FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 


I have to ask

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Smoke Ring Forum Index -> General BBQ Discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
dtel
BBQ Fan


Joined: 19 Jun 2011
Posts: 381
Location: South Mississippi

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10 11 2:51 pm    Post subject: I have to ask Reply with quote

I am new to this and have a question I can't find an answer to.

Why do so many people use charcoal or lump charcoal ? (in a firebox) Or am I misreading and it's used in pits that don't have a firebox?

I know it's probably a dumb question for many people here, and there is a good reason, but I don't know the answer. Confused

I have just been building a fire with the same Oak we use to heat the house and add some hickory when I had it.

I love the taste and smell of Hickory but I read it's to strong to use by itself, and I understand that.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Oregon smoker
BBQ All Star


Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 6246
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10 11 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a dumb question, the one that is not asked is the dumb one.
I think what your referring to is offset pits possibly and related to any cooker for that matter.
First off, lump burns hotter, you need to use less. The desire is to have the smallest clean burning fire that produces the temps you aim for. Briq's can all kinds of chit added to em to bind them together, hence finding a all hardwood briq. But they can choke themselves out due to ash production.
Whatever fuel you use there can be some nasty by products of a poor fire and its management. Have you ever eaten BBQ that makes your tongue go numb? That is the result of poor fire control.
As to pits with an offset firebox its so the meat is not directly over the coals and most time especially with bigger pits they only burn wood. I start with lump in my small ones and move to wood exclusively as the fire needs it.
Try using the oak only, you dont have to be so touchy with it and can use it as the only fuel source.
_________________
#3 LIAR
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
k.a.m.
BBQ Mega Star


Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Posts: 26019
Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10 11 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dtel, a lot of people including me use 1 or 2 fully lit chimneys of lump or charcoal with a couple of wood splits to start the fire in an offset. It jump starts your coal base and speeds up the process. In smaller backyard offsets some folks can run lump of charcoal exclusively and use wood chunks for flavor but when you cross the threshold and move into trailer mounted rigs with larger fireboxes it gets expensive to run one on lump or charcoal. Example is my backyard cooker gets started with 1 chimney fully lit of charcoal I add 2 splits to this and let the cooker settle in. After this I use 1 to 2 splits about every 30min. to 45min. to maintain the coal base. On long cooks I sometimes replenish my coal base with a lit chimney of charcoal instead of the splits. I hope this helps. Smile
_________________
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

Hybrid Cooker
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
roxy
BBQ All Star


Joined: 29 May 2005
Posts: 9329
Location: Wasaga beach, Ontario

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10 11 9:56 pm    Post subject: Re: I have to ask Reply with quote

dtel wrote:

I have just been building a fire with the same Oak we use to heat the house and add some hickory when I had it.

I love the taste and smell of Hickory but I read it's to strong to use by itself, and I understand that.


The main reason is to save some time burning wood down to coals. Just easier to dump some lump out of the bag.

I dont think hickory is not too strong a wood to burn all on its own.. But you do have to burn it clean and ensure you get that thin blue smoke or you will "over smoke" the meat. That can happen with any wood you use.

I dont have a lot of exp with hickory is it does not grow up here but I have been able to come by a couple arm loads of the stuff and I love it.
_________________
Chargriller Akorn
WSM
LIAR #100
_________________
Do not rely on a rabbits foot for luck, it did not work out too well for the rabbit...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
necron 99
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 04 Aug 2007
Posts: 2594
Location: San Antonio, TX

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11 11 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, vertical or 'bullet' style smokers are not really designed for 100% stick burning (or 100% chunk burning). I'd hazard a guess that's true of UDS style cookers although I can't speak from personal experience since I never had a UDS.

In my younger days in South Texas I would BBQ by 100% stick burning free mesquite in an Old Smokey cooker. I never used the burn down the wood to coals seperately in this style cooker. It can be done but fire building and fire management skills are key.

I'm +1 with k.a.m. on how I use my horizontal offset smoker. But I enjoy my bullet smoker for overnight cook sessions or days when I'm multitasking while cooking something with a relatively short cooking time like ribs or tri tip roasts or brined and stuffed pork loins.

Overall, my bullet smoker has about twice the thermal efficiency of my horizontal offset smoker. So, even though it requires charcoal, it's about half the amount vs. using charcoal in my horizontal offset smoker, and my bullet smoker has TONS better ash handling capacity than my horizontal offset smoker.

just different fuels and techniques for different equipment along with whether you have a low to no cost source for good cooking wood.
_________________
Let's hope SoEzzy can ditch his heavy hand on photos in 2016!


Last edited by necron 99 on Mon Jul 11 11 9:01 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dtel
BBQ Fan


Joined: 19 Jun 2011
Posts: 381
Location: South Mississippi

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11 11 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone.
It was kind of thought, some designs are not made for sticks, others are efficient enough to do fine on lump and with a fire box it's the convenience of warming up and also an easy way to get sticks burning and get some coals built up.

I had a bullet model many years ago and it was easy to keep going with lump, I always used lump because to me the charcoal didn't last as long or taste as good to me.

Then I grilled for years trying everything to get that smoke flavor with little success. So i built the offset firebox design I have now. With the size of it it did not look like I could keep up the temp's unless I used a crazy amount of charcoal or lumps so I just used sticks. I did think about charcoals to help speed up building the fire but never tried it.

