• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Briquettes vs. Lump

lucc

Smoke Blower
148
10
Joined Jun 4, 2009
Well I finished off the bag of Cowboy lump charcoal and I think I am going to stick with Kingsford briquettes. The lump seemed to give the meat a stronger charcoal flavor and overpowerd the wood flavor. Anyone esle see it the same way? You can definitely smell the difference between the two when smoking.
 

dick foster

Smoking Fanatic
402
16
Joined Apr 24, 2010
Overpowered the wood flavor? Lump is made only from wood while briquettes are only partially made from wood. Cowboy is not one of the better or well thought of brands BTW.  
 

lucc

Smoke Blower
148
10
Joined Jun 4, 2009
Overpowered the wood flavor? Lump is made only from wood while briquettes are only partially made from wood. Cowboy is not one of the better or well thought of brands BTW.  
LOL, I guess I meant an overpowering wood flavor. Seems with briquettes I tasted the hickory/apple/pecan/mesquite/etc flavor better.
 

jethro

Smoke Blower
100
10
Joined Sep 3, 2006
Cowboy is the worst...they use construction waste in their lump. I have personally found chunks of treated plywood in the one and ony bag of cowboy that I bought...whole bag went in the trash. The arsenic and glue is probably what was the overpowering factor.
 
Last edited:

dick foster

Smoking Fanatic
402
16
Joined Apr 24, 2010
I knew they used scrap from flooring mills but I didn't know about the plywood. That would indeed be a bummer.

The really odd thing is, is that one of the best possible brands out there, Royal Oak, is sold in the lowest cost store around, Wallmart. Go figure.  
 

lucc

Smoke Blower
148
10
Joined Jun 4, 2009
Wow, won't be using Cowboy any longer!!!

Also, I've been doing some searching and have found that adding flavoring wood to lump isn't necessary. If you add wood it overpowers the meat and it tastes like lump charcoal, this is basically what I was trying to say in my original post. I noticed when adding flavoring wood to briquettes you could taste the flavoring wood better, wasn't overpowering.
 

dick foster

Smoking Fanatic
402
16
Joined Apr 24, 2010
Not in my experence. I use lump for heat and chunk for flavor all the time.  
 

Dutch

Smoking Guru
Staff member
Administrator
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
OTBS Admin
Group Lead
7,060
287
Joined Jul 7, 2005
When I use lump in the sfb modified GOSM, I use Royal Oak. The Royal Oak Briquettes seem to be bigger and burns hotter than Kingsford's.  I really gotta watch my temps when using RO briquettes when I'm cooking with the dutch ovens.
 
Last edited:

coffee_junkie

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,144
18
Joined Feb 17, 2009
I bought a bag of cowboy lump, big mistake. I used it in the drum last weekend and I couldn't get it to stabilize, then it just flat went out, luckily the fatty was done before that happened. I will stick with RO lump from now on.
 

Dutch

Smoking Guru
Staff member
Administrator
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
OTBS Admin
Group Lead
7,060
287
Joined Jul 7, 2005
In the one and only bag of Cowboy lump that I used I found charred nails and even a couple of pieces of uncharred wood chunks in the bottom of the bag. There had to have been at least a pound of small peices (1/2 inch and smaller) that couldn't even be used. 
 

coyote-1

Smoking Fanatic
554
15
Joined Sep 14, 2008
I've never found plywood in Cowboy. An occasional rock, but you get that in almost any lump (including RO). I did once get a piece of kiln insulation in Cowboy; I just removed it. Industrial scrap hardwood is just as useful as log hardwood; it is the same wood! And in fact, RO is cut into small pieces using saws just like Cowboy.

It's the process of making it into coal that is different. And that yields differences in the character of the burn. From my experience Cowboy lights quicker, and its initial burn phase is hotter... but it burns out more quickly. RO lights a bit slower, and does not yield as much of an initial heat blast.... but it burns more consistently, and yields greater heat over that time.

So I use both, for different purposes.

For smoking I fill my coal basket with RO. I then light a chimney of Cowboy, and dump that into a corner of the basket. That way my smoker gets hot more quickly AND it gets the benefit of RO's steady hot burn. I then toss chunks/sticks of whatever smokewood I want on top of the basket as the smoke progresses.

For grilling, I use Cowboy. Because that initial hot burn is exactly what I want to sear a steak or lamb chops or whatever.

What I do NOT use at all any more is briquettes. I have a half-bag of Kingsford sittin' in the garage, and a bag of some match-light stuff that my sis-inlaw gave me. I mmight over time use the Kingsford, but the matchlight is likely gonna get tossed. You think lump coal colors the taste of food?  How about briquettes composed of some wood coal dust, some clay-chemical binders... and infused with enough propellant that you can put a match to it and it lights right up??
 

ak1

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
2,373
70
Joined Feb 23, 2010
I use briquettes once in a while, when I need stable temps over a certain time. For that, I find that briquettes are better than lump because they're uniform, but what I use is Maple Leaf, it's just charcoal dust held together by wheat starch.

What I don't like about briquettes is the amount of ash that is produced.
 
What I do NOT use at all any more is briquettes. I have a half-bag of Kingsford sittin' in the garage, and a bag of some match-light stuff that my sis-inlaw gave me. I mmight over time use the Kingsford, but the matchlight is likely gonna get tossed. You think lump coal colors the taste of food?  How about briquettes composed of some wood coal dust, some clay-chemical binders... and infused with enough propellant that you can put a match to it and it lights right up??
 

Latest posts

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.