Originally Posted by LT72884
Now thats interesting. I always thought that the smoke from starting the fresh charcoal contained toxins and made your meat taste funny.
I'll try to "dumb it down" for ya.
Match-Light Charchoal Briquettes
- contains chemicals that will alter the flavor of your food. However, you don't need to use a chimney
to start it.
need to be started in a chimney. When the briquettes burn down, you need to start every new batch in a chimney.
Briquette pros - slow burning steady heat.
Briquette cons - need to be started in a chimney every time, leaves alot of ash which can get in the way during long cooks.
- Lump charcoal
is partially burned wood chips/chunks. They can be started in a chimney but can also just be added to the exsisting coals.
Lump pros - no need to chimney start each batch, almost no ash.
Lump cons - burns slightly hotter and faster than briquettes, so long cooks will need to be tended to more often.
- True barbecuing
. Great flavor, some species like Applewood have pretty long burn times. Initially needs to be started using newspaper/twigs or some starting method. I have even used a small batch of hot lump to start the logs.
Wood pros - flavor, long burn times
Wood cons - you usually need to cut/split to fit in the smoker, temps can be a little erratic so you will need to keep an eye on it more often.
I have used all three and prefer natural wood. I have a wood burning fireplace so I usually grab some cherry or oak from there and cut it to fit in the smoker. Second to wood would be lump because of the ease of use, no ash and higher temps. It seems to burn at exactly 225F in my smoker. Lastly would be briquettes. I find having to start each batch in a chimney is a hassle. The ash can really build up which can affect how new briquettes burn in the smoker. I had to empty mine out once which was not an easy task. Match light is good for hotdogs and hamburgers at a cookout, not recommended for barbequeing.
People prefer different methods and fuels. So you'll need to find which one you like on your own by trying each one out.