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Techo question-best burn rate/lb/$ spent for lump-

lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 5,353
edited May 2012 in EggHead Forum
Having finally gotten to the end of my winter stock pile of lump, I am wondering if any of the techo/data driven Eggers have tried to sort out the best lump in terms of "time at temp/lb consumed/$ spent".  I have given it a quasi go but my attention span over the low&slow duration has been (and will be) clouded by adult beverages so my data base is effectively non-existent.  Thus the inquiry-blank stares may be the ultimate response but thought I would give it a shot...
Louisville

Comments

  • EZEGGEZEGG Posts: 49
    Not a technical analysis by any means, but from a general opinion.  I would say that Wicked Good has to be up there as far as burn duration, of course it isn't the cheapest stuff either...
    Eric O.
    RMBBQA Member
    Blog - http://smokeontherockies.com/
    Large Big Green Egg
  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,251
    On a volume basis, wicked good is a winner.  However, with other less dense brands you get more volume.  I haven't looked into whether any brand has more BTUs/lb.  Most guides I've seen tend to use an approximate value for all wood.  Most of the values assume some moisture in the wood, but I have no idea what percent moisture is left in charcoal.

    I guess the answer is buy the cheapest per pound charcoal that meets your needs for size, taste, and dust.

    Naked Whiz includes a burn time in his ratings.  That may give you a place to look.
    http://www.nakedwhiz.com/lumpindexpage.htm?bag

    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • I'm a huge Whiz fan but many of those reviews are really old. I'm sure some of these brands have changed ownership or sourcing in the 7-8 years since being reviewed.

    I'll put my .38 cents per lb Best of The West up against anybody for value. I've gone 30 hours on a full load and have documented on here the differences I see in comparison to the 7 year old review by Naked Whiz. 

    I clicked on 10 random reviews just now and almost all were from 2005. The newest was 2008. I think by any standard, the amount of time that has passed since reviewing these products has rendered the reviews dubious.

    Great resource to have as a starting point but I can tell you from personal experience that if a review is that old and you see something you want to try, go for it. And you can also see from an RO discussion today, the quality ebbs and flows  from region to region.

    Tough to pin down value when it is so fleeting.



  • EggbertsdadEggbertsdad Posts: 775
    $9.99 for a 17.6 lb bag of RO offered the best value for the money...for me. I've tried Mali's, RO, Humphreys, some Argentinian off brand, and Cowboy. 
    Sarasota, FL via Boynton Beach, FL, via Sarasota, FL, via Charleston, SC, via The Outer Banks, via God's Country (East TN on Ft. Loudon Lake)
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 5,353
    Thanks for the inputs-I am sure there is no set answer to this but am looking for input from those who have given it some consideration with their cooks.  For the record, I find that when you get into low$/# you will have a hard time beating that combo over time.  That written, WGWW is quite impressive for the density and thus the $/cook time. Another factor that could influence the opinions (and rightfully so) is your predominant style of cook.  I'm focusing primarily on the low&slow as that is my focus but realize the hot& fast may lead to a different option.  Ramblings on a Tuesday night-
    Louisville
  • Thanks for the inputs-I am sure there is no set answer to this but am looking for input from those who have given it some consideration with their cooks.  For the record, I find that when you get into low$/# you will have a hard time beating that combo over time.  That written, WGWW is quite impressive for the density and thus the $/cook time. Another factor that could influence the opinions (and rightfully so) is your predominant style of cook.  I'm focusing primarily on the low&slow as that is my focus but realize the hot& fast may lead to a different option.  Ramblings on a Tuesday night-
    Cap- I haven't found one that was good on one style of cooking and bad on another. Granted I have not paid that much attn and, like yourself, was probably over served at the time.

    I find most issues are with sparking, hard starts etc, Once going, I haven't found one head and shoulders above the rest. That's why I just went cheap after many years of chasing lump utopia.



  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 5,353
    Thanks Cen-Tex-well put...on a different note-check out a post titled "Newbie Intro" below-a Central Texas egger and I'm sure could benefit from your experience.
    Louisville
  • Thanks Cen-Tex-well put...on a different note-check out a post titled "Newbie Intro" below-a Central Texas egger and I'm sure could benefit from your experience.
    will do.



