First smoke on the bronco. Recommendations on charcoal?

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JBinGB

Fire Starter
Original poster
Aug 24, 2020
55
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Did up an 8.5 lb pork butt on the bronco today. Kingsford original charcoal and chunks of pecan. I got 9 hours on a full basket.

The flavor was definitely different than my offset, and I could definitely tell it was cooked with Kingsford charcoal. It has that distinct flavor. While it isn't bad, I wish I had more smoke flavor. Does anyone have a recommendation on charcoal that doesn't have as distinct a flavor that may let the wood shine through a little more?

I was super impressed with how well this thing held temp, I just wish I had more smoke flavor and less Kingsford flavor.
 

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If you go pure electric smoker like a MES30 the wood flavor will shine. I have a MES30. About a year ago I purchased a Masterbuilt 560 charcoal and I use cherry chunks/post oak/ apple with it. And you are right. The charcoal flavor does take away from the wood flavor a bit. And charcoal adds flavor to the wood. Still the flavor from the Masterbuilt is better for me than the MES30. I use B&B charcoal briquettes.
 
I recently picked up a bag of FOGO and man that stuff is great. Don’t know if I even need wood using it. But I’ve had luck with getting nice smoke with Embers from HD.
 
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I agree with you on the Kingsford flavor. They use way too much soft wood in the blend that leaves that (as you describe) the Kingsford flavor.
I am weaning out using briquettes. I used to be a Royal Oak fan, but something changed. They burn out fast and leave way too much ash. Royal Oak is also Embers (Home Depot) and Expert Grill (Walmart)
Going back to lump. And Royal Oak lump sucks as heavily kiln dried lumber. Working on a bag of Frontier that is 100% real wood.
 
I agree with you on the Kingsford flavor. They use way too much soft wood in the blend that leaves that (as you describe) the Kingsford flavor.
I am weaning out using briquettes. I used to be a Royal Oak fan, but something changed. They burn out fast and leave way too much ash. Royal Oak is also Embers (Home Depot) and Expert Grill (Walmart)
Going back to lump. And Royal Oak lump sucks as heavily kiln dried lumber. Working on a bag of Frontier that is 100% real wood.

I like Kingsford for grilling burgers on the Weber, but for a low and slow I wasn't impressed.

I have heard that in the drums the briquettes are better because you get a longer and more even burn than lump. Maybe I'll have to try lump next.

In my offset I really like the B&B lump charcoal if you haven't tried it. The bags I've used you get nice big chunks. I tried cowboy brand from Costco one and it was more the size of pellets than charcoal.
 
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If you go pure electric smoker like a MES30 the wood flavor will shine. I have a MES30. About a year ago I purchased a Masterbuilt 560 charcoal and I use cherry chunks/post oak/ apple with it. And you are right. The charcoal flavor does take away from the wood flavor a bit. And charcoal adds flavor to the wood. Still the flavor from the Masterbuilt is better for me than the MES30. I use B&B charcoal briquettes.

I have an offset that I love dearly, but I picked up this Bronco for the times I can't dedicate the time to the fire. I really don't want to go to an electric smoker. I will have to see if I can find B&B briquettes. I enjoy using B&B lump in my offset, but briquettes I heard work better in the drum
 
This is how I roll these days, it's WAY better than the normal offering.
On their web site they also show several versions using different desireable hardwoods, but since Costco is where I shop charcoal the ProComp version is all I use.
 

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I’ve always had good luck with embers from Home Depot. There a little ashy after they burn but great price and usually have big sales on them around holidays and I stock up
 
Literally any brand of lump will do you better than Kingsford blue. They use brown coal. Lump is all hardwood by default. Premium lump is overrated. Extra large chunks won't burn right.
 
Literally any brand of lump will do you better than Kingsford blue. They use brown coal. Lump is all hardwood by default. Premium lump is overrated. Extra large chunks won't burn right.

I'm afraid with lump I won't get the burn times I need though. I have a 8 lb charcoal basket and to access it I would need to take out the meat, grates, and diffuser plate. Not ideal
 
I'm afraid with lump I won't get the burn times I need though. I have a 8 lb charcoal basket and to access it I would need to take out the meat, grates, and diffuser plate. Not ideal
Yeah that doesn't add up in simple terms. I call it a smoker design failure.
8# of briquettes is roughly 1/4 the volume of lump
 
You're going to want to find a hardwood charcoal briquette. Weber used to have really nice briquettes but they discontinued them. Royal Oak and Kingsford do have pure hardwood briquettes but you have to find them. Lump charcoal on the other hand is all hardwood by default, no binders or brown coal.
 
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