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Buy Stubb's Briquets on sale?

 
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kidlebo
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Joined: 24 Jun 2016
Posts: 35
Location: Bayville, NJ

PostPosted: Aug 26 2016    Post subject: Buy Stubb's Briquets on sale? Reply with quote

Lowe's is running a good special on Stubb's All-Natural Bar-B-Q Charcoal Briquets: 14 lbs. for $5.99. Is it worth to go buy a bag or two?

I have a full 18 lb bag of Kingsford Original, so my thought would be probably use that first and then use the bag (or two) of Stubbs.

I usually do small smokes: either a couple of pounds of ribs or brisket or chicken, and I like to grill steaks and burgers over the coals sometimes too, instead of using the gas.

So, I guess these are my specific questions:

Is Stubb's a good charcoal brand in general?
How does it compare to Kingsford?

Does charcoal store well in the garage for several months or does that have an affect on its performance or flavor?

I read that stubb's already packs a smoky flavor...is that true and if so, would adding extra wood make the smoke flavor over powering?

As always thanks for any feedback!!
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Riskdude
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Joined: 22 Mar 2009
Posts: 358
Location: Orange County CA

PostPosted: Aug 26 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

Howdy,

I have always liked the Stubbs and I probably have about 10 bags in my garage. I mainly use it for long smokes in my Weber Smokey Mountain for butts/pulled pork. It can hold temp for 10-12 hours and adds a nice flavor. I always add some apple or peach for additional flavor.

I have used it a couple times for grilling and to me, it works like most other charcoals for that purpose, but I think it is a little pricey for a quick grill.

I think you should pick up a couple bags on sale and see if you like it. It is different than KBB (Kingsford Blue Bag) so there is an element of personal choice. I consider it my "go to" but it is pricey. You can pick up 2 bags of KBB for $10 on sale so there is a big price difference. If you like it, maybe use it for those special cooks.

I have not noticed any change in the charcoal when stored for a long time. Heck, I bought about 20 bags a couple years ago when it was "buy one get one". Just keep it dry.

Good luck and post a picture of a cook with it!!

Riskdude.
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Smokin Mike
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Joined: 02 Dec 2008
Posts: 3167
Location: Winston-Salem, NC

PostPosted: Aug 26 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Lowe's is running a good special on Stubb's All-Natural Bar-B-Q Charcoal Briquets: 14 lbs. for $5.99. Is it worth to go buy a bag or two?

That's about 43¢ a pound. Not the greatest deal in the world but I'm a big fan of 100% natural charcoal and what I use exclusively (another brand) unless I'm in a pinch. I'm paying $9.09 for 20 lb bags @ 45¢ a pound. I say you should try it to see how you like it.

Quote:
Is Stubb's a good charcoal brand in general?
How does it compare to Kingsford?

I tried to find a review on the Naked Whiz site but there's no mention of it. The brand has been around for quite a while. Natural charcoal burns a bit different than Kingsford. After the burn the ash from the briquette stays in the briquette form until you touch it. Kingsford falls apart on its own after the burn. Also the natural briquette is a bit more finicky getting lit. Make sure all the briquettes are lit properly. With Kingsford, if you get one little corner lit then the whole briquette will eventually light off. Not so much with the natural briquettes. Don't let that dissuade you, just be aware it happens and make sure the whole pile is adequately fired up. I personally don't like the way Kingsford gives off a black sooty smoke when its first getting lit. Once lit then it's fine but that's the reason I don't use it. A lot of guys around here use it a lot and they don't have any issues. I'm particular, I guess.

Quote:
Does charcoal store well in the garage for several months or does that have an affect on its performance or flavor?

I wouldn't lay it on a concrete floor because concrete tends to wick moisture. Lay it on a pallet or 2 x 4's or a shelf to allow air circulation around the bags. If it stays damp in your garage then I would plastic wrap the bags. Otherwise the product should last forever (in theory). It's basically carbon.

Quote:
I read that stubb's already packs a smoky flavor...is that true and if so, would adding extra wood make the smoke flavor over powering?

