• 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.

Lump charcoal or briquettes?

3montes

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,209
58
Joined Dec 26, 2007
I have a Brinkman Smokin' Pit the horizontal type with a offset fire box. I have yet to smoke in it. My qustion is this. Is the lump charcoal that I hear talked about a necessity to use a your heat source for a successful smoking experience? Or will your standard Kingsford briquettes suffice with a favorite wood added for the smoke flavor.
 

low&slow

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
470
11
Joined Apr 10, 2007
I have the same smoker and I use Kingsford charcoal as a coal base. Ive tried the lump but, in my opinion, it burns up too quick.
 

geek with fire

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,089
17
Joined Aug 5, 2007
There are pros and cons to both. I personally like the flavor of the lump charcoal over brick. Bricks have binders in them to keep the brick shape. These binders can effect the flavor of the smoke. Lump is pure wood, so wood flavor is all you get. Lump tends to burn a little hotter than brick, which is usually a benenfit. However, the only benefit in my mind to using brick is that is burns at more of an even rate than lump; simply because each brick contains nearly the same quantity of material.

Try both and see which you like.
 

3montes

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,209
58
Joined Dec 26, 2007
Thanks for the replies. Is there a good internet site that you would recommend buying lump from? What kind would you all recommend?
Thanks again...
 

fatback joe

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
2,769
14
Joined Jun 13, 2007
One big benefit to lump over briqs IMO is ash production. On a long burn, the ash build up from charcoal can prevent good airflow around the hot coals making it harder to keep a good cooking temp.
 

geek with fire

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,089
17
Joined Aug 5, 2007
Personally, I would find a place you can pick it up locally. The Wally-World in my area stocks Royal Oak lump. Lowes stocks Cowboy lump. I can't stand the Cowboy lump; it's like burning paper. But Royal is decent, and has a good flavor even if you choose not to add additional smoke (but who the heck wouldn't want more smoke!).

If you find a local supplier that stocks a particular brand, bounce if off of the Naked Whiz's lump database. Make sure it won't cause you to grow a third eye, then give it a try.
http://www.nakedwhiz.com/lumprankpoll.htm
 

glued2it

Master of the Pit
1,558
10
Joined Sep 8, 2007
I have the same pit and found that the lump works better and is cheaper.

Like geek said I like the flavor better too.
Kingsford Briquettes is made from wood brought in from furniture factories, Who knows what all kinds of wood they use. I use "Ozark Oak" which is natural oak wood. Also it doesn't seem to spark up as much as other lumps.

It's a personal preference.

Hope this helps.
 

low&slow

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
470
11
Joined Apr 10, 2007
I agree with you on this one. I find myself scraping the ashes out 2 or 3 times during a long brisket smoke. But the side door on the SNP makes it easy. Well there ya go, a bunch of different opinions. Like Glued said, its a personal preference. Try them both to see what you like the best.
 

ozark rt

Meat Mopper
OTBS Member
290
13
Joined Jan 25, 2007
I also prefer to use Ozark Oak. It is made about 20 miles from where I live but surprisingly it is kind of hard to come by. If my grocery is out of Ozark Oak I will use Royal Oak. But never again will I use Cowboy lump.
 

low&slow

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
470
11
Joined Apr 10, 2007
hmmmm. When I experimented with lump, it was Cowboy lump. Could that be the reason I was turned off from it? Is it not the good stuff? If there are better lumps out there I might be intrigued to try another kind. But I didnt like that Cowboy stuff at all. And thats all Ive seen around here.
 

ozark rt

Meat Mopper
OTBS Member
290
13
Joined Jan 25, 2007
Check at WalMart & see if they have any Royal Oak. They may or may not since, to them, it is somewhat of a seasonal item. Our local WM keeps it year round. In fact there is about a pallet and a half sitting in the nursery section as I type. My only and last experience with Cowboy was that it was made from old lumber. Yes tongue and groove burnt planks. The stuff burned way too fast and was very ashy.
 

dono

Meat Mopper
OTBS Member
280
12
Joined Oct 7, 2007
dunno if you can get it in the states but I like to use maple leaf hardwood lump charcoal as my base works well for me, I tried briqs a couple times found it left an after taste to the meat, kinda like using lighter fluid to start your fire a real nono IMHO

1b84249e_vbattach16232.jpg
 

capt dan

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
3,363
10
Joined Nov 2, 2007
Yes, cowboy lump is not a good choice if that is what you based your comparison on. I use Royal Oak, cuz its available. the bags are good size and condition, 20 lbs. w/very little dust for 10-11 bucks a bag. 1 bags worth of ash would fill a 1 gallon ziplock about 1/2 full. Thats pretty low ash production for my type of smoker, which is a horizontal w/sfb. I asked the same question when I first came here, the answers I recieved were about the same as you just did. This place is a smorgasbord of wonderful ideas and people who are kind enough to share them.
 

sumosmoke

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
3,370
15
Joined Dec 29, 2007
This thread has helped me as a new user, as well. Got a new horizontal smoker and am dying to use it. Want the first batch of ashes to be of a memorable meal!
 

capt dan

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
3,363
10
Joined Nov 2, 2007
actually, the first pile of ashes should come from"seasoning" the smoker! No food, no temp probes( unless you want to check them), just good fuel, and some wood for smoke, and a few notes. The very next smoke will be much better for you!
 

seaham358

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
765
51
Joined Aug 18, 2007
I like to use both.. I make a nest out of the lump and then fill the charcoal chim with kingsford bricks.. I dump them in the center of the nest and then use lump the rest of the smoke.
Lump is hard to find where I am and Cowboy is whats sold in Lowes and HD does not sell lump. There is a small Deli that sold some other brand that worked well for me, but I found them at the end of the season and there was only a few bags left so I only got a couple bags. Next summer I'll be on a Lump coal hunt..
 

3montes

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,209
58
Joined Dec 26, 2007
Just got back from Wally World and seen that they had about a half dozen bags of Royal Oak lump. So I guess that is whats going to be available to me. Didn't buy any because it is currently 6 below zero. My smoking days are a ways off yet.
 

richtee

Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
10,686
22
Joined Aug 12, 2007
Awww contractor' my friend! <Love my frenchie, eh?>
Wrap that smoker! Build a wind break! Add charcoal! smoke, man...SMOKE!
 

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.