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More on Prime 6

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    More on Prime 6

    More on Prime Six: Cooks 6 and 7:

    I was out picking up some meat in the next town over when I came across some more Prime Six at a Ralphs. Marked as “Closeout- $4.99” I picked up 4 boxes. At checkout, they scanned at $1.99 .
    I loaded the boxes into my car and went right back in to get whatever else they had. Three more boxes through the self-checkout and was on my way.

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    Cook number 6:
    One roughly 2.5lb top round, cooked to about 128, specifically for slicing for sandwiches. I put this on the Weber, with SNS insert. I used mostly left over Prime 6 from the prior cooks, broken up into 2” and less pieces. I lit a small amount of it with a Weber Cube, as if I were doing an SNS low-and-slow. Once lit, I piled more small pieces next to the lit coal, and put a couple of hickory chunks on top. Once I hit a steady 240, I put on the roast. A completely boring and stable 240 (235-245) and a couple of hours later and off the grill and on to the Blackstone for searing. I never touched the vents or the fire for the whole cook.

    Cook number 7:
    2.7-pound chuck roast for shredded beef. SNS kettle with the SNS insert. This was my big experiment. I took five fairly long pieces (8” or so), and went to light them at the end.
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    My intent was to have the long pieces start at one end and as it burned, burn along the length, in a snake like manner- rather than having the burn jump from piece to piece, it would just keep burning along the length. I laid two lit pieces on the bottom of the SNS, with two more lit pieces on top, and one piece on top of that. Three chunks of hickory for smoke.

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    After more than an hour, I couldn’t get the temperature over 190. Even using my BBQ Dragon for 15 minutes to get the fire moving along. I ended up adding the rest of the lit coal from the other cook to get it running. Now it’s getting late, and I need to speed it up, so I am shooting for 250-275. Once stable at around 260, it rolled on for a couple of hours. But once the small pre lit pieces began to burn out, the temps started dropping. The longer pieces just weren’t producing enough heat on their own. Interestingly, the bottom pieces burned along their length faster than the top pieces. I added a handfull of KBB a couple of times to maintain the temp after the small pieces burned out.

    What I have now learned across 7 cooks and 37 hours of cook time:
    5 long pieces alone don’t generate enough heat. Multiple larger pieces (2” and up) produce well at the start of the cook, but have trouble lighting pieces next to them for a long burn. Lots of little (2” and less, with a mix of bigger and smaller pieces) burn in a very consistent manner at a very controllable temperature. Next cook will be a long, low-and-slow with a full basket of broken up chunks, ranging from ½” to 2” randomly spread out. I believe that this will produce the best results based on my experiments so far.

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    A little math now while I geek out on the numbers and what my cost is for this experiment:

    1st box - $5.69
    4 more boxes at $5.69
    Then 6 boxes at $4.99
    And finally, 7 boxes at $1.99
    Total cost - $72.32. Boxes bought- 18. Cost per lb - $0.45.
    Before these 2 cooks, I had used about 8lbs of the charcoal over 27 cooking hours. With 20.25 8lb increments in the 162 lbs total, I could reasonably expect this charcoal to give me nearly 550 hours of cook time at about $0.13 per hour. That's 68 8 hour cooks. This stuff will last me more than a year, maybe two, most of my cooks are 2 hour tri tip cooks. By the time I get to the end of this, i'll probably actually know what I'm doing!
    Last edited by McFlyfi; November 8, 2021, 12:31 PM.

    thanks for the detailed writeup. Too bad this product may not exist in the future (certainly not at the prices you're paying). my observations were similar. I don't think you can rely on doing a snake or fuse burn; better off doing a minion type burn. really no downside if it doesn't give off bad smoke at lower temps.


      I got the $1.99 deal too. It’s really compressed charcoal. Lighting it in a chimney with one lighter cube didn’t work. I bet a chimney on a gas burner would work better. I picked up 10 so I have to make it work somehow.


      • Smoldering Flea
        Smoldering Flea commented
        Editing a comment
        chimney with newspaper didn't work for you?

      • Bbqmikeg
        Bbqmikeg commented
        Editing a comment
        Haven’t tried newspaper yet. A wide flame would be helpful


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