My favorite lump

Discussion in 'The Smokehouse' started by jeff_t, May 19, 2016.

  1. jeff_t

    jeff_t

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    I just opened the third bag of this stuff in the past year or so, and it has been the best lump charcoal I have found, by far. Consistently big to almost too big pieces and very few fines, and it looks like it's made from real wood, not lumber scraps like the cowboy brand. I don't know where it comes from, but I've read Royal Oak. It is way better than any Royal Oak lump I've had.

    Simple Truth is Kroger's 'all natural' store brand, if you're not familiar with it. I've seen it for $6 on sale.

    image.jpeg
     
  2. lukem

    lukem

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    I make my own...soooo good.
     
  3. jeff_t

    jeff_t

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    I've made my own, but given my current living situation, I'll be buying it for years to come.
     
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  4. Eric VW

    Eric VW Moderator

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    I meant to get up to Christiansburg, VA to a Kroger up there, but I torqued my back yesterday...again :headbang:
    I might have to send Mrs. Wonderful, aka Mrs. Eric VW.....:thumbs:
    Can't wait to try some out.
     
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  5. Genius

    Genius

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    How do you do this?

    I have used lump over the years and ended up going with straight briquets. Lately I have been on a Lump kick again and as far as I am concerned I won't be looking back.

    We dont have and Kroger's around here, all I am stuck with is Cowboy's stuff. All of my buddies only use lump charcoal, so if its a feasible option we'd be very interested in knowing how to make it.
     
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  6. Eric VW

    Eric VW Moderator

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    Here's a down and dirty simple method which can be scaled up easily:
    Dirt Cheap Charcoal
     
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  7. lukem

    lukem

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    I have a 55 gallon drum that I've cut both the top and the bottom out of. I have a smaller (25 gallon maybe) drum that has a removable lid.

    Cut whatever hardwood you like in chunks. 3" wide seems to be about the sweet spot and length doesn't really seem to matter. Tree branches work well too.

    Fill the small drum, put the lid on slightly ajar, and set a couple bricks on it to hold it down. Place the large drum around the small one, held up off the ground by a few bricks.

    Load the space between the two drums with whatever you have that will burn (yard waste, splitter trash, bark, scrap lumber, etc) and light it from the bottom.

    About 3 hours of hard burning will get a batch done....just watch the smoke coming from the lid of the small barrel...should stop when done, or turn blue. You'll figure out the timing and if you want a "hot" charcoal (less cooked) or not.

    Leave everything sit overnight before trying to open the small drum or the contents could start burning and leave you with no charcoal. If you find it to be under-done, just light another fire around it. I don't think you can over-cook it.

    I'm sure there are better ways to do this, but this works well for me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  8. Mr A

    Mr A

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    I get Lazzari mesquite lump at Safeway. 18pounds for $9.99. Depends what you want to spend for charcoal. Kamado joe lump at Ace hardware stores is $25 for 20 pounds. Fogo lump is highly rated, available on Amazon, $40-$50 for 35 pounds. Tip. Cut the bag open long ways. You can get to every thing in it.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 17, 2016
  9. Mr A

    Mr A

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    Some charcoal is just better than others. I despise Royal Oak. It is made from lumber scraps, and often contains pieces that have not been burned, concrete, rocks, other junk, and lots of small unusable pieces and dust. Your pic looks like an Akorn Grill? I run regular blue bag briquettes in my Kamado Joe also. The trick is to use two grates, crisscrossed, and elevated from the bottom. Yea, more ash, so what? The air flow problem is eliminated.
     
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  10. jeff_t

    jeff_t

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    The only briquettes I've used in recent memory are from trader joes, and I really like them. I've considered the kingsford natural lump or competition briquettes, but I really don't use enough charcoal to warrant switching. When I shut it down and relight the next time, 3-4 times a week, I can get a couple months out of a bag.
     
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  11. golf66

    golf66

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    "Cowboy charcoal is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you gonna get". Rocks are pretty common among various brands of charcoal. When I found one of these in Cowboy, oh dear...
     

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  12. jeff_t

    jeff_t

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    This is from the bag I just opened. I actually put the big one back in the bag because I'm just cooking a few steaks.

    IMG_6929.JPG
     
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  13. lukem

    lukem

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    The past couple times I cleaned ashes from the stove I took out quite a few coals in the process. Mostly hedge. I saved the ashes and and going to sift the coals out for some steaks this weekend. I figure hedge coals will get hot as the blazes of hell and make a pretty good steak.
     
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