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B&B rival? HEB Champion Oak Briquettes on PBC - graphs

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    B&B rival? HEB Champion Oak Briquettes on PBC - graphs

    I know Jerrod frequently cooks with B&B Oak Briquettes. I was going to try them, but HEB (Texas based grocery store) had their own brand to compete with B&B, so I thought I'd give them a go. Their own brands are usually very good quality.

    I had an 8lb bag, filled the PBC basket and lit using the lighter fluid method. Gave the coals about 15 - 20 minutes to get a good burn going.

    First impressions - the briquettes were really friable. Lots of crumbling. They were largely whole, but far more crumbled and chipped than you would expect from, say, a bag of kingford blue. The briquettes were also quite fibrous, with small chunks of the wood fibers, which probably contributed to the friability.

    Once lit - very strong smoke smell! It stuck to me like glue.

    The Cook:

    The first two hours showed almost perfect PBC temp graph. Peaked at very high three hundreds, then steady decline. I didn't crack the lid, I hung the meat and seated the lid.
    The chicken was fully cooked at about 1hour 45 - but I wasn't in the house. So I took it off at the first spike in the graph - about two hours.

    At that point, the cook looked perfect from a grill temp perspective. I had a couple of other test cuts of wild hog in there, so I left it cooking away. Checking periodically.

    As you can see from the graph the temps just shot up after each check, and stayed there! The checks were quick - no more than 30 secons with the lid off - but resulted in a big changes in temp.

    Click image for larger version

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    The briquettes burned to a very light ash, and imparted a really good smoke flavor. But for the PBC, unless you are cooking a single item, I'm guessing that temperature spike after lifting the lid is probably a problem.

    I bet they are going to be great for a hot sear on the weber. Unsure if they are going to be good for the PBC.



    Very interesting, Matt. I added a link to this topic on the sticky topic about using other charcoal in the PBC. This info is too good to lose in the shuffle, even if I don't have access to HEB Champion Charcoal. It makes me want to record tests on other charcoals the same way you did.

    I burned some Kingsford Competition last week for a chicken cook and noticed not one whit of difference between it and Kingsford Original as far as the cook went. The temperature settled in at 250 over the 2 hours it took to get the chicken to 160 deg F. Maybe if I had continued to monitor the temperature for a few hours more it would have increased just like you noted on the HEB stuff.

    The only difference I noticed was that by the following morning (12 hours later), when the Kingsford Original is always cool, the Kingsford Competition was at 160degF. It took a few hours more for it to finally cool down so I could dump the ash.

    BTW what thermometer smoker probe do you use? It's not in your signature, I checked.



    • mtford72
      mtford72 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi Kathryn,
      I use the Igrill2 thermometer. It seems to work pretty well, can monitor 4 probes at once and has a good / strong blue tooth link to android / apple products. The only annoyance is that compiling 4 probes onto one graph requires some excel trickery - not hard, just a little bit of a pain.

      Thanks for accumulating the data! I don't know if the higher temps would have ruined a longer cook or not. Wild hog in Texas is always a pretty temperamental affair - it's very lean and so producing something edible is rather hit and miss. Anyway, the meat wasn't good, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't have been fine with farm raised ribs, for instance.

    Wild hog? You mean javelina? Or is a Wild Texas Hog more like a boar? Obviously I'm not up on my Texas Fauna (except for ex-husbands, that is. Hahaha).

    Whatever it is, kudos to you for wrestling it into a PBC!

    And P.S. thanks for the thermometer info. I have my eye on an iCelsius, although it does not get really great reviews.



    • mtford72
      mtford72 commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh, and they are selling the igrill2 in lowes soon. I got the spam email today. Got to say, it does exactly what you want it to do. However, only two probes come with it. 2 extra is an extra 50. So it gets up there in terms of price.
      My issues are with the ease of use of the software - in particular the out put. However, the software is easy to improve and will likely do so with su sequential releases. The hard ware works faultlessly so far.

    • barney
      barney commented
      Editing a comment
      "All my ex's live in Texas"
      Sorry Kathryn....just couldn't help it.
      I plan on trying some of the HEB brand soon. We have a HEB SuperStore here.

    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      hahahaha, instant classic.

    The B & B are fragile also, and they don't light very well compared to the Kingsford. Hence the reason I put some Kingsford on top for light up.

    But the heat they put out when I have 4-5 briskets in the Pit Barrel, for so long, is really nice. No HEB in our town. Closed about 6-7 years ago.

    Thanks for the report.


    • mtford72
      mtford72 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi Jerod. One day I'll spell your name correctly in a post. Promise! Matt.


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