It's really nice to have a place to ask questions and get an answer from people with experiance, and willing to help, Thanks...................and I have alot to learn so this is not the last question. Shocked
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dtel
BBQ Fan


Joined: 19 Jun 2011
Posts: 381
Location: South Mississippi

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11 11 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oregon smoker wrote:

Whatever fuel you use there can be some nasty by products of a poor fire and its management. Have you ever eaten BBQ that makes your tongue go numb? That is the result of poor fire control.


I have, once a good while back, trying to use a grill to get some smoke flavor with some chips. I didn't know what caused it I was just trying to make some smoke, good thing I didn't get anyone sick.

What I have been doing now is letting the wood get to the point where it's all burning and even has burned most or all of the bark off, if it had any.
When practicing building fires in it the first couple times I closed it down to where I would cook with it to early and it took forever to get up to temp. So I make sure it's compleatly burning before letting the rest warm up.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Oregon smoker
BBQ All Star


Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 6246
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11 11 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dtel wrote:
Oregon smoker wrote:

Whatever fuel you use there can be some nasty by products of a poor fire and its management. Have you ever eaten BBQ that makes your tongue go numb? That is the result of poor fire control.


I have, once a good while back, trying to use a grill to get some smoke flavor with some chips. I didn't know what caused it I was just trying to make some smoke, good thing I didn't get anyone sick.

What I have been doing now is letting the wood get to the point where it's all burning and even has burned most or all of the bark off, if it had any.
When practicing building fires in it the first couple times I closed it down to where I would cook with it to early and it took forever to get up to temp. So I make sure it's compleatly burning before letting the rest warm up.



A good method is to go start your fire and finish up any prep that might take 30-60 minutes. The result is that you not hovering and readjusting things, and the fire gets going properly and warms everything up.

(PS. Grammar not working properly as i had a few beers at the game today) Shocked
_________________
#3 LIAR
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
necron 99
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 04 Aug 2007
Posts: 2594
Location: San Antonio, TX

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11 11 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dtel wrote:
, I always used lump because to me the charcoal didn't last as long or taste as good to me.

:


There are high quality briquettes such as Original Charcoal Company Rancher, Frontier 100% Natural Briquettes, and Royal Oak Ultra 100 briquettes. Basically lump ground to a fine consistency, mixed with a vegetable starch binder, then pressed into briquettes.

Some like Stubb's and Kingsford Competition. I tried Stubb's and didn't get results I liked in my bullet cooker using the Minion Method and I absolutely avoid anything from Kingsford. The fact that Cowboy brand lump is the feed stream for Stubb's is another issue I have.
_________________
Let's hope SoEzzy can ditch his heavy hand on photos in 2016!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dtel
BBQ Fan


Joined: 19 Jun 2011
Posts: 381
Location: South Mississippi

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11 11 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oregon smoker wrote:

A good method is to go start your fire and finish up any prep that might take 30-60 minutes. The result is that you not hovering and readjusting things, and the fire gets going properly and warms everything up.

(PS. Grammar not working properly as i had a few beers at the game today) Shocked


Don't worry about that, I'm like that without the beer, I actually type better than I talk, can't hardly type with an accent.


That's kind of what I have done lately, after I got the hang of how long it takes to get the fire going good and get everything warmed up.

The more I play with it the longer it takes, now I open everything, light the fire and come back in about 30-40 min and close the doors and set the damper to about double what I cook on, come back later and close the damper a little more if the temps are where I want.

Every fire is a little different so I play with it until I can keep it where i want, then just add wood to keep it going.

I am going to try some other things besides Oak, I need to talk to local firewood people and get some hickory, It's my favorite flavor, and smell.
I can see that over time practice more practice I get a grip on it, until then I will be asking alot of questions.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Oregon smoker
BBQ All Star


Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 6246
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11 11 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dtel wrote:
Oregon smoker wrote:

A good method is to go start your fire and finish up any prep that might take 30-60 minutes. The result is that you not hovering and readjusting things, and the fire gets going properly and warms everything up.

(PS. Grammar not working properly as i had a few beers at the game today) Shocked


Don't worry about that, I'm like that without the beer, I actually type better than I talk, can't hardly type with an accent.


That's kind of what I have done lately, after I got the hang of how long it takes to get the fire going good and get everything warmed up.

The more I play with it the longer it takes, now I open everything, light the fire and come back in about 30-40 min and close the doors and set the damper to about double what I cook on, come back later and close the damper a little more if the temps are where I want.

Every fire is a little different so I play with it until I can keep it where i want, then just add wood to keep it going.

I am going to try some other things besides Oak, I need to talk to local firewood people and get some hickory, It's my favorite flavor, and smell.
I can see that over time practice more practice I get a grip on it, until then I will be asking alot of questions.



Some food and more beer.
Sounds good. There is some charts out there that list BTU's and what not. Apple wood is actually pretty high up on the chart. I have started throwing in a stick of apple just for that reason and using oak.
_________________
#3 LIAR
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
GnarleyQr



Joined: 08 Jul 2011
Posts: 9
Location: Mesa, AZ

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11 11 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. wrote:
dtel, In smaller backyard offsets some folks can run lump of charcoal exclusively and use wood chunks for flavor but when you cross the threshold and move into trailer mounted rigs


THANK YOU k.a.m!!!! That just cleared up all kinds of questions for me.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Smoke Ring Forum Index -> General BBQ Discussion All times are GMT + 8 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group