Lump Charcoal and smoking wood? - BBQ Central

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Old 05-05-2005, 08:21 PM   #1
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Lump Charcoal and smoking wood?

Just a question. If you are using a hardwood lump charcoal do you need to add wood chunks as well to get the smoked flavor in your meat? Or does the hardwood lump take care of that on its own?
:antismile:
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Old 05-05-2005, 08:47 PM   #2
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Dog, I always add smoke wood when using lump. The uncharred wood will smoke where the lump doesn't. Lump does add good flavor, but not smoke.
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Old 05-05-2005, 11:11 PM   #3
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I don't use lump at all when smoking. Lump burns hotter and faster which is contrary to what I am trying to achieve in smoking, low and slow.

I do find that lump is ideal for grilling especially when searing steaks. I also like to use a cleaner burning coal when it is coming in direct contact with the meat. I do add wood for flavor on longer cooks such as grilling ribs and have gotten very good results with apple, cherry, and pecan wood.
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Old 05-06-2005, 02:27 AM   #4
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Not to argue with Kloset because he has his opinions on lump, however, I have found that when my cooker has a temp of 225 degrees, I'll be damned if I can tell if it's burning lump or briquettes just by looking at it.

It's all a matter of controlling your temps. I have found that lump will not last as long as Kingsford on say overnight cooks, but for 4-7 hour cooks I use lump most of the time. I also add wood chunks to the pit.
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Old 05-06-2005, 06:41 AM   #5
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Bruce, I think the reason the lump doesn't last as long during a cook is that the pieces are bigger and leave more air space between them. Briquits on the other hand fit together much tighter in the charcol bowl. JMHO
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Old 05-06-2005, 07:48 AM   #6
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Nick,

I agree with you. I've got nothing against lump. Actually I prefer it but I do find the temp control is much easier and predictable with briquettes. I believe that the uniformity of size is an important factor.

I find no discernable flavor differential using lump vs briquettes on long cooks when I am adding wood to the briquettes for flavor. I know that there is an anti-briquette sentiment on this and most boards but when your cooking a brisket or a butt in an offset smoker, I can't tell any difference in flavor but do notice a large difference in cooking time per charcoal basket. When you add in the favorable price differential when using briquettes, I'll use briquettes w/wood chunks everytime. Now if you are not using an offset cooker and the meat is in close proximety to the coals I would use lump because of its cleaner burn. I'll use lump over briquettes for grilling every time. It the hands down winner.

On 24 hour cooks I've gone through approximately 24-30 lbs of charcoal briquettes, and over 50 lbs of lump. If the flavor is coming from the wood why pay more than twice the amount for lump? Heat is heat especially when it is coming from an indirect source.

The fuel you use is a personal choice based on your cooking experience the equipment you are using, and your method of cooking (direct vs. indirect). Try both and use what you like but with briquettes on long cooks you'll be able to use the price savings to buy more beer.
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Old 05-06-2005, 10:20 AM   #7
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Re: Lump Charcoal and smoking wood?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddog27
Just a question. If you are using a hardwood lump charcoal do you need to add wood chunks as well to get the smoked flavor in your meat? Or does the hardwood lump take care of that on its own?
:antismile:
If you want to add a certain flavor of smoke to the meat you are cooking you will have to add chunks to the fire. A traditional BBQ person will tell you that you need to reduce the amount of smoke from the fire until it is thin and blue. Lump will impart the taste of whatever wood the hardwood lump is made from.

If you add cold charcoal to any fire you are adding incompletly burned matter to your smoke. Smoldering chunks do the same. IMHO thats where the bitter in the bark comes from. Some people like bitter, some don't.

Good Q!

Jack
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Old 05-06-2005, 10:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FATZ
If used with the right moderation, lump can make your wood pile last a looooooong time. I use lump for my heat and wood for the flavor.
Very true. 2 bags of lump and 20 sticks... 20-24 hours in the OK Joe.
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Old 05-06-2005, 11:39 AM   #9
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I Think it makes a HUGE difference in what kind or brand of lump you use. A good example is Cowboy vs. Royal oak. I have seen a bag of Cowboy brand full of wood and furniture scraps. Royal oak seems to have what looks like large pieces of solid wood that looks like a chunk of wood. I my self am a lump head. Humphrey's is the brand I use. I do find a chunk of brick or a rock from time to time. My dealer gives me a new bag for replacement when ever found. Can't beat that.
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Old 05-06-2005, 06:08 PM   #10
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[quote=Jersey BBQ]
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Jack W.":39y1zms0
Quote:
Originally Posted by FATZ
If used with the right moderation, lump can make your wood pile last a looooooong time. I use lump for my heat and wood for the flavor.
Very true. 2 bags of lump and 20 sticks... 20-24 hours in the OK Joe.
When you guys are refering to "sticks" how much of a piece of wood is that? a split piece... a log... Thanks..[/quote:39y1zms0]

A stick is a piece of wood I pick up off of the top of my wood pile. Some are larger than others. I don't do anything special to them. I ask my wood guy to cut them 18" or less. Standard stuff.

Good Q!

Jack
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