Charcoal, and Suppliers

Discussion in 'UK Smokers' started by euromir, May 11, 2015.

  1. euromir

    euromir Fire Starter

    Ok i will post this is in UK section, as talking suppliers not much use to our American cousins!

    I hit my first hurdle albeit a tiny one, the supermarket charcoal (Supagrill lumpwood) has mostly fallen through the bottom of the fire-basket! Doh

    I was thinking of ordering some blue bag restaurant grade online and thought id see what you all use first!

    So what charcoal should i get? And any suppliers that deliver youd recommend, or Wade as your in my neck of woods, any shops that have it on the shelves?

    Also what wood chips or chunks should i get and again wheres best to order?

    Thanks chaps

    Lee
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2015
  2. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Lee

    Most charcoal will do a job but don't get anything that says it is instant light. What you need to be looking for to get the long consistent temperature cooks is a hard briquette. You can then add pellets or wood blocks on top of this to get your smoke flavour.

    The best ones I have come across are the Heat Beads http://www.wowbbq.co.uk/products/aussie-heat-beads-4kg--1009.html. They may look a little more expensive than the supermarket brands but they last a lot longer and give a much more consistent heat. It took me ages to get Danny to try them but now he is hooked.

    I used to use wood chunks but now I use pellets for flavour. In your UDS the chunks will probably be best though. Briquettes are best ordered online but where you live I would be surprised if you don't have access to a plentiful supply of Oak. For different flavoured wood chunks then Smokewoodshack  will be able to help you out.

    If you want to try some Heat Beads or a Maverick then let me know.

    Cheers

    Wade
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2015
  3. euromir

    euromir Fire Starter

    Ah
    Well I gone wrong already then, as I dismissed briquettes totally for a smoker, thinking more natural lumpwood would be better.

    And never fear, you won't catch me anywhere near instant light products or any fuel etc.
     
  4. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Believe it or not, low and slow cooking (smoking) is more about the heat consistency than the smoke. You are looking to maintain the inside of your smoker at a temperature of about 225-250 F (110-120 C) for 6 to 12 hours (or even longer) depending on what you are cooking. The act of cooking low and slow helps break down the collagen and connective tissues within the tougher meat cuts to turn it into tender heaven. Once you have got the temperature control mastered then you can think about the smoke flavour. This you can do in several ways. Using small wood chunks, pellets or chips that you add into the charcoal/briquette fire base or by using a smoke generator like the AMNTS. In a UDS most will use the minion method to manage the heat and add either Wood chunks, chips or pellets on top of the cold coals.

    Here is an example of using pellets with the snake/minion method in a Weber kettle. You will use a similar principle in the firebox of the UDS except you will usually fill (or partially fill) your fire basket with unlit coals with chunks or pellets placed on top. You will then add a few lit coals into a well that you have left in the centre. As the briquettes progressively catch then the wood or pellets around them will progressively produce smoke too.


     
    Last edited: May 11, 2015
  5. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Wade, this sums it up perfectly

    "The act of cooking low and slow helps break down the collagen and connective tissues within the tougher meat cuts to turn it into tender heaven."
     
  6. euromir

    euromir Fire Starter

    Have just ordered 14kg of these Heat Beads, (and some hickory chunks) so taking your word for it chaps! Haha
     
  7. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Lee

    I assume you bought 2 x 7Kg bags. Make the most of them because they are no longer being imported from Australia as they are only shipped on pallets. When the 7Kg stocks run out the only size bags you will be able to get are the 4Kg. Apparently this is because they come in convenient boxes of 4 making them more economical to ship.

    You will probably need a chimney starter for these as they do take longer to light than DIY briquettes (ask Danny about that LOL) but this is one of the reasons that they burn longer and more consistently. B&Q or a local garden centre will have these.
     
    euromir likes this.
  8. euromir

    euromir Fire Starter

    Really?
    Bugger , really have blown my budget already this month, damn new hobbies!
    Well when I turns up tomorrow I'll take a chunk to my blow torch and see what happens anyway.

    Yes 2x 7kg
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  9. Hello Lee.  That Wade.  He does rattle on doesn't he?  He sounds REALLY convincing.  You would ALMOST think he knows what he is talking about.  An English bloke talking about smoking meat??  ARE YOU SERIOUS??  The truth of the matter is HE DOES KNOW HIS STUFF!  I have cooked with my friend and he has taught me several things.  You could not get much better advice.  We are all here to help in any way we can.  Keep Smokin!

    Danny
     
    euromir likes this.
  10. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    They are selling the Heat Beads in The Range. Looked like 4Kg bags. Did not see the price as I was moved very quickly through the BBQ section.

    Smokin Monkey
     
    euromir likes this.
  11. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    They are not proper chunks!....... Now that's a chunk! 
     
  12. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Smokewood, how far from Chatsworth House are you, delivering there Thursday. Also they have a small chip smoker at the Farmshop. Andre is the contact.

    Smokin Monkey
     
  13. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    We are about an hour away, They are on the opposite site side of the peaks from me, why what are you thinking?
     
  14. euromir

    euromir Fire Starter

    Aussie Heat Beads have arrived today! As well as a chimney starter and maverick on kind loan from Wade.

    Bring on the weekend! Although I do have guests so may not get as much done, see how it goes.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
  15. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Oh No, sounds like you've met Wade. Many of us have restraining orders on him :ROTF

    We talk to him on here as our Care in the Community effort :biggrin:

    You are so lucky you live so close to Wade, you have the the finest UK Smoker and Technician on your doorstep!

    Smokin Monkey
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
  16. euromir

    euromir Fire Starter

    Haha, actually no not met as yet, more of a spy like dead letter drop ;)
     
  17. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Keep the doors locked and curtains drawn!!!!
     
  18. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Are you Hog roasting at Chatsworth this weekend Smokin Monkey, passing through, or just popping in to see the family?
     
  19. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Smokewood, no I am delivering Refrigerated Trailers in the morning. It's a regular customer who has the Conssesion for the whole of Chatsworth Estate. Also supply Refrigerated Trailers to the Farm Shop for major events and the whole of November thr to Christmas.

    Smokin Monkey
     
  20. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Smokewood, just got your last comment, not popping in to see the Family, as I have to head South to see the other side of the "Family" HRH you know!!

    Smokin Monkey
     

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