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Slow 'N Sear and Kingsford Briquettes

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    Slow 'N Sear and Kingsford Briquettes

    A question for David Parrish

    I keep reading that when one uses KBB Charcoal that you should wait until the coals get their cover of grey before putting on any meat, which is when the "additives" in the briquettes have burned.

    Yet, with the Slow 'N Sear (for that matter even a Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker) we start a few coals, and let them ignite the rest for a long cook.

    Doesn't that leave us with the burn from the other chemicals happening all through the cook?

    I've never personally noticed a problem, but I don't understand.

    Jim

    #2
    Charcoal gives off heavy smoke when it's first lighting, and is therefore much cooler than it will be once fully lit, and has a lot of access to air. Once it ashes over it's burning at max heat and the smoke is thin blue. When you throw that charcoal into the kettle with unlit charcoal and close the lid you'll get white smoke until the charcoal burns off the excess oxygen in the kettle and starts relying on the oxygen coming in through the vent for fuel (charcoal and oxygen are the two fuel components of fire). Then the smoke will go back to thin blue as all the fully lit charcoal is hogging the oxygen and only relinquishing control as it burns out and needs to pass the torch. The unlit charcoal is lighting slowly, but at very high heat and little access to oxygen, so the white smoke is almost nil and you keep good blue smoke.

    Comment


    • fuzzydaddy
      fuzzydaddy commented
      Editing a comment
      Appreciate the explanation. So good, I added it to my Evernote notebook in case I forget or need to impress someone. Lol!

    #3
    Being that I've been using lump coal for about 5 years and have very little experience with Kingsford briquettes I wonder if I have the right source for them.

    I bought a 2 pack,18.6 pounds each, of Kingsford Original for $18.49. Is that a decent price or should I shop around?

    Comment


    • Breadhead
      Breadhead commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks gentleman. I'll keep an eye peeled for those deals. I have a shed I can keep them stored in.

    • Huskee
      Huskee commented
      Editing a comment
      Breadhead those Kingsford sales are as as big a sale around this forum as Black Friday is to every other shopper. There WILL be announcements and posts about it as Memorial Day approaches, I can promise you that. You won't miss it if you stay tuned!

    • Breadhead
      Breadhead commented
      Editing a comment
      Guest ...

      I can remember seeing chatter on AR about Kingsford sales but I was a lump guy and just never paid attention to it.

      Now that I'm a lump & briquette guy I'll stay tuned and pay attention.😉

    #4
    OK, that explains the smoke issue. But, there's also the whole discussion over briquettes vs. lump, and even among briquettes (Stump for example).

    The complete list of "ingredients" for KBB includes coal, limestone, starch, borax, sodium nitrate and sawdust.

    Won't the smoke from those chemicals end up in the food as the coals ignite slowly?

    From everything I read I would almost think that I can easily use KBB for high heat, hot and fast grilling, but should be using lump or at least Stump's or Kingsford Competition anytime I'm going for low and slow even in a non-ceramic cooker. I won't even mention the extruded coconut, as it would burn way to fast (and expensively) in a cooker without insulation.

    Jim

    Comment


      #5
      Lots to consider here:

      Which one of those briquette ingredients creates harmful off gas?

      What is in the off gas of lump charcoal?

      What is the by-product inside my natural gas stove? Oh I hate to even think of that.

      I think its all just a matter of scale. Burn 1 briquette combustion is complete, Burn 100 combustion is complete.

      I'm going to head to the garage and have me a menthol smokey treat and think on this.

      : )

      Great topic!
      Last edited by Jon Solberg; January 4, 2016, 10:10 PM.

      Comment


      • Breadhead
        Breadhead commented
        Editing a comment
        Surely Green Peace will do a study on charcoal soon and try to get it banned from use by humans.😎

        Don't worry about the small stuff... Smoke em if you got em.😎

      #6
      jgg85234 Check out MH's zen of charcoal article. He answers pretty much all of your questions.

      Comment


        #7
        Thanks David Parrish

        I read the article about the zen of charcoal when I first visited the site about 2 years ago. I had forgotten about it, but at that point in time I wasn't yet smoking anything. Just lighting all the charcoal and doing hot and fast cooks.

        I see many articles that other people have written basically denouncing Kingsford because of the "chemicals" in the briquettes.

        Re-reading the zen article, some of the commentary that's with it, and then looking at the SDS information is a little scary, particularly the SDS.

        But, I've been using Kingsford Blue Bag for the last 40+ years without incident. My wife sometimes detects when I've added wood to smoking meats, but has never complained about the flavor of the basic charcoal. I personally don't taste anything weird either.

        Sometimes (many years ago) I used to get mesquite charcoal, but decided that the KBB briqs produced more consistent heat. The oddest thing I ever found in a bag of that was a horseshoe.

        The best way I've learned how to hit the right level of wood in the smoker or SnS is by tasting leftovers. If I used too much smoke, the leftovers have a really strong taste. Once I hit the right level the wife never knows the difference and the leftovers have a stronger taste, but don't taste like I'm eating burnt wood.

        I guess I'll stop worrying about the KBB in slow cooks and just go back to enjoying the results.

        Jim


        Comment


          #8
          If you are worried about it, jgg85234 , go to an all natural charcoal. I use Stubbs. Burns a bit hotter and faster. I use it in the winter b/c of the ambient temps.

          Comment


            #9
            Originally posted by jgg85234 View Post
            Thanks David Parrish

            I guess I'll stop worrying about the KBB in slow cooks and just go back to enjoying the results.

            Jim
            Sounds like a good plan

            Comment

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