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Question on charcoal

pokeypokey Posts: 59
edited 12:38AM in EggHead Forum
My neighbor is the reason I developed an interest in smoking food, he uses a conventional smoker and also cooks over an open fire with various types of cast iron equipment. My question is about the advertised 100% natural charcoal briquets. He has been trying to get me to use them in the egg and I have been hesitant (I have always been a stickler for instructions). Has any one attempted to use these in their eggs? Any feedback would be appreciated.

Comments

  • BobSBobS Posts: 2,485
    I have never used them. I have never been tempted -- I do not know how they could possibly be better than lump, because they have to grind the lump and then stick it back together with something to form the briquettes.

    I would not use them if they had any of the "easy start" adders, but otherwise the worst thing that would happen would be to clog up with excess ash from the fillers.

    If you are really curious, buy a bag and give the leftover to your neighbor if you don't like it.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    briquettes were invented to provide a consistent temperature and relatively controlled fire (well, and also to make a buck).

    you do not need that in the egg because you can control temps yourself. the egg is airtight, so lump cannot run away from you, but can be throttled back.

    aside from not needing it, you probably don't want it anyway. the inert binders used to hold them together introduce more ash than the same weight of lump. and the last thing you want is more ash. it can block holes in the grate.

    your friend is probably suggesting them for their predictability in burn time/temp. if he is unfamiliar with the egg, he might think this would give you a more predictable fire. you can control your fire though.

    don't bother. there's no positive over lump, and a couple negatives
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • 2Fategghead2Fategghead Posts: 9,623
    pokey wrote:
    My question is about the advertised 100% natural charcoal briquets. Has any one attempted to use these in their eggs?

    Briquettes are made from natural lump but are pressed together using other things that may or may not infuse that smell or flavor in your egg and food. I have never tried briquettes don't think I want to. I don't know how you would lite them. I would not want to use lighter fluid. :)
  • ShedFarmShedFarm Posts: 499
    You'll find that all briquettes have some sort of binder in them, to glue back together all of the charcoal dust. Even the "all natural" ones use something like corn starch. The result is much more ash, which can lead to clogged air holes. They also won't burn as hot as lump does.

    Try doing a search for "briquette", to see what others have said and found in their use of it.
    BJ (Powhatan, VA)
  • What stike and others said is true.

    And I have tried it and got the result he said. Lots of ash and odd smoke.

    I use briquettes for my offset smoker and my Brinkmann grill, but my two Eggs only dine on lump!
    Knoxville, TN
    Nibble Me This
  • Cpt'n CookCpt'n Cook Posts: 1,917
    I bought a couple of bags a year or so ago and used them once in the egg. They worked OK, certainly not as good as lump and they made a huge amount of ash. I see no good reason to use them but they will not harm the egg.
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