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Other Fuels (besides Kingsford Original) on the PBC

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    Other Fuels (besides Kingsford Original) on the PBC

    This is the place to talk about our results in using fuels other than KO in our PBCs. I hope it will fill up with good info quickly!

    First of all, when considering charcoal other than the Kingsford Original briquettes, required reading should be Meathead's Zen of Charcoal at http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_tech..._charcoal.html

    In this post I'll be consolidating some results posted on the general PBC forum and elsewhere on The Pit:

    B&B (100% natural oak and Quebracho Blanco wood) charcoal briquettes:
    • larger briquette than Kingsford Original
    • less ash than KO
    • runs hotter than KO
      • JerodB says his first single brisket cook with it ran at 315-330 without cracking the PBC lid.
    • lasts longer than KO
      • JerodB has done 4-5 briskets at a time for 9 hour cooks and the B&B was running strong. Most of his multi-brisket cooks are in the 225-250 range.
    • Additional notes from Jerod:
      • The B & B briquettes are more brittle than the KO. Something to consider when handling the briquettes themselves.
      • I have started leaving just enough room at the top for a layer of KO since it seems to start better using the lighter fluid method, with a 20 minute preheat at sea level. This 20 minute preheat would be too much for a basket of KO at sea level and result in a lower than optimal pit temp.

    Royal Oak: (from David Parrish over on another topic here in The Pit)
    "I personally cannot recommend Royal Oak. I used to like it quite a bit, but the past several bags I've purchased had foreign objects in them. One of those objects was a rock the size of two human fists. In the latest bag I found a melted pile of plastic in my ash pile. Who knows what that was and how it made it through their manufacturing process... Next few times you cook with Royal Oak check your ashes. It would not surprise me if you found a few rocks or other materials leftover."

    That's all I have time for at the moment. I'll add more info to this post as I come across it.

    Last edited by fzxdoc; September 11, 2014, 05:34 PM.

    Ozark Oak lump charcoal is my favorite for PBCing a bird. A little on the expensive side.


    • jlo
      jlo commented
      Editing a comment
      Ernest. Why do you use lump for birds?

    • Ernest
      Ernest commented
      Editing a comment
      I like to cook birds at higher temp, lump charcoal makes getting those temps pretty easy.
      But number 1 reason is flavor. One of my best chicken was dry brined for 2 days and hang on the PBC with lump charcoal. No rub, oil etc. Just salt, lump charcoal and PBC.

    Anybody know how the Kingsford Hickory Charcoal effect cook time in the PBC?


      Here's a link to mtford's (Matt) results on HEB Champion Oak Briquettes. He has a great PBC temperature graph there too.


      Basically, according to Matt, the charcoal was not consistent in size and burned hot. After the first hour or so, each time the lid was taken off, the temp would spike and stay close to that high point, so lifting the lid throughout the cook can increase PBC temps greatly. It had a strong smokey odor and imparted good flavor to the meat.



      • mtford72
        mtford72 commented
        Editing a comment
        Just a quick clarification: The coals were consistent in size, just chipped. There were a few broken ones, however.

      • fzxdoc
        fzxdoc commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for clearing that up, Matt.


      I used Kingsford Hickory blend the other day. It did run a bit hotter than usual but it did impart a nice hickory flavor to my yard bird.


        So has anybody used the kingsford competition briqs in the pbc? I'm pretty sure someone has, but I'd love to see some thoughts on the use. Since the blue bags are now down to 18.6 lbs instead of 20, that puts the volume on par with the bags of competition briqs. Not a reason but just one more point in favor of trying them out.


        • fzxdoc
          fzxdoc commented
          Editing a comment
          vandy , I love my SnS ! What a great product. I use it with my WSCGC. I've used Kingsford Professional (Competition) in it for both chicken and for fresh turkey breast. Both are delicious with that charcoal. Be sure that your fire is good and hot before adding meat.

        • fzxdoc
          fzxdoc commented
          Editing a comment
          ...(continued from my previous comment)...Otherwise, you'll often get that charcoal-y taste. It's happened to me, but not since I started letting the fire burn until most of the white smoke has disappeared before adding the meat, FWIW. Happy smoking to you!


        • Livermoron
          Livermoron commented
          Editing a comment
          I have (because they're so cheap at Costco).I've smoked bacon and brisket in the PBC using the competition briqs and the timing and temperature doesn't seem too far away from what you would expect from a regular blue bag.

