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lump charcoal for the snake technique?


Fire Starter
Joined Feb 18, 2019
I use lump charcoal exclusively in my Weber kettle and just recently learned about the "snake" method for low and slow cooking, but everything I see about it uses briquettes. Does anyone use lump with the snake method and does it work well? What brand have you tried that works or doesn't?
FYI, I've tried several lump brands and love Rockwood. Not affiliated with them. A little harder to get started but then burns great, lasts long and great flavor and smell. This might not be a good lump for the snake method because it is harder to light. Any comments are greatly appreciated!


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Sep 15, 2012
I haven't personally. I would think it'd burn to hot for a low and slow cook. It may work fine for 260* plus. Good luck and let us know how it works out - if you try it.


phantom krankor

Smoke Blower
SMF Premier Member
Joined Aug 15, 2014
I have to agree with GMC, lump seems to run hot, and in my experience the variability of the sizes makes it hard to get a consistent path. I'll be happy to hear someones actual experience though.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Dec 6, 2007
I use El Diablo lump outta Mexico, 100% mesquite. Chunks range in size from golf ball to football size and yes it burns slow and Hot, I take my hammer and make the big chunks into smaller chunks. I have been using the Minion method in my drum from 5 hour ribs to 14 hour briskets with excellent results. Granted my drum is not a kettle but using smaller pieces and controlling your air intakes I'm sure you too will be successful. All the real small pieces I get from breaking up the chunks feed my chimney, waste not want not. good luck to ya.


Fire Starter
Joined Feb 18, 2019
Appreciate the feedback. I will say that I've been able to cook for several hours at 230ish using the minion method and babysitting the top vent, so I know it can be done that way. Rockwood does have more consistent size pieces than other brands I've tried, including Diablo, so that probably helps. I just bought a tiptoptemp and hoping that gets me away from checking the temp/vent every 10 minutes! I'll give the snake a try this weekend with a turkey and post the results here.


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Sep 7, 2013
Lump runs hot due to more surface area exposed to air in the fuel-heat-air fire triangle. Briquettes settle into each other, giving a more balanced surface exposure.

Lump is rarely fully carbonized, although RO lump gets close. Those pieces of incompletely carbonized wood is what gives lump the additional flavor.

A good briquette, without weird binders and ingredients, gives a tasteless heat source and predictable performance for long smokes. Add wood chunks of choice, and you can control flavor and walk away from the smoker for hours and hours.

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