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Lump coal...

Discussion in 'Food Forum' started by PDogSniper, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. PDogSniper

    PDogSniper

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    Ok, spurred on by a previous thread I found some lump coal tonight...
    This is a new experience for me so I have questions...

    Observation: I find with what I bought that the size of the coals vary from maybe 1 inch too as much as 6 inchs in length by about 3/4 of an inch thick...

    Question #1 is, should I break up the longer pieces for better heat distribution...?

    Question #2 is, while the lump coal burns hotter does it burn as long as briquetts...?;c
     
  2. noway

    noway

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    1> No not needed. Just pop it in the BBQ/smoker and put some starter kindling or lighter fluid :( and light it. Like I stated before try this charcoal in combo with regular wood chips/chunks.

    2> In my experience it's harder to start then let's say matchlite, but burns hotter but not as long as regular charcoal. You mileage would vary. Wood is always better IMHO but lump is a close #2 . I only use regular charcoal for like simple things ( hamburgers/hotdogs/etc...........)


    if you can get wood for cheap or nothing , go with wood. I can get a cord of wood chopped, but not split in my native TX for pennies. ( we are friends of a tree cutting/trimming business ). here I can pickup all of the oak that I want, little hickory and pecan and alot of elm. Oak,hickory ,Pecan are all equal in the type of flavoring put off and are great for red meats. Mesquite, apple, cherry are good for fowl and pork, but be carefull with just how much mesquite you burn, you can get too MUCH mesquite flavor and it overrides the taste buds and the meat.


    also in regards to that orginal post on charcoal, I looked at the bag in walmart last night and the local walmart brand is "brand named under walmart". If you look around you will find others bands that are made from some certain woods ( pecan/oak/hickory )and the label the pkg to what they use, the place that was selling theirs in TN was made from hickory. It was like burning a hickory log or 2.
     

  3. PDogSniper

    PDogSniper

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    I've cooked with straight wood maybe three times in my life and it was many, many years ago. I was single, on my own and couldn't afford charcoal, in fact, I had to scrounge an old refrigerator and convert it into a smoker for salmon and trout...;Q IIRC the wood has to be de-barked correct...?

    I can get plenty of wood around here with the exception of pecan. I have used mesquite quite often but only adding a few chunks to standard charcoal. You're right about using too much and over riding the taste of the meat... I'm more on a hickory kick now...

    I'm anxious to pick up my new grill tonight but sadly I work the next four nights so it'll be then that I can burn it off. I'll use standard charcoal to cook off the machine oil and do some ribs with the chunk coal and some hickory chunks...

    I'm looking forward to a winter of standing in the garage during snow storms and tending the coals...:cool:
     
  4. noway

    noway

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    {IIRC the wood has to be de-barked correct...?
    }

    no not really, bark is wood and good for smoke

    You will be surprise at some of the things I've used in my smoker for smoke;


    bark ( I love oak and hickory, walnut bark )
    wlanut & pecan shell husks
    banna leaves
    chopped sugar cane stalks
    saw dust ( don't use pine wood )
    wood shaving from a red oak table that was made ( I had over 12lbs of this at one time )
    legs from a old english table that was savage
    smashed wine bottle crates


    you got the right idea of using hickory but also try other woods. I have a BBQ Galore shop close by and I'm always sampling other woods. Walnut and Maple are 2 other woods that provides some very good flavors. If you are like me and like pork tru some walnut wood. You will love it.


    I'm doing all of this experimentation cooking with wood so when I open my business "Fowl Play' ( get it ) and start smoking chicken,turkey, ducks,etc..... I will have a clue as to what to use.
     
  5. PDogSniper

    PDogSniper

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    Whoa, Walnut (and walnut sawdust), I was under the impression is toxic when burned... Can't say I would know what it would do to foods but the fumes aren't good for inhalation... I would use caution with this wood and Cedar also...

    Oh yea, I love my pork but can't cook it very often as the wifey does not care for it...;Q
     
  6. G22-Joe

    G22-Joe I C Red People

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    Answer to Question #1: No. Leave them as they are, yet you should "arrange" the lump properly for easy lighting and proper heat distribution. Arrange it as you might a camp fire; I stack my longer pieces like this #, almost like a log house, then I place all the smaller pieces in the middle of it, and make a roof with remaining longer pieces. PLEASE do not use lighter fluid, or other types of liquid fuel to start lump, it will kill the great taste it will provide, not to mention the smell, I use several sheets of newspaper, with the house arrangement built on them, then light the corners. Others have had great success using paraffin wax starters, electric starters, or good old charcoal chimney starters. It takes a few minutes for the small pieces to start, yet it will. Make sure it gets lots of air to start.

    Question #2; Lump coal can burn hotter, or right at smolder. It all depends on how you want to cook and how you control the flame. I sear my steaks at about 900F for 45 seconds each side, and then reduce my air (dwell) to about 300F for 3 minutes each side, to finish them off at Medium Rare. Depending on the cooker, lump usually last much longer, unless you like to go Nuclear all the time. One 20lb bag of lump lasts me ~3 months, thats cooking 3 times a week at least, and going nuclear once a week for steaks. As long as you can kill the air to the lump, you can re-use it later, just brush out the ash.

    I use a Big Green Egg cooker, and I smoke and grill on it all year round (rain, snow, sunshine).

    Here is a link for more info on lump with lots of comparisons.

    http://www.nakedwhiz.com/ceramic.htm

    Hope all this helps, and best of luck.
     
  7. noway

    noway

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    {Whoa, Walnut (and walnut sawdust), I was under the impression is toxic when burned... Can't say I would know what it would do to foods but the fumes aren't good for inhalation... I}

    Nothing wrong with walnut but you are correct in most cedar and the same for most softwoods like pine are bad for cooking. The sap and others items arenn't good for you. Avoid any treated or cresote woods. Be advise go easy with woods high in tannins like red oaks, walnut, and mesquite. Something it's best to mix these with pecan and hickory to get the right flavor.

    I've included a couple of src for wood chips;

    http://www.barbecue-store.com/woods-pellets.htm
    http://www.barbecuewood.com/
    http://www.smokerwoodchunks.com/main.php3?primNavIndex=1&
    http://www.northwoodssmoke.com/products.htm

    the bbq store is a great src for most everything you need. BUT try walmrt//target/lowes/homedepot and most other big stores. Even my local Basspro/outdoor world sells a big selection of wood for cooking. Also if you live in the rual aeas, look at your local papers and you might find a local source for getting wod chunks. They won't be cut in equal sizes, but they are good and most important CHEAPER. Also talk to funiture makers and wine distributors for crates and scrape woods that's left over of damage. You can get alot of this for absolutely $0.00 dollars.

    ( for e.g )
    I bought 500lbs of oak & american cherry wood flooring untreated and finish for $0.00. They where just happy for somebody to get rid of it for them and save them a trip to the dump. It all is stack in neat piles ready for that next BBQ outting.;f

    btw, 500lbs of wood is alot of wood.