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Kingsford Briquettes vs. Royal Oak Ridge Briquettes: Burn Temperature, Time, and Ash Comparison

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by noboundaries, May 24, 2017.

  1. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks YK2BBQ. That was a frozen Butterball turkey I picked up for something like 39 cents a pound in the last year. It's been in our chest freezer since purchase.

    I thaw in water. The process I use takes a few days so it wouldn't work now since TG is tomorrow, but you can find directions for thawing in water anywhere online.

    Spatchcock bird, saving all the parts cut off.

    Inject and Brine: 12-72 hours. Anytime I brine longer than 12 hours it is usually due to schedule or weather. I've brined these birds up to 72 hours with no problems. I always buy close to 18 lb turkeys, so that's what the brine is set for below:

    In a blender, put the following ingredients:
    1 tsp Prague #1 Pink Salt
    1/3 cup kosher salt
    1 Tbs onion powder
    1 Tbs garlic powder
    1 tsp black pepper
    1 cup dark brown sugar or inexpensive maple syrup
    1 can frozen orange juice
    1 quart water

    Blend until well mixed.

    Inject the breast with the brine.

    I use a brining bag and fill it with the turkey, turkey parts, brine, another quart of water, and about a quart of ice. I then put it in a cooler and add more ice to the cooler.

    Remove from brine after 12-72 hours,

    Fire up smoker to 325-350F.

    Pat the turkey dry, then put a fan on the bird to fast dry the skin. You can put it in the refrigerator uncovered for 24 hours, but my wife would never eat turkey again if I did that. She HATES handing or seeing raw meat.

    I like to use a drip pan. Usually I put the pan filled with veggies on the lower rack, but my wife wanted mashed potatoes this year. I put carrots in a foil lined 15" paella pan, then put a cooling rack in the pan, then put the dried turkey on the rack. Put the turkey parts in the spatchcocked cavity.

    Spray the turkey with oil then coat with Litehouse Poultry Herb Blend. Spray with oil again.

    Place turkey in smoker with breast on the opposite side of the fire, or if a WSM, opposite the vent.

    Smoke until breast is 160-162F, thigh is north of 170F.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Gotta go do some more shopping.
  2. yankee2bbq

    yankee2bbq Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks bud!
  3. noboundaries, thanks for this post. I have been having a heck of a time with my Dyna-Glo smoker, and I've been using the KBB exclusively. Given the temp drops you've showed in your tests - and my inability to get my smoker's temp up reliably and for any real length of time, I think it's time for me to try out a few bags of the RO and see if that doesn't improve my experience!
  4. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Happy to help Sean. The test was a real eye-opener for me.
  5. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    No doubt it will . KBB snuck in the back door on alot of us .
  6. rastafas

    rastafas Newbie

    So I smoked a pork butt on my kettle this weekend, using the snake method and the much reviled Kingsford Pro charcoal. Outside temperature was 75 degrees with little wind. My snake kept the kettle right around 250 at the food grate for about 10 hours, with minimal fussing around with the top vent. How much longer would the same size snake go with Royal Oak? I wrapped the butt and it finished in the oven because I was too lazy to extend the snake. Would Royal Oak get me significantly more cook time?
  7. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've never used the Kingsford Pro. I have used the Kingsford Competition and found it burned up in half the time as the regular KBB, but that was several KBB formulations ago. KBB has not gotten better over the last two formulations.

    Since I switched at the end of May to Royal Oak Ridge, I have had 32 smokes totaling 174 hours of smoke time. I have used 133 lbs of Royal Oak Ridge. That works out to 1.31 hours per pound of charcoal, which is probably the answer you're looking for if you do the math. Shortest smoke was 1 hr 45 mins; longest 18.5 hours. Average smoke was 5.44 hours long. Smoking temps ranged from 165F to 335F.

    I generally just add new charcoal/wood to used charcoal/wood in my ring. I have 4 butts and one picnic in the freezer. Once the holidays settle down, or maybe for New Years, I'll clean out the WSM, add nothing but new Royal Oak Ridge, and smoke the pork butt or picnic at 250 until ready to pull. I suspect it will still be in the 1.3-1.4 hour per pound of charcoal used range.

    Out of the 120 lbs of old formula KBB I had at the end of May, I have 34 lbs left. 86 lbs was used in the Kettle. The current formula is 7% lighter than the previous formula I still have left.
  8. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I decided to smoke the 11.5 lb picnic I had in the freezer using my favorite profile; 225F overnight until chamber temp starts to fall, then stir and bump chamber temp up to 275F until done, no wrapping. Total smoke time 19 hours (14 hours at approx 225F, 5 hours at 275F).

