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Silly newb question

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I am a total newb to smoking, I have been reading about what lump charcoal is best......seems as if RO wins hands down.

I have two questions.

Can you just use firewood size pieces for your fuel, or does it have to be "lumps"?

What does it mean to have "cooked" lump coal..........thanks guys
post #2 of 6
No real rule on what kind of coal or size or type of wood to use. I use a lot of oak logs as the fuel source. Burn them in my patio fire bowl, and shovel in the burned-down coals. Gives a good oak flavor without the billowing smoke from just sticking a log in the firebox. For the hickory flavor, I use chips or chunks, depending on what I have on hand. Just a bit is all you need to get smoke. Don't even need to see the smoke. Been said in here many times, "if ya smell smoke, you're smoking,"
post #3 of 6
Hi ya F3.

Personally i think you'll find a lot of peoples use Royal Oak just because it is easily available in most areas (wally world) and is on the cheaper end of the scale (6$ 10lb bag). That's what i use for them two reasons. There is better charcoals out there but they tend to be more expensive and not so easily available.

I'm no expert but the way i understand it is, to use just wood logs you'll need a big smoker that can efficiently burn the log without producing a lot of creosote.
The way a lot of people do things is to pre burn the wood down to coals then add the coals into the firebox. I'm guessing this is what you were calling cooked lump.

Richtee has a very good post on preburning. It is worth tracking down.

The majority of people will use lump then add woood chunks for flavor.

Hope any of this helps.
post #4 of 6
Lump charcoal is made by heating wood chunks in an atmosphere lacking oxygen. The heat drives off most of the volitile chemicals and moisture in the wood, yet the wood cannot be fully consumed by the heat due to the lack of air. This leaves a almost pure carbon fuel. Lump charcoal is used for heat in the smoking process

Pre-burning is a simlilar process...except the wood is actually burned in air, and requires some experience to know when to add it to the firebox, so as to get maximum flavoring without the troublesome chemicals cooked off previously.

The aforementioned post:
post #5 of 6
DAYUM! Richtee has AMAZED me with the scientific knowledge he has for most any subject. Without sounding like a geeky scientist and making it entertaining.
post #6 of 6
Ditto to that!
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