If you want to smoke meat then use some wood chunks. If you're grilling then there's no need. But YMMV (your mileage may vary). Experiment with it and see what works for you. That's what its all about.
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Stainless
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Joined: 24 Feb 2008
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Location: Fort Smith, AR

PostPosted: Aug 27 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went and bought three bags after seeing this thread. Going to give it a try soon. I didn't stock up on Kingsford here a while back when it was on sale because I thought I had some stashed in the attic. Found out that hard way that I was out!
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kidlebo
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Joined: 24 Jun 2016
Posts: 35
Location: Bayville, NJ

PostPosted: Aug 27 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks RD and Mike for the very precise and thorough feed back.

It's funny, this smokin' and grillin' game has a lot of moving parts to it...I can see it's going to be many more years of learning, mostly by screwing up and trying to figure out what went wrong! But that's also part of fun...along with eating the screw ups.

Stainless, glad I could help. Smile


Smokin Mike wrote:
Also the natural briquette is a bit more finicky getting lit. Make sure all the briquettes are lit properly. With Kingsford, if you get one little corner lit then the whole briquette will eventually light off. Not so much with the natural briquettes. Don't let that dissuade you, just be aware it happens and make sure the whole pile is adequately fired up.


Would standard lighting method work: Small pyramid of briquets with lighter fluid and then smoothed out after they light? Or would you recommend a different approach?
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Smokin Mike
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Joined: 02 Dec 2008
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Location: Winston-Salem, NC

PostPosted: Aug 27 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

kidlebo wrote:
It's funny, this smokin' and grillin' game has a lot of moving parts to it...I can see it's going to be many more years of learning, mostly by screwing up and trying to figure out what went wrong! But that's also part of fun...along with eating the screw ups


It definitely is a process and takes some "track time" to figure it out. That's the fun part, figuring out what works and what doesn't work. Eventually it'll all become second nature.

kidlebo wrote:
Would standard lighting method work: Small pyramid of briquets with lighter fluid and then smoothed out after they light? Or would you recommend a different approach?


Most of us in the meat smoking world try to avoid using lighter fluid or instant lighting charcoal. It is argued that the vapors emitted by the fluid will permeate the food on your cooking grate. On the other side of the argument is the idea that if the coals have been allowed to fully light and burn off the starting fluid, then there's no vapors. I like to err on the side of caution myself but also if you can avoid buying an additional consumable product then you can save some money.

I prefer the use of a charcoal chimney. I have a blog post that goes through the whole scenario and a method for lighting your charcoal.

http://thinbluesmoke.com/starting-a-charcoal-fire/
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kidlebo
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Location: Bayville, NJ

PostPosted: Aug 27 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Mike...just read and watched your fire lighting primer...great stuff, thanks!

I used to have a chimney, but what you described with the multiple sheets of paper (and about 45 minutes) to get the fire started happened every time. I gotta get me a new chimney...the 1 time cost of the chimney is offset by not needing any more fluid.

Speaking of fluid, it happens just like you said: NASA worthy explosion (which the 12 yr old living in this 43 yr old body still thinks is pretty cool) followed by a 4 minute burn and then mostly black, unlit coals.
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Aug 27 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Laughing Laughing I sure miss those days. Very Happy
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k.c.hawg
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Joined: 17 May 2009
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PostPosted: Aug 27 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't use briquettes, I run lump in all my cookers. However I did need some briquettes for a bacon project not long ago. It's much easier for me to use 3 or 4 uniform briquettes than lump when I'm trying to run the cooker at say 160 degrees. I ended up with a bag of Stubbs and found it to be as good as briquettes come. I think you'll be very pleased with it.
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kidlebo
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Location: Bayville, NJ

PostPosted: Aug 28 2016    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again for all the feedback.

I got me 2 bags of the Stubbs and a Weber chimney. I almost bought a bag of hickory chunks for 10$, but couldn't pull the trigger...gonna finish up the two bags of chips and the big Kingsford original I got first.

It'll probaby be a few weeks till I can smoke again, but I'll post my pics for sure!
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