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Why lump?

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    Its two different ways to do the same thing. But with some cookers, one does work better. Kamados like lump. Kettles like briquettes. You CAN use lump in a kettle and you CAN use briquettes in a kamado, but you get better results if you don't.

    I wouldn't say one is better than the other overall, it really depends on what you are burning it in.


      I may have caught OCD from my wife. I sort my lump into three size groups. Large pieces on the bottom of the basket, medium size in the middle, small on top. I actually learned this way of building a fire here on AR. It works great in my Kamado. I have a Weber kettle, but use lump in it on the rare occasion that I fire it up. I don't even own a bag of briquettes right now.


        I use both lump and briquettes. As mentioned already, less ash with lump charcoal. I also think it smells better. One thing that annoys me though is the variable size ranging from wood chips to logs. In terms of briquettes, I now prefer B&B over Kingsford.


        • Steve R.
          Steve R. commented
          Editing a comment
          Can you get kicked out of Michigan for saying that? I rarely use lump, but I agree on the B&B briquettes over KBB. The cost is higher per bag, but with the much longer burn time, it's really not more expensive. I can easily get 12+ hrs of low and slow out of a SnS XL load of B&B in my Weber 26" kettle. I was getting more like 6 hrs with KBB. The only trouble with B&B is finding it.
          Last edited by Steve R.; June 3, 2021, 01:30 PM.

        • frailinryan
          frailinryan commented
          Editing a comment
          Steve R fortunately, my local ACE hardware typically carries B&B briquettes. I always try to keep some on hand.

        Okay, I accidentally deleted my post hat was here...๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„.
        I had said that I actually had a great cook using B&B oak lump. It held temp much better than I had expected and will be doing it again just to double check my results. Below is a screen shot of the cook.
        the only swings was from when I opened the lid to stir the coals and knock the ash off.

        Click image for larger version

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          I just use briquets/briquettes/brikketz. Like you say- predictable. I don't worry much about the ash, whether I clean out a lot of ash or not quite a lot I still gotta clean it out. I've used lump before, but I haven't been overly wowed by it to make it my thing.


          • Attjack
            Attjack commented
            Editing a comment
            And there's the difference. Every 2-3 cooks or every 2-3 months!

          • Huskee
            Huskee commented
            Editing a comment
            Attjack I don't want to sound like I'm arguing with you, just clarifying my statement- I clean the ash every couple 2-3 cooks out of habit, not necessity. Haven't had my vents get plugged. Maybe if I pushed it longer between cleanouts I'd notice it.

          • Attjack
            Attjack commented
            Editing a comment
            I hear you. I don't think we disagree that there's less ash from lump or that you burning briquettes works well for you. I'm just speaking to the question posed in this thread.

          I've never had good luck with lump in my Weber kettles. The burn rate is just too uneven. I just know how charcoal is going to react after hundreds of cooks in an SNS so I stick with what I know. Now when cooking Santa Maria style, open fire or with something like a Vortex, lump really shines because it produces a bit more heat. I think if I was a kamado guy I would think it superior in that venue, but alas I am not.


          • Dadof3Illinois
            Dadof3Illinois commented
            Editing a comment
            That's what I thought too....but the above graph is a 14 hour burn, with one spike because I stirred the coals and added more....gradually it went back down to 220F.
            That was with B&B Oak Lump....If I can recreate this type of burn every cook i'll switch over to this full time!!

          • Troutman
            Troutman commented
            Editing a comment
            Well I'm in the "if it ain't broke why fix it" camp. Last time I used B&B I had this log in the bag. Probably should have broken it into pieces but it totally screwed up the cook temperature in my 26". I guess each to his own, BTUs are BTUs after all !!

          • jfmorris
            jfmorris commented
            Editing a comment
            Troutman I've had some of those logs in the B&B lump bag as well. They work fine in the kamado when in kamado mode, but you sure can't use them in the SNS! I too find that briquettes work best in the Slow 'N Sear itself.

          Not all lump is the same, bu the better stuff has less ash than briquettes. Of course briquettes vary too. Ceramic Kamodos are porous and can hold on to odors, so that can be an issue with certain briquettes.


            Originally posted by rickgregory View Post
            I've wondered this for a while but I regularly see people talking about using lump charcoal. Now, I get why you'd use it in hot and fast stuff, especially direct grilling. But... do you all use it for low and slow (I'm classing anything under 300F as low)? If so... why? I've always used briquettes for that since they feel more predictable.
            I never used lump for low and slow until about a year ago, when I bought some B&B lump to experiment with on the offset and the kettle using the SNS. I've only used lump in my new SNS Deluxe Kamado. What I see is that there is significantly less ash produced by lump than by most briquettes, especially compared to KBB. A lot of that "ash" is the binders used in briquettes.

            You are right that the burn time and heat is more repeatable and predictable using briquettes, but I've gotten it down to a process using lump, and the SNS doesn't get as clogged up with ash as it does with most brands of briquettes. That's more an issue with the SNS Deluxe (2.0?) with the bottom grid than it is on my original SNS that is open bottomed.

            To tell you how much ash difference we are talking about here - I routinely fill up the fairly sizeable ash bucket on my Weber Performer Deluxe in the course of a long cook or two using briquettes. I can burn through a 20 pound load of B&B lump in the SNSK - several cooks, just relighting the grill after stirring things to get ash to settle below the grate - and I doubt there is more than a couple of measuring cups worth of ash from the 20 pound bag of lump, settled down below the bottom charcoal grate.


              Because I have a ceramic. And why do I have a ceramic? Because I like to spend money on things I don't need...



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