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Types of charcoal to use

GilSmoker

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I’m sure there is plenty of discussion about this but I’m looking for a simple answer regarding use of briquettes vs. lump charcoal and which brands are the best. Specifically, which type creates less ash, burns with the best consistency, and allows for long, slow heat. Please let me know what has worked best for you. Thanks.
 

SmokingUPnorth

Smoking UPNorth
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I’ve had great luck with kingsford, royal oak and embers. Royal oak and embers to me take a little bit longer to get going in my charcoal chimney and a tad bit more ashy. However also cheaper. When I comes to limp vs briquettes, I usually use briquettes bc a lot of time I use the snake method to cook on my kettle and it’s more consistent for that. But if I’m doing steak or anything I want to get real hot lump seems to work better for that!
 

SmokingUPnorth

Smoking UPNorth
SMF Premier Member
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Joined Dec 7, 2017
I’ve also used a few bags of GFS charcoal over the winter. And is cheap but pretty ashy and doesn’t seem to burn all the way through. Not sure though if it’s the charcoal or the cold temps outside.
 

thirdeye

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Oh, there are plenty of brands that are the best, the answer is more like what is the best that's available to you.

For Lump I like:
B&B Oak Lump
Royal Oak Lump labeled USA (orange bag or Green bag)
B&B Mesquite Lump (yellow bag)
Lazzari Mesquite Lump (40 # bag)

For Briquettes I like:
Kingsford Long Burning

If you have some different choices in your area, check out the Naked Whiz Database and Charcoal Reviews.
 

GonnaSmoke

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Sep 19, 2018
I have quit using briquettes because I'm not sure what's in it regardless of what they advertise. Only lump for me and yes, lump burns much, much hotter, but I adjust for it. I will not buy any brand of briquette ever again regardless of brand or their promise....

That being my opinion, I use Royal Oak Lump and Harder Charcoal Lump. Jealous Devil is another good brand of lump and is available at my local Academy Sports...
 

JCAP

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Joined Jun 12, 2019
I love B&B lump but it's a little harder (less convenient?) to find around here. So I typically use briquettes and Embers is my newer go-to. KBB still gets the job done but with much more ash produced.
 

yankee2bbq

Master of the Pit
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★ Lifetime Premier ★
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Joined May 7, 2017
I’m sure there is plenty of discussion about this but I’m looking for a simple answer regarding use of briquettes vs. lump charcoal and which brands are the best. Specifically, which type creates less ash, burns with the best consistency, and allows for long, slow heat. Please let me know what has worked best for you. Thanks.
Here is a thread you HAVE to read:
 

Chasdev

Smoking Fanatic
384
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Joined Jan 18, 2020
For lump, FOGO or KJ jumbo lump.
For briquettes, the Kingsford Pro Comp offering is far superior to all other offerings and I have tried all of them.
The ash left behind is much less than with their normal offering and the half burned briquettes work great in the next fire.
Costco has a killer deal on it right now but after they run out, you won't find it for sale easily.
 

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smokeymose

Master of the Pit
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Joined Aug 13, 2015
I'd always used Kingsford but when I went for some last fall they were out at HD, so I picked up some Embers. I did my first couple of kettle cooks last week and I like it. Seems like I was having more and more trouble with Kingsford staying lit with a snake layout.
 

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