    I actually forgot about starting with all new RO Ridge when I fired up the WSM yesterday. I knocked the ash off of what was in the smoker (maybe 3 lbs), cleaned out the ash from the bowl, then loaded new Ridge (about 10 lbs) on top of the old along with the hickory chunks. Fired up 8 RO Ridge briquettes and put them in the center of the pile. Took 90 minutes for the smoke to settle down and the chamber to come up to temp. At 5:20 PM I loaded the meat. Temp spiked on the load due to all the air inflow, but soon settled down, stabilizing at 232F. It was 47F outside when I started the smoke.

    Outside temp dropped to 32F overnight. No welder's blanket because it was a windless night. When I woke at 3:30 AM for a quick break, the Mav was showing 217F, the Guru 225F, cycling on and off. I bumped the Guru up to 235F and it quickly reached that temp. Mav was steady at 225F, matching the lid therm. All the coals were ashed over and lit. Back to bed.

    At 7:20 AM, 14 hours into the smoke, I knocked the ash off the briqs and reset the Guru to 275F. Outside temp was 34F. At 9 AM (15.7 hours) the chamber temp started dropping from 275F. and I loaded a small chimney of hot Ridge in the smoker, about 2 lbs. I just heat it long enough for the blue smoke to disappear, then I load it. I did the same thing at 11 AM. Total Ridge used on 19 hour smoke was 3 lbs used / 14 lbs new, total of 17 lbs.

    So, as far as lasting longer than the previous formula KBB, I'm getting a bit of a time bump, but not huge on the long smokes. The one thing I am getting is rock stable temps, but there was a bit of a learning curve how to use the Ridge compared to the KBB.

    Bottom line, both KBB and Ridge are great values. Ridge has better prices off season (Embers at Home Depot).

    Still have to fry the skin up to make Chicharonnes. I cut it free from the meat before it went on the smoker, then used it as a buffer on the grate for the bottom of the roast. It's easier to cut up and fry that way, but I still was able to taste the crunchy parts just now.

    Happy New Year!

    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
    yankee2bbq likes this.
  9. yankee2bbq

    yankee2bbq Smoking Fanatic

    Great information. And Happy New Year!
  10. Phil Chart

    Phil Chart Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Well I have officially switched to royal oak for my uds and Weber kettle grill. I was sold after the info I found here (thanks again noboundaries) I have cooked several times now with RO and love the taste no fuels tasting,however I have found a good use for my extra kingsford I have. I use it to build a hot fire to burn off my cooking grates for both uds and Weber
    Thanks again to all on this forum
  11. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It's almost that time of year when charcoal goes on sale. Lowes and HD usually have one short period sale (like a week or less) prior to Memorial Day. It is usually called their Spring Sale, but MD is when the first big "time to stock up" sale happens.

    I've been averaging just a couple tenths under 40 lbs a month of RO Ridge, Lump, and leftover KBB, using my smoker or grill every third day on average. High monthly use was 63 lbs of charcoal, low 23.4 lbs. I've got 204 lbs left of the same mix: RO Ridge (169.4 lbs) / misc lump (15 lbs) /KBB (20 lbs), enough to get me to the Memorial Day sale when I fill the garage again.
    yankee2bbq likes this.
  12. yankee2bbq

    yankee2bbq Smoking Fanatic

    I like your numbers. You’re like a charcoal nerd. Very cool.
  13. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    LOL ,,, yeah I'm buying stock in whatever he's buying ,,,
    yankee2bbq likes this.
  14. yankee2bbq

    yankee2bbq Smoking Fanatic

    Big time Bud.
  15. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You all made my wife and I LOL. This thread won't be the last time I hear or see "charcoal nerd!" I LIKE IT!
  16. yankee2bbq

    yankee2bbq Smoking Fanatic

    charcoal nerd.......Dilly Dilly!
    chopsaw likes this.
  17. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I was just watching one of the Andrew Zimmern Bizarre Foods Destination shows on Memphis. He was at The Rendezvous, showing how they make their BBQ ribs. He said "they slow smoke their ribs over hardwood lump charcoal," then the camera zoomed in for several shots of the fire in their smoker. There was nothing in their smoker but Royal Oak Ridge or Royal Oak Chef's Select briquette charcoal. You had to freeze the shots to see the shape of the briquettes, but there's no mistaking the Ridge/Chef's Select shape for lump or anything else. Nary a chunk of lump in sight.
    yankee2bbq likes this.
  18. yankee2bbq

    yankee2bbq Smoking Fanatic

    Good work, charcoal nerd. This reinforces your nick name.
  19. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  20. Thread keeps on delivering! ROR @ $4/bag at Lowes this last weekend.