Briquettes vs. Lump?!

AMeyerson

New member
I am getting mixed messages from a lot of my friends and I wanted to get the skinny from some more experienced individuals. I have a 22" WSM and I wanted to know the what people are doing when it comes to this? Do you do Lump or Briquettes? If you do lump, what kind? If you're doing briquettes, which ones? I have been doing research showing Royal Oak and Weber are some pretty clean burning brands.

Whats the 411?!
 

MikeS in Alaska

TVWBB Fan
Chris has a great article all about charcoal you may want to read. https://www.virtualweberbullet.com/all-about-charcoal/
A large number of users go with Kingsford Blue bag or “KBB”.
Weber is good if on sale.
I look for briquettes at around .20 a pound or so.
For lump, I’m working my way thru some Western lump that was on clearance a few years back at Walmart. I use lump in the kettle mostly. Briquettes in the WSM mostly. But that’s my choice.

Oh, and welcome to the forum
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB Hall of Fame
I’ve used Kingsford “blue bag” for almost 50 years, only failures have been when using other charcoal or being too cheap and using old “retired” (second use) charcoal.
 

J Grotz

TVWBB Pro
Welcome to the forum!

I'm the opposite of MikeS. I use lump in my WSM 22 and briquettes in my charcoal grill. Currently, I'm using Jealous Devil lump in the WSM. It burns clean with low ash and I can shut all the vents and re-use the leftovers for the next cook. I try to use my WSM at least once a month. It's always a special occasion, so I figure if I'm spending a bunch of $$ on good quality meat, why use el cheapo charcoal that puts off a bad taste. As for briquettes for the grill, KBB and Weber. I stock up on KBB when it's on sale and use it for burger, dogs, etc. Weber can be a little pricey, but True Value has a good every day price ($15, compared with $20 elsewhere) with free delivery to your local store. I use Weber for steaks, lamb, etc.

I tried Embers, the Home Depot brand, and it imparts an awful taste into the food.
 

Fred BW

TVWBB Fan
In my opinion you can't go wrong with Kingsford Blue bag charcoal. The reason you get mixed opinions is everyone has their own "secret" method:)
The only way you will find out if you like lump or not is to try it.
But if you are just getting your smoker dialed in. I would start with kingsford blue bag. When you have it reliable then try some lump. Lump generally burns hotter. And from my watching this forum it seems folks with 22's have problems with them running hot when new. Which is why I would get it dialed in with charcoal first.
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I use KBB in my WSM and KBB, Royal Oak and Western lump for the performer. Haven't tried lump in the WSM as I'm happy with the way the KBB performs.
 

timothy

TVWBB Hall of Fame
As you can see it comes down to what you prefer, and that comes from experimenting with different brands.
I like lump in my WSM's and whatever in my kettles.
I'm not brand loyal, but I will agree that good meat deserves good fuel.

Tim
 

MartinB

TVWBB Pro
Never had charcoal fail personally.

Some, may be smellier, take longer to get good, produce more or less ash, burn longer or shorter, but they all work OK in my experience.

Just use something, if you dont like it, try another

Lump does seem to burn cleaner, blue smoke quicker to me. But every briquette ive used has been ok too. I like weber....hard to find, and pricey. Still have about 5 bags left from the stock i bought last yr this time when home depot had them on clearance

Dont add meat until have thin blue smoke....and everything is good. Often thats up to an hour after reaching temps. Can depend on wood placement, as well as charcoal.
 
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JimZ

TVWBB Fan
Is it me or are the days of .20 cents a pound for KBB gone? Cant bring myself to pay 23 bucks for 40 pounds of charcoal. By the way i actually prefer embers in the WSM as it tends to burn cooler and its cheaper. KBB in the kettle though.
 

MartinB

TVWBB Pro
I didnt see any attractive sales this yr....im running low.....
I picked up 80 lb kbb at july 4 to pad my weber supply from january. Used it. I think it was about $12-13 for 40 lb.
 
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Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Is it me or are the days of .20 cents a pound for KBB gone? Cant bring myself to pay 23 bucks for 40 pounds of charcoal. By the way i actually prefer embers in the WSM as it tends to burn cooler and its cheaper. KBB in the kettle though.
KBB goes on sale during summer holidays for about half that price at Lowes, and Home Depot.
As far as Royal Oak's Embers, quality control must be a problem, the bag I had was some nasty stuff, ruined a tri tip with a creosote taste, tossed the rest of the bag.
 
For competition I like RO All Natural briquettes. The double bag of RO Professional is pretty much what I use for most cooks now that Weber/Stubbs are no mas.
 

timothy

TVWBB Hall of Fame
For competition I like RO All Natural briquettes. The double bag of RO Professional is pretty much what I use for most cooks now that Weber/Stubbs are no mas.
I actually found some RO All Natural briqs at walmart today. $ 7.94 for 16# bag or a little under .50c lb. Not cheap but I was looking for something different.

Tim
 

RyanS_MN

TVWBB Member
I used to use KBB but I’ve found the formula to have changed. I’ve since switched to RO or Embers (Home Depot branded RO) and both have worked fantastic. Personally I like briquettes but I don’t do comps
 

WOwens

New member
I don’t have that many WSM cooks under my belt yet. But I have either used KBB or Weber briquettes in the WSM every time. Weber did burn hotter and longer. I still have 8 bags left from the 40 I bought last year in Jan or so at Home Depot when they were 3.90 per bag. I most likely use KBB in the WSM moving forward and always either Weber briquettes when cooking longer or rotisserie on the performer. jealous devil lump for all hot performer cooks.
 

Lynn Dollar

TVWBB All-Star
I've been mixing Cowboy All Natural with B&B lump and like the results in my Kettle. I put a layer of lump in the chimney, then a layer of briquets, then lump, then briquet. Getting the best of both worlds.

I bought the Cowboy on sale at Lowes this time last year and I'm finding a lot of it has broken up in the bag and I get a large amount of dust and crumbled pieces in the bottom of the bag. I'm having to dump it all out and hand sort it, to avoid it clogging up my chimney.

I'm also using the Weber I bought last year at HD on sale for $4. Bought 10 bags, wish I'd bought all 20 they had in stock. I really really like the Weber.

KBB is the old stand by however and when this " on sale " is gone, I will most likely go back to it.
 

Mark Twelve

TVWBB Member
I have a Weber Performer and a 22 WSM. A couple of years ago I started using lump and never turned back. For me the taste was much better. Of course, this will vary with the lump charcoal. I used to use Blues Hog but they seemed to be getting more filler pieces. I have tried various brands. Even though this is more pricey - I currently use Jealous Devil. I find that this lump burns pretty hot and use much less of it. One thing with this lump is that it produces little ash. Also it's seems to me that the taste or results are much better. The bags usually have pretty big pieces and less dust and small pieces. Wood species is Quebracho blanco.
 

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