Lump or Charcoal????

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Lump or Charcoal.. which do you prefer?

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  • Charcoal

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scotty's bbq

Fire Starter
Original poster
Jul 26, 2006
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Hey guys,

Previously I turned my propane grill into a smoker & had great results, but wanted to try my hand with a charcoal/wood smoker. I picked up a used new Braunfels Bandera at an estate sale got it cleaned up a bit and have been having a difficult time with my fire.

I have been using Kingsford lump charwood...having a hard time getting it to lite. Takes several attempts before it gets going. The best way I found so far is to add a chunk or two of my hickory. Anyway...once I get it going at a good temp I place my meat in the smoke chamber & then after time my temps start dropping, so I have been adding a few pieces of the lump, but it doesn't seem to ever lite, so I have to add more of my hickory to it before the lump takes off.

I want to try using the Minion method, but from everything I have found so far on the minion gives info using charcoal. I have read the info from the virtual weber site, etc...

My question is this...What are you guys using, Charcoal or lump coal?
scotty i use royal oak hardwood lump charcoal get it in 20# bags. never had a problem getting it lit, i use a chimney starter, but i also have just lit some newspaper under the coal grate and it fired right up
i use kingsford charcoal. i use a chimney starter to light it. before i got the chimney, i would make a little pyramid with the charcoal, put some lighter fluid on it, and after a few minutes it would light up. doing it that way, the charcoal will "go out", but after a bit it lights back up on its own. a little patience is needed with it. make sure you have good air flow, as was stated.
it is all charcoal, the lump seems to burn hotter and cleaner...

you can get both in ontario, i think i use to get mine at Zellers but i think wallyworld will carry it
The difference between Kingsford charcoal and lump charcoal is that the Kingsford is Briquettes. Which means its is pressed from a combinations of many different items, similar to a hotdog.(LOL) Lump is made by burning wood in an oxygen free process. So it "burns" without burning up. But please don't quote me. This is something I read somewhere else and don't remember where. BUT it might be close.
Actually, I like to use a combination of the two. I look for 100% hardwood bruquettes. I'll use the briquettes because I find they hold the heat longer. The lump burns out too quickly, but seems to provide good flavor. I'll use about 50/50. And I'll throw a medium chunk of wood on now and again, especially in the first couple of hours when the pores are still open to suck in the flavor. When I have everything in foil, I'll use straight briquettes, unless I decide to use the time to start the fatties or peppers.

The last batch of ribs were met with rave reviews. I think they were the best I've ever tasted so far.
if ya got an H.E.B. store or the kingsford w/ mesquite in it ( i personally hate the ridged charcoal- too fast burning)- yer in oklahoma- find a tree trimming service & buy the scrap wood- pecan or oak they trim you haul. then split yourself.even make money if you have a inlaws just moved away & left over 4 cords of hickory on the porch... kicking myself for not having a trailer.. .was left w/ the house... grrrr
I'm with Chris Harper on the Kingsford briquettes and lighting them in the chimney starter. Then I use oak or maple splits for a couple of hours. (But, I have used the lump before with no complaints.)
I've always been a briquette man, but a lack of decent burning briquettes in the marketplace has driven me to experiment w/ lump.

I've tried 4 or 5 brands and the one I like best I "Ozark Oak". I've found that you use alot less in terms of poundage. I can get more cooks out of a 10# bag of it than a 20# bag of briquettes. Some of the other brands I tried threw off sparks like a 4th of july firework (kingsford for one)
I think the charcoal is good to get your lump started. Also depend on what your smoking I think. For cooler smokes I stay strickly with charcoal.
i've never found or used lump ( is that like wood coal?) we have a kingsford plant near here. these new briquettes w/ the grooves burn too fast. the best charcoal i ever found was ( ya texas people)hill country fare mesquite in charcoal- 1/2 the price of kingsford full bricks w/ mesquite ( h.e.b. is still the best grocer chain in the country when forced into walmart etc., other than that i'm a chunk/stick burner.
Lump should be available just about anywhere. It's what briquettes are before they make it into briquettes. I guess wood coal would be a good name for it. Home depot, Lowe's, Academy Sports, and most grocery stores carry it around here.

It does burn faster and hotter, so use less to start, and because ther're no additives in, just add a little more as you go. It won't put a funky flavor on your food like adding briquettes can. The Ozark Oak brand that I use actually adds a nice smoke flavor when you add to the fire.

yah _ my ginko biloba hasn't kicked in but yeah i used it ( don't really like it)i used the royal oak brand but it wasn't labeled "lump" it was wood coal or some such thing ... i'm so used to wood or mesquite briquettes...
btw i saw a post about the history of charcoal & the kingsford family & henry ford- just an interesting note- it was thomas edison that gave them the formula for getting the stuff to form a cohesive bond- i'm an edison nut- so what is the most useful invention edison ever patented... the lightbulb, the modern composition of concrete,the detonator cap for torpedos in ww2, or the cohesion of charcoal briquettes.... tough call.
I've been using their hardwood lump for at least three years now, it is great stuff and readily available around these parts.
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