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ckreef

Reef's Lump Comparison

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12 hours ago, Chris Topher said:

Keeping my eyes on this thread for what seems like it will be an interesting project. I guess naked whiz should fold up its tent

 

I don't believe the Naked Wiz information is worth anything at all.  I haven't looked at it lately but if they still have Rockwood rated as the best lump charcoal out there then it's still worthless to me.  

 

My experience with charcoal is not scientific in any way.  But, it's more useful than the info provided by the Naked Wiz.  I have used some Rockwood charcoal in the past.  I find it no better than the cheap Royal Oak from Walmart.  It's lightweight, low density, fast and hot burning lump charcoal.  

 

In my humble and inexperienced opinion, since I have only fired up a grill a few times in my life, there are two classes of lump charcoal.  There is standard lump charcoal and there is lump made from central and south american hardwoods.  The standard lump charcoal burns a little hotter and for a shorter time.  It's a lower density charcoal  The south american stuff is higher density, slower and slightly cooler burning.  It will burn as hot as the other but it takes a few minutes longer to get it there.  I can cook successfully on any of it.  Before I had my charcoal provided to me, I was buying the B&B brand fairly exclusively.  It was cheap, worked great, and I had no complaints about it at all.  

 

When I watch the charcoal debates on social media, they always end up in the same places.  People seem to have about 3 metrics upon which they judge charcoal.  1 - the size of the chunks.  2 - ash production.  3 - a host of various irrelevant things such as sparking, smoking, et cetera.  My opinion on chunk size is that anything larger than the size of your fist is too large.  I keep a hatchet by my grill to take care of those pieces larger than that.  My opinion on ash production is that you can't tell any difference between a firebox full of one brand vs another when it comes to this metric.  You just can't.  It's insignificant.  

 

 

I'm curious to see what CK has up his sleeve for this testing.  

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42 minutes ago, John Setzler said:

 

I don't believe the Naked Wiz information is worth anything at all

 

 

I completely agree. It was an ok starting point when I was in my formative stages of kamado cooking. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, ckreef said:

 

That doesn't count the approximately 200 lbs of Fogo Marabu I have stashed in the shed. I use that for my Konro. It comes from Cuba so I've slowly been hoarding it just incase it comes under a tariff and goes away. 

 

BTW nice to see you posting again :)

 

 

 

Gotta watch getting into that "exotic" stuff... It'll ruin ya, lol. I browse from time to time, sometimes I see a thread that catches my eye and I throw my 2 cents in. This is still the authoratative source for kamado cooking though, anytime someone asks me about how I like my kamado or what techniques I use, I point them here because some people need to see and read it, then they get hooked! 

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One of the issues I run across (other than a total lack of availability of different brands here) is variance by bag.

 

I've purchased two bags of the same charcoal and had one with nice size pieces and the other that looked like it went through a rock crusher, so the end results was quite different with the same product.

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29 minutes ago, SmallBBQr said:

One of the issues I run across (other than a total lack of availability of different brands here) is variance by bag.

 

I've purchased two bags of the same charcoal and had one with nice size pieces and the other that looked like it went through a rock crusher, so the end results was quite different with the same product.

 

That's common with most brands.  I have had a variance in bags of every brand I have bought.  

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2 hours ago, SmallBBQr said:

One of the issues I run across (other than a total lack of availability of different brands here) is variance by bag.

 

I've purchased two bags of the same charcoal and had one with nice size pieces and the other that looked like it went through a rock crusher, so the end results was quite different with the same product.

 

With these bags, I did pick bags off the shelf that were in good shape and not all smashed up looking. With the Fogo I got what came FedEx. 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, John Setzler said:

My opinion on ash production is that you can't tell any difference between a firebox full of one brand vs another when it comes to this metric.  You just can't.  It's insignificant.  

 

I agree with this statement with one exception - Fogo Marabu. It's the only lump I've used so far that had noticeably different ash. A very fine ultra white ash. To date I've only used it in my Konro but that's about to change with this comparison thread. 

 

I will be taking some after burn pictures so everyone can judge for themselves. 

 

This weekend I should be able to get some size and volume measurements posted. 

 

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8 minutes ago, ckreef said:

 

I agree with this statement with one exception - Fogo Marabu. It's the only lump I've used so far that had noticeably different ash. A very fine ultra white ash. To date I've only used it in my Konro but that's about to change with this comparison thread. 

 

 

 

I'd love to try the Marabu just beacause I haven't used it before.  Ash has never been an issue for me with any charcoal I have used other than briquettes.  I may just bite the bullet and order a single bag of the Marabu.

 

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2 hours ago, John Setzler said:

 

I'd love to try the Marabu just beacause I haven't used it before.  Ash has never been an issue for me with any charcoal I have used other than briquettes.  I may just bite the bullet and order a single bag of the Marabu.

 

 

I read a few people claim that ash isn't a factor even with briquettes... puzzles me. :-D

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2 hours ago, CentralTexBBQ said:

 

I read a few people claim that ash isn't a factor even with briquettes... puzzles me. :-D

 

It is a factor in a kamado unless you are using a temp control system to force air through it.  I have run my KJ classic for 30 hours on a load of kingsford briquettes.

 

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1 hour ago, John Setzler said:

 

It is a factor in a kamado unless you are using a temp control system to force air through it.  I have run my KJ classic for 30 hours on a load of kingsford briquettes.

 

 

I think ash is much less of a factor if you have a lump basket compared to a plate with holes. 

 

John - one thing I've wanted to mention. In the past, I've used all these lumps except the KJ Big Block and the Fogo Quebracho. Both those lumps are South American ironwood varieties. I'm really interested to see how they perform especially compared to the Marabu. Marabu is not a South American ironwood but is supposed to be a super hardwood from Cuba. Marabu is definitely a much harder lump than all the standard American lumps. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, ckreef said:

Post #2 filled out with size pictures and volume measurements. 

 

What a mess this process was. 

 

 

It looks great. Thanks for taking the time to do this. Charcoal is like shaving soap, if you ever get into wetshaving that is, one can never have too much variety!

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