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Old 05-28-2008, 12:24 PM   #31
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hmm walmart doesnt carry chunk coal or whatever it is.
Wow - I took about 30 minutes to type out what I thought were pretty easy, yet thorough, guidelines to get you started on your smoker. I'd much rather see "thank you" and you never, ever cook it as opposed to "or whatever it is" - - kind of makes me realize I wasted my time - but at least I now have that info saved for future use.

Maybe a smoker isn't for you. Sounds like a grill and oven are more suited to your lifestyle. You're young - when you get to be my age and sitting on the patio IS an outdoor activity, you will enjoy your smoker
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Old 05-28-2008, 12:46 PM   #32
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I just joined... saw a link to my blog and came over... But to try to help a bit, lump charcoal quality varies a great deal. (removed link per community policies} Royal Oak is pretty available all over, and is pretty decent.

The differences you'll see between lump (natural) and briquettes it that the lump will burn hotter for grilling, while the briquettes (standard Kingsford) burns longer. In a smoker, lump will burn a long time because you're controlling the fire more. Also, natural charcoal generally produces a lot less ash, which means airflow doesn't get clogged.

Cowboy charcoal is all over the place, but it's really junk; I would use Kingsford first.

The great thing about pulled pork is that, starting with a Boston butt roast (part of the shoulder of a pig), it's a very forgiving hunk of meat to cook. You can smoke it at 225 for 12 hours, or you can grill it indirectly in much less time. The slower cooking method is a bit better, but the faster one works very well, too. Other than burning the meat, there's not a lot you can do to ruin a Boston butt. And most smoking/barbecuing can be done at 225 with no problem; higher than 250 starts to have some issues for some things.

For chicken, you can cook it in a smoker at around 300, which gives the added advantage of making the skin more crispy.

From what I've read, you might be better off with a gas, electric, pellet or ceramic smoker, with the gas and electric smokers being the cheapest. You can set them and not worry about them for hours, even overnight.

If you're using the smoker for chicken, turkey, ribs, etc., start with just a couple of chunks of wood. Pecan is great if it's available; hickory can be too much if you're not careful, and mequite is way too strong, in my opinion.

And I agree... oversmoked is bad. If it's bitter tasting, you overdid the smoke. Start with a couple of chunks and add more next time if you want more smoke flavor.
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Old 05-28-2008, 12:48 PM   #33
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Wow - I took about 30 minutes to type out what I thought were pretty easy, yet thorough, guidelines to get you started on your smoker. I'd much rather see "thank you" and you never, ever cook it as opposed to "or whatever it is" - - kind of makes me realize I wasted my time - but at least I now have that info saved for future use.

Maybe a smoker isn't for you. Sounds like a grill and oven are more suited to your lifestyle. You're young - when you get to be my age and sitting on the patio IS an outdoor activity, you will enjoy your smoker
hey now, i said thank you on page 3. Im not a dang professional at this thats why i asked. i dont know what lump charcoal is, never even heard of it tell you guys told me.

You may think you have wasted your time but i learned something new from your "wasted time".

the "What ever it is" means i have no idea what to call it so it gets a name of what ever it is.

sitting on the porch is not my forte, i can barley handle riding in a car longer than two hours.

BUT i do want to learn how to smoke meat, i just have little patience to spend 10-12 hours watching the fire and temps.

any way KE, i do appreciate the info.

Thanx
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Old 05-28-2008, 01:41 PM   #34
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so lump coal is used for grilling and standard kingsford is used for smoking.

Is lump coal the same as hardwood chunks or is that referring to the wood for smoking?
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Old 05-28-2008, 01:48 PM   #35
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I wouldn't quite say that... It depends on your smoker as to what charcoal to smoke with. I only use lump, never use Kingsford, mainly because Kingsford just produces too much ash. But then I mostly smoke with straight wood logs, and I only get my fire going with charcoal.

In my Big Green Egg, I only use lump with hardwood chunks. If a smoker has good air control, lump can be kept down to a low temperature, so lump helps by again having less ash. Longer burn times are possible by limiting the air to the fire.

Hardwood chunks are just that... chunks of hardwood cut up to add smoke to your fire. It's seasoned but not pre-charred. The chunks should be fist sized or smaller. I usually just split off a sliver of a log to use, but I'm not against getting a bag of chunks now and then.

The nice thing about using chunks is that it's not too expensive to have a box mailed from an internet site, which opens up a lot of possibilities for types of wood to use... I prefer pecan over anything else, but it's not readily available in Ohio. Fortunately, another forum voted for me to get a free box of pecan, mostly due to me organizing a charity barbecue event earlier this month. :)
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Old 05-28-2008, 01:50 PM   #36
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Cooking Day

on this page he talks about the minion method for lighting the coals. its where you light 16 coals then place them on unlit coals. Then you can start cooking even though the coals are not all lit.

I thought that was bad because the coals contain toxins on the top coating.

is this true?
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Old 05-28-2008, 01:52 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by cmcadams View Post
I wouldn't quite say that... It depends on your smoker as to what charcoal to smoke with. I only use lump, never use Kingsford, mainly because Kingsford just produces too much ash. But then I mostly smoke with straight wood logs, and I only get my fire going with charcoal.

In my Big Green Egg, I only use lump with hardwood chunks. If a smoker has good air control, lump can be kept down to a low temperature, so lump helps by again having less ash. Longer burn times are possible by limiting the air to the fire.

Hardwood chunks are just that... chunks of hardwood cut up to add smoke to your fire. It's seasoned but not pre-charred. The chunks should be fist sized or smaller. I usually just split off a sliver of a log to use, but I'm not against getting a bag of chunks now and then.

The nice thing about using chunks is that it's not too expensive to have a box mailed from an internet site, which opens up a lot of possibilities for types of wood to use... I prefer pecan over anything else, but it's not readily available in Ohio. Fortunately, another forum voted for me to get a free box of pecan, mostly due to me organizing a charity barbecue event earlier this month. :)
wait a minute. mcadams, i swear the website im at has your name on it...
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Old 05-28-2008, 04:07 PM   #38
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You said "thankx but"

The "but" negated the thankx




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Old 05-28-2008, 04:11 PM   #39
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You said "thankx but"

The "but" negated the thankx




did you get my PM i sent you??
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Old 05-29-2008, 08:31 AM   #40
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Cooking Day

on this page he talks about the minion method for lighting the coals. its where you light 16 coals then place them on unlit coals. Then you can start cooking even though the coals are not all lit.

I thought that was bad because the coals contain toxins on the top coating.

is this true?
No, LT.

Many, many of us use the "Minion Method" in our bullet-type (and other) smokers. Jim Minion used to post here, but hasn't in a long time.

I use only Kingsford for fuel in my Weber Smokey Mountain, because it is readily available and burns slowly and steadily. I do use wood chips or chunks for flavoring. Hickory is my favorite. I've done very well with this combo in BBQ competitions.

(Wish Jim would jump in on this one!)

I only use lump charcoal for hot and fast grilling in my kettle.

Lee
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