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WSM FUEL

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

So the big variable for me is fuel choices. I have tried KBB, Stubbs, Royal Oak lump, and Kingsford Competition. Haven't tried any others due to availability at the local stores (i am always on the hunt for coal!). Also, all smokes have been setup with the original Minion method.

 

KBB-ok for grilling on the kettle or wings on the WSM, but I would not use this on anything that would require a long smoke on a big piece of $$ meat.

 

Stubbs- awesome coal, but definitely has a flavor of its own. If I am not careful with my wood selection for smoke, it can not work well with the coal. I am going to try maybe a 50/50 with Stubbs and KC/KBB.

 

RO Lump-great for grilling on the kettle, but not sure I will try it for a long smoke. Burned hot and fast...I dont have any experience with it in the WSM.

 

Kingsford Comp-very good results on smoking ribs, wings and on the kettle for grilling. Right now this is my go to fuel, but I have a limited supply locally. Only available at Meijers and I am not sure how they stock charcoal through the winter (I am in Michigan).

 

Any of these make your list? Same or different opinions as mine? Of course this is the first post about charcoal LOL !!

post #2 of 10

i use the blue bag for everything

why do you not use it for expensive meat?

post #3 of 10
I too use KBB for everything, especially long cooks as its one of the only ones that can burn for longer times. I use lump for shorter smokes and high temp cooks.
post #4 of 10

All below for my WSM.

 

 

KBB-Neutral smoke flavor. I add wood chunks(apple, cherry, pecan, hickory, mesquite) for flavor. Easiest to maitain a consistent fire.

 

Stubbs-Too much mesquite, the smoke overpowers the meat flavors.

 

RO Lump-Works great in my WSM. Burns well, chunks are small enough to maintain a consistent fire. I add wood chunks(apple, cherry, pecan, hickory, mesquite) for flavor.

 

Kingsford Comp- Never tried.

 

Lazzari- Chunks too large and inconsistent in size to maintain a steady fire. All mesquite, very overpowering smoke flavor imparted to everything.

 

 

 

 

In my kettle, I use the Lazzari or Royal Oak.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustPlainBob View Post
 

i use the blue bag for everything

why do you not use it for expensive meat?

I should have said I havent used it for the longer cooks, so I am uncertain at this point. I  am not ruling it out in any way, especially because my local Kroger has 2 bags of KBB for $10.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfprankster View Post
 

All below for my WSM.

 

 

KBB-Neutral smoke flavor. I add wood chunks(apple, cherry, pecan, hickory, mesquite) for flavor. Easiest to maitain a consistent fire.

 

Stubbs-Too much mesquite, the smoke overpowers the meat flavors.

 

RO Lump-Works great in my WSM. Burns well, chunks are small enough to maintain a consistent fire. I add wood chunks(apple, cherry, pecan, hickory, mesquite) for flavor.

 

Kingsford Comp- Never tried.

 

Lazzari- Chunks too large and inconsistent in size to maintain a steady fire. All mesquite, very overpowering smoke flavor imparted to everything.

 

 

 

 

In my kettle, I use the Lazzari or Royal Oak.

Agree with you on the Stubbs 100%. I did use this without adding wood for smoke and it worked great on the butts. The KC has a great burn, little ash and was very easy to use. 

post #7 of 10

In a week, Lowes and Home Depot should be holding a Labor Day sales on charcoal.

post #8 of 10

KBB - my go to for both long and short smokes with wood of choice added.  Use it for grilling too.  Re-use snuffed charcoal from previous smoke/grill too.  I'm not happy they packed the briquettes 7% less dense this year, but I'll probably live with it and just be 7% less happy about it.     

 

Kingsford Comp - burns WAY too fast for me.  Only lasts about half as long as KBB.  The tests online say it lasts longer but that hasn't been my experience with 4 Costco bags (two 2-packs) of the stuff. 

 

Royal Oak Lump - Went through one bag and it was great.  The second bag, bought at the same time, had a horrible fuel smell to it as soon as I opened the bag.  The bag has been sitting open in my garage for almost two years and the smell is just about gone.

 

Lazarri Lump - My favorite, but my Texas wife and I love mesquite.  The bags I've bought often have partially carbonized pieces in them.  The size is definitely all over the place  We still like it though. . 

 

Local grocery chain lump charcoal - burned fine, but too expensive to use regularly.

 

When I use lump I put down a layer of KBB in my WSM, then put the lump on top.  It keeps the smaller pieces of lump from falling through the grates.  I also use KBB to start the fire in the chimney, not the lump.         

post #9 of 10
I use KBB cheap and reliable! Got 20-2pks last sale!
post #10 of 10
Trader Joe's briquettes for smoking, whatever lump I can find for grilling. Usually Cowboy. The TJ's is cheap and I really like the way it performs. Nothing against Kingsford, and it is always available, I just don't really like how it behaves. Seems to start fairly easily, but takes a long time to get a "mature" fire for grilling. When smoking it makes a lot of ash. These aren't deal breakers, and I'm sure I'll use it whenever I don't have anything else on hand.
As for Stubbs, I've used it quite a bit and I like it. It's super dense and lasts seemingly forever. I've never noticed the mesquite flavor, but I did notice kind of an off smell at startup. Kinda reminded me of trash burning. Once the smoke clears though, I didn't notice any smell at all. Trader Joe's is kinda similar in performance, but not quite as dense and no weird smells. At $8 for 20lb, it's not the cheapest, but it's not what I'd call expensive. If I remember, Stubbs was kinda pricey.
Cowboy, by the way, seems to have gotten their act together. Last few bags I've bought have been larger pieces, little dust and no mystery chunks. Still sparks like a fireworks display though.