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B&B Lump Craziness

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    B&B Lump Craziness

    I have used exactly two bags of B&B lump in the past - a bag of oak, and a bag of hickory. Both of those bags had mostly what I would consider to be medium sized pieces of charcoal - from half the size of a briquette to maybe double the size.

    On a recent visit to Academy, all they had was the hickory, so that is what I rolled with. I opened it this morning to do a burn in of my new SNS Kamado, and went to dig into the bag with my charcoal scoop. Clunk. Hitting something, can't get around it!

    The top of the bag had a full "log" of charcoal about 15 inches long, and 3-4 inches in diameter! It was the entire width of the top of the 20 pound bag! There are a lot of other big hunks in there too. I had to dig around with my hands to get smaller charcoal for starting the fire with a Royal Oak tumbleweed starter.

    I realize lump is not processed the way briquettes are, but you would think there would be a lot more consistency, or some process of chopping pieces of wood down to size before they get converted to charcoal. Very frustrating.

    #2
    I've encountered logs before in cheaper lump but never in a bag of B&B. I would not be surprised if that was just an anomaly.
    Last edited by Attjack; January 19, 2021, 12:52 PM.

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    • Skip
      Skip commented
      Editing a comment
      I agree. I've used quite a bit of B&B Lump and never experienced a chunk like that.

    #3
    You will want to keep those large pieces separate to build a first layer in your firebox. That helps the air flow and keeps the ash from choking the air flow in 12+ hour cooks. You probable want to break that big log in two or three pieces. Low and slow Kamado cooks love those big pieces.
    Last edited by LA Pork Butt; March 21, 2021, 11:37 AM.

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      #4
      - Have not had that experience with B&B yet. Would be interesting to know if the "log" is easily breakable or not been fired enough in the kiln.
      - I had my first "log" in a bag of Rockwood before my surgery. Broke right up into fist size pieces.
      - Used to have quite a collection of "Moon Rock's" from the bags of lump. Management of those became to unwieldy so I kept only the biggest one which weighed in at 15.37oz.
      Overall B&B is a good bang for the buck. Good luck with the break in of your new cooker.

      Comment


      • jfmorris
        jfmorris commented
        Editing a comment
        I tried breaking this "log" with my hands - no go. And I didn't want to smash it on anything and make a mess at the time all over the concrete area under the pavilion, which is where I am playing with the SNSK. I'll smash it in a bag, or just put it down in the bottom of the SNSK as-is when I do a cook.

      #5
      I am always happy to find big chunks! I put them in a special container I keep just for that.

      I have a special collection from Fogo bags.

      Comment


        #6
        I was quite disappointed with my B&B lump yesterday. One hopper lasted about 8 hours which is the same I got out of Royal Oak lump and nearly filled the ash bucket.

        I ordered some FOGO so we will see how that does.

        The B&B char logs are excellent but I want something that is a bit easier to light when it is cold out.

        Comment


        • jfmorris
          jfmorris commented
          Editing a comment
          I've run several cooks now on a bag of B&B lump, and ash buildup has been minimal. This is in the SNS Kamado. I've seen more size variation on B&B lump this year than I did last year, so I am not sure what's going on there.

          Lump is certainly much less dense than briquettes or the char logs, and burns hotter and faster if I am not keeping the cooker low and slow.

        • IFindZeroBadCooks
          IFindZeroBadCooks commented
          Editing a comment
          This was at 275...

        • jfmorris
          jfmorris commented
          Editing a comment
          What does Masterbuilt say about lump? I feel that the variation in size alone is probably not ideal for use in any hopper fed charcoal smoker. I would think the inconsistency in size would lead to issues. And, I'll say this as well - a 20 pound bag of lump is MUCH larger than a 20 pound bag of briquettes. Much less dense, which makes me think its energy density is less.

        #7
        Masterbuilt comments tend to support your thinking there jfmorris .

        https://www.masterbuilt.com/pages/faq#gravity-series

        For lump charcoal, if the lumps are too big, large voids are created in the hopper. Large lump charcoal reduces the overall amount of charcoal in the hopper to burn. For example: large lump charcoal with voids may only be 7 lbs of charcoal, whereas medium lump with minimal voids may be 10 lbs. 10 lbs will burn longer than 7 lbs. In addition, charcoal varies by brand and not all charcoal is made the same. Material sources, density and characteristics are different. The length of the burn time also depends on the outside temperature.


        Interestingly enough, Masterbuilt's new lump charcoal might be sized better. I think I will try this out after I've used up the FOGO, as they claim up to 15 hours burn time with the MB lump, which would be ideal.

        https://www.masterbuilt.com/products...harcoal-2-pack

        It will last up to 15 hours in the Gravity Series™ 560, up to 12 hours in the Gravity Series™ 800, and up to 8 hours in the Gravity Series™ 1050 depending on temperature.

        Last edited by IFindZeroBadCooks; March 21, 2021, 09:27 AM.

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          #8
          One of the reasons I tried something other than B&B was I kept getting bags with well over half the bag being small. I ended up buying a bag of Rockwood just to get some medium sized pieces to put under the small B&B. Until this last order I had never had that problem with Kamado Joe big block. The 2 bags I just bought are both at least 3/4 small pieces. I think you can get a bad lot of almost any lump.

          Comment


          • IFindZeroBadCooks
            IFindZeroBadCooks commented
            Editing a comment
            I will have one bag of B&B and 2 bags of FOGO so we will see if the next bag of B&B is better. Then I will try the new MB lump before seeing which one I should stick with for a bit longer.

          #9
          I’ve always had good luck with “Cowboy” brand lump charcoal. That said it is all I can get here in Hays!

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