Lump vs briquet

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Pete Vance

Original poster
Dec 12, 2017
I don't smoke a lot so I am not a savvy as a lot of people here. I usually use briquettes. I did a small brisket a couple of days ago and tried lump charcoal. I used briquettes to start the lump for the cook.

I had a real problem with getting the temp to stabilize. I wanted to cook at 225 and could not get the temp to co-operate. It shot up to 250 degrees and stayed there. I finally had to close the damper almost completely to get the temp to start down.

I have Pittmaster IQ controler and I also check with a probe from my Thermopro.

Any advice appreciated, Pete
Last edited:
Lump = Irregular shapes causes higher heat, and harder to control temps. Really good for proteins like chicken.

Briquettes: consistent shape. Easier maintain and get lower temps.

I like and use briquettes mostly, but will switch to lump sometimes when using the Vortex.

I use briquettes mostly as they give consistent temp and don't jam in my coal chute on my smoker as easily as lump.

JC :emoji_cat:
Like the other guys, I use mostly briqs in my smoker for the consistency. My experience is that lump burns a little hotter. For that reason I run lump in my kettle grills because I want a screaming hot fire when I sear steaks, burgers and chicken.

BTW, just one guy's opinion, but I wouldn't obsess too much about the difference between 225* and 250* when you're smoking. I find that 250 is just about the perfect running temp in my smoker for just about everything I cook.

Might have something to do with the grill. I use lump in my KJ and once temp is set, it will hold steady for hours and hours. I was going to get a controller, but found I had no need for one.

I use briquettes in the PBC and Kettle, but I don’t do long cooks in them, as briquettes just don’t last that long.
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250 is a fine temp for smoking. I smoke in my egg and start a fire small and slow with lump charcoal and bring it up to whatever stable temp the egg wants to be at. Usually it can stick to 225 for me, sometimes anywhere up to 250-260 is its want. Whicher kind of charcoal you use, stick with what you are doing, in terms of temp, it is fine. Some do say briquettes are easier to maintain temp, I have only used lump for smoking and it has worked for me.

Good luck and enjoy!
Thanks for the replies. I should have mentioned that I am using a WSM 18. BTW, the brisket turned out great. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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