Questions about coal.

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by snowsmoker, May 19, 2008.

  1. snowsmoker

    snowsmoker Fire Starter

    I see alot of people talking about lump coal. I have used kingsford all my life and never really had a problem with it. Here are my questions.

    1. What is the differance, I know lump burns hotter and faster and has less ash. Is there anything else?

    2. Where can I buy lump coal?

    Here is what Im smoking with, no mods... yet. Im still learning what to do. My first task is to get my coal out of the ash that is suffocating the fire. Im still trying to figure out how to do that. I also will be making a baffle at work this week.

    I also have a question about my stack, it already is at my grate level so do I need to do anything with it?
  2. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I find lump coal at the local Ace hardware store. My wal-mart sometimes carries it but since I hate going there I can't tell you if it is a regular stock item.
  3. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Lump also burns alot cleaner than bricks, as far as the gasses and combustion by-products go.

    I gotta are you lighting your coals?

    And Home Depot and other stores like that carry lump.

    Your best bet is to make a charcoal basket and get it about 3" above the floor of the box. Then all you gotta do is give the backet a few taps now and again and the ash will fall away. Clean out the box after it cools.
  4. capt dan

    capt dan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you use Lump, the ash production will be about 30-40 % of what briqs get ya. The long smokes 6-12 hrs are what get ya flooded with ash with the briquettes.
  5. sumosmoke

    sumosmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    After experimenting with both charcoal briquettes, hardwood briquettes, and lump charcoal, I've settled on the exclusive use of lump charcoal, the main reason of it burning longer and more steady, than the briquettes.

    In addition to the hardware store, and Wal-Mart, check out some of your local supermarkets as well. The ones in FL carry hardwood lump charcoal and it burns pretty well. Also check out patio furniture stores as they may carry some too.
  6. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Get some expanded metal and make a charcoal basket. Got my metal from some scrap at work but I understand Lowes sells it too.

    They work great.

  7. snowsmoker

    snowsmoker Fire Starter

    To light my coals I have been doin it the old fashion way, I throw some in the SFB, spray lighter fluid on them, light'em up and let them turn gray. Then just add unlight coals as needed. The more I read though, Im starting to see that is not a good way to do it.

    Any tips on starting my coals??!!
  8. capt dan

    capt dan Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    Deduction of points!

    Go to time out right now!
  9. capt dan

    capt dan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    UHHHM, look above my post and to the left. In that wonderful area of info near the bottom, it say's,"how to start a fire". I would look right there![​IMG]
  10. snowsmoker

    snowsmoker Fire Starter

    I understand its a bad way to do it but at least I let the lighter fluid burn off...
  11. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Don't try to make it sound better, the damage is already done. [​IMG]

    Just kidding. Don't feel bad. Before my smoker arrived, I bought a bottle of lighrer fluid to use in case my charcoal chimney didn't get here in time. Fortunately, the UPS guy delivered the starter before the smoker.

    I still have the lighter fluid in the garage. Need to find someone to give it to.

    Get yourself a chimney starter and some newspaper. Do not fire up your smoker again until you do. [​IMG] You'll be much happier.

    On Edit: Oh, and find some lump charcoal. You'll like it much better than briquettes.

  12. capt dan

    capt dan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I don't read the paper(too depressing) so I use the parafin wax start cubes or even cheaper are the lighter sticks, which are chunks of the wax logs that are rectangles about 1 1/2 x 2 1/2x 6 inches. I break em in half and just light a corner of it, and set the chimney over it, works real good, and keeps a longer flame. You could probably buy one of them duraflame logs and cut it up on a bandsaw or steak knife![​IMG]
  13. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    i use the chimney almost ALL the time.........but when i need just a few coals........i use a lectric wand type starter.........if you have EVER seen the first Home Alone movie, you will know what i am talking about..........

    i do this when i cold smoke........i don't need alot of coals.......and sometimes, with using just 2-3 coals in the doesn't fire up as well as a half full chimney...........
  14. Man I used a chimney this weekend for the first time , Wow is all I can say. The reason I never liked Charcoal and always preferred gas was becauseI never could get the charcoal grill to light good. The chimney makes it SO much easier and faster. I didn't believe it would work. Not at all. But it did. Dude go get one of these. I bought mine @ lowes it is a weber for around 20 bucks but I have seen cheaper off brands.[​IMG]
  15. snowsmoker

    snowsmoker Fire Starter

    I have been meaning to get one, I didnt think it would work that well but I guess it must if so mant ppl here use them, Im sold!
  16. earache_my_eye

    earache_my_eye Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    $20!!......ouch!! Got my Weber charcoal starter at True Value for $12.99.....they are in the Memorial day flyer this week also.....same price.

  17. albin

    albin Newbie

    A friendly piece of advice: When you're in deep s***, stop digging!

  18. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You need more air circulation to help out with the suffocating issue, your coals are just being choked off by the ashes. What Richtee said.
  19. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes, they work well -- REALLY well. I had come to the conclusion that part of my problem was that I wasn't letting the charcoal start in the chimney long enough before dumping it in the firebox. So last weekend I was determined to be patient and let them burn longer. Well, my chimney load of Wicked Good Charcoal Weekend Warrior blend had been burning for awhile and I noticed that there was about a 2" wide band around about the middle of the chimney starter that was starting to glow orange. Good thing I have a nice long pair of heavy gloves.

  20. bigun

    bigun Fire Starter

    I don't read the paper either but old phone books seem to work really well. about 25 pages of phone book and 15 minutes later I am off to the races.

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