.......there are quite a few recipes for making a briquette, which can include: sawdust (softwood and/or hardwood), coal fly ash, starch, lime, borax, mineral char, sodium nitrate, and finally wood char. (EDIT: and even worse: petroleum)

All of that other junk in the bag that isn't wood char, has a purpose for the manufacturing process. The starch holds them together, the fly ash or borax gets them to release from the presses, the lime gives them that ash color, etc.........and none of it produces BTU's. They just produce off-flavors and ash.

Whereas, 100% natural lump charcoal is 100% wood char. It has a carbon content of 80%-90%+ and anything left over is still wood. It produces a consistent flavor & heat, and leaves minimal ash.

Briquettes are a good camping fuel (as they were originally intended for), but they have no place in gourmet cooking.
Link Posted: 6/17/2014 6:26:27 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By delorean:Briquettes are a good camping fuel (as they were originally intended for), but they have no place in gourmet cooking.
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i thought briquettes were invented to make use of manufacturing waste(sawdust). ie-henry ford and a relative coming up w/a way to make money off the sawdust waste from their main lines and leading to the kingsford namesake.
Link Posted: 6/17/2014 6:46:41 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By iammrbill:


i thought briquettes were invented to make use of manufacturing waste(sawdust). ie-henry ford and a relative coming up w/a way to make money off the sawdust waste from their main lines and leading to the kingsford namesake.
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Originally Posted By iammrbill:
Originally Posted By delorean:Briquettes are a good camping fuel (as they were originally intended for), but they have no place in gourmet cooking.


i thought briquettes were invented to make use of manufacturing waste(sawdust). ie-henry ford and a relative coming up w/a way to make money off the sawdust waste from their main lines and leading to the kingsford namesake.


Yep! They actually invented by someone else, but Henry Ford popularized them when he needed to get rid of all the industrial waste on the assembly line. His brother-in-law (or cousin?), E.G. Kingsford brokered Ford's purchase of a few hundred thousand acres of forest in the upper peninsula Michigan in the 20's. All of the saw dust left over from the mills was to make briquettes. It was called "Ford Charcoal" and shipped to the dealers in boxes in the back of Model T's. It was sold as a camping fuel--as it was compact, would hold together, didn't absorb water, and was easy to light. A few decades later, the company had been sold and renamed "Kingsford" in honor of EG Kingsford and the town of Kingsford, MI.
Link Posted: 6/18/2014 11:08:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2014 11:08:28 PM EDT by jdabreeze]
if i am using the smoker I will use royal oak or cowboy brand. They seem to burn cooler and slower than some of the others I have tried. For grilling the local supermarket brand lights fast and burns HOT.

Link Posted: 6/20/2014 8:16:41 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By delorean:
Briquettes are a good camping fuel (as they were originally intended for), but they have no place in gourmet cooking.
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To each their own I. I'm not a "gourmet" cook (not even close) and I have no problem with the flavor that standard Kingsford imparts.

I know a lot of competition BBQ'ers still use standard Kingsford as well but whatever floats your boat I guess.
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