        JPP I used competition exclusively from day 2 of owning my PBC until I switched to lump.
        I can't comment on the difference between blue bag and competition but I can tell you that competition works just fine, even better. I just have never been a fan of the original blue bag.


          Originally posted by JPP View Post
          Since the blue bags are now down to 18.6 lbs instead of 20, that puts the volume on par with the bags of competition briqs.
          Nope. Kingsford issued a statement, it's somewhere on this site. They have changed their formula to something that weighs less, I think one of the binders. The number of briquettes and cook time remains the same as the 20lb. bags. This is true for all of their recently reduced-weight bags.

          I've never priced the competition stuff, but since blue bag works so well, if it ain't broke...


          • JPP
            JPP commented
            Editing a comment
            Less binder ==good to know. Thanks!

          I stock up on competition coals at Costco during the Holiday sales.


            For sure Competition burns hotter in my PBC, so I use it for poultry where I'm trying to keep the pit temps around 325-360.

            For some cooks, it burns faster, for others it burns longer. I can't get a handle on that part of it.

            OTOH, I can predict almost down to the minute how long Kingsford Blue will burn in my PBC.

            Peculiar, huh?



              Interesting observations, folks.... I will have to try it out for chicken I t think.


                I'm brand new at this and have only done two attempts so far (actually in the middle of #2 now). I bought a bag of Kingsford Hickory, using in the PBC, following fzxdoc's lighting instructions. I'm at 5,900'. My air intake is 75% open. Using both rebars. I'm not getting the higher/longer burns that you all seem to be getting. My first cook is in the blue (I hurried it because I pulled it off the fedex truck and lit it up, eating at 9:00pm before I had to go out of town!) The spikes in the lines are where I cracked the lid to stoke the fire. The red line is current cook - I'm 3:30 into it right now. I'm curious why I'm not getting the higher/longer temp's others seem to be getting - could it be the Hickory Charcoal because the charcoal is not as uniform due to the wood in it? Here are my temp's:

                Attached Files
                Last edited by Richard; June 28, 2015, 05:38 PM.


                • Jerod Broussard
                  Jerod Broussard commented
                  Editing a comment
                  How are you lighting, and how long are you preheating before placing the lid?

                Hi Jerod - Update: I updated the temp graph above. I pulled the ribs at 4:45. The ribs were excellent - I lightly sauced 2 racks at 3:30, left one with just the dry rub, and pulled them at 4:45.

                I use a chimney (large). I fill the basket to level, pull 40 briskets for the chimney, use 5 single pages of newspaper, set it on the grate, fire it up and let it go for 20 minutes, everything was ashed over. Then I pull the grate, pour the coals over the basket, and use a small rake to lift/set the basket into the PBC. I let it go for 10 minutes with no lid and no rebar. Then I put the lid on for 10 minutes with no rebar. Then I put in the temp probe, rebar, hang the ribs, and put on the lid. The temperature recordings begin a couple of of minutes after putting on the lid.

                I'll post pics later - now starting family movie night...!
                Last edited by Richard; June 28, 2015, 08:30 PM.


                  Richard, your temp graph looks great--holding a nice steady temp as the PBC settles in to do its thing.

                  To get higher temps that hold steady, I usually have to pull a rebar out, sometimes both rebars depending on how loaded my PBC is. If I'm using one or both rebars to hold the meat, then I crack the lid to goose the temp up as needed.

                  A couple of days ago, I loaded my PBC with 3 chickens and 18 sausages. I needed both rebars to hang all that meat, so I left the lid cracked for the entire cook. (about 1.5 hours until everything was done).

                  As far as longer cooks go, I only use Kingsford Blue for those, and usually get 8 to 10 hours or more, depending on the pit temp.

                  I haven't used Kingsford Hickory, Richard . It's good to hear that those ribs turned out nice and tasty. Congrats!



                    The Kingsford Hickory does give a great smoke flavor. Next round I'll use the traditional blue bag with wood to see if there is any difference in the temperature profile and/or flavor. Here was the result from this recent batch...


                    • Tim E
                      Tim E commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Looking good

                    • fzxdoc
                      fzxdoc commented
                      Editing a comment
                      They look great! Nice job, Richard !


                    • (Bluecat)
                      (Bluecat) commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Man those look phenomenal. Nice cookin'.


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