  • DIXIEDOGDIXIEDOG Posts: 109
    Thanks for the inputs-I am sure there is no set answer to this but am looking for input from those who have given it some consideration with their cooks.  For the record, I find that when you get into low$/# you will have a hard time beating that combo over time.  That written, WGWW is quite impressive for the density and thus the $/cook time. Another factor that could influence the opinions (and rightfully so) is your predominant style of cook.  I'm focusing primarily on the low&slow as that is my focus but realize the hot& fast may lead to a different option.  Ramblings on a Tuesday night-


    Cap- I haven't found one that was good on one style of cooking and bad on another. Granted I have not paid that much attn and, like yourself, was probably over served at the time.

    I find most issues are with sparking, hard starts etc, Once going, I haven't found one head and shoulders above the rest. That's why I just went cheap after many years of chasing lump utopia.


    Sparking can have a lot to do with the retailer as well, if lump gets at all wet it will spark like crazy.  I had one bag just get damp from a quick rain shower, I had it out and the rain showed up very fast....I had forgotten my lump for about 3 minutes.   That was the worst sparking lump I ever had even after a couple weeks had gone by for it to dry out.   Just something to keep in mind for folks if they get a bag or two of sparkler lump.
  • eggoeggo Posts: 414
    I agree with Cen Tex. as I have tried several (except wicked good) and have settled on Best of the West. It seems more consistent and is much cheaper than the rest at $7.34 for 20 lb bag at Sams Club. Oh, it is mesquite but that has not been a problem for me.
    Eggo in N. MS
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,135
    well wicked good for me is less than 13 dollars for a 22 pound bag and its a long burning lump which makes it a good deal, for folks in areas where the price is higher it wouldnt be a good deal. wicked good is the cheapest available lump to me. now to get the most burn time for a particular lump do more direct setups, a raised gid butt cook with no indirect setup burns half the amount of lump that an indirect setup burns, ive done rib cooks for 6 plus hours with no more than 2 inches of small pieces on the lump grate
  • xraypat23xraypat23 Posts: 421
    I get wicked good weekend warrior for about $17 a bag. Have yet to do a long cook, will be doing an overnighter with the ique on thursday night.
  • NewportlocalNewportlocal Posts: 474
    Just bought two 15lb bags of Sonora mesquite for $4.00 each at stater bros market in California. Figured at that price I couldn't pass it up. Probably buy a few more bags this week. In regards to actual density binchotan charcoal probably is at the max end of density but is very expensive. May try some on my mini for fun and to see the variance in my food cooked with it.
  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,251
    edited May 2012
     That written, WGWW is quite impressive for the density and thus the $/cook time.
    I think your forgetting that while dense, you get fewer pieces with WG. In the end, you're paying for mass; WG just takes up less space for a given mass.  We're combusting the mass;  if both bags have the same mass, they should produce about the same total BTUs. 

    The high density does allow you fill the Egg and get several cooks.  But a bag of WG might fill my XL 3 times, a bag of RO will fill it 4 or 5 times.  So the RO burns down faster, but 20 lbs of RO probably takes just as long to burn through as WG if you kept the cooks the same.

    WG just feels more manly, because it is denser.  At certain point, I'm not going to sweat the difference.  If I were burning through a 20lb bag per week, I can see it as an issue.  I'm only grilling 2 -3 times per week, so my consumption is less than that.  So I'll buy it and some RO when its on sale.
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,779
    Mass does not necessarily equal BTU's. It depends on what constitutes that mass.
    The Naked Whiz
  • Jrod72Jrod72 Posts: 67
    If I can buy big green egg lump at $1 a pound, I'm a happy camper!
  • Rich_ieRich_ie Posts: 268
    Sams club
    Best of the West 100% Mesquite Lump Charcoal -40lb
    $14.98   $.38 a lbs

    For long low N slow my buddy makes maple lump 30 hours and then a few hot cooks.
  • volntitanvolntitan Posts: 95
    edited May 2012
    Damn...I was getting ready to pay $22 for Wicked Good WW here in Nashville.  I need to keep shopping I guess!  That price at Sam's is really good, but I thought Best of the West was a below avg. charcoal according to reviews.
  • You mean the 7 year old review that everyone keeps citing?

  • volntitanvolntitan Posts: 95
    Well, I was mostly looking at the user review ratings, but as long as it lights and lasts, I'm good.  Can't beat the price.  One question about it though...how "smokey" of a flavor is it.  I like to smoke on the Egg, but wife doesn't like huge smoke flavor, so thought I would see if there was a milder "flavor" of lump coal.  Would this stuff fall in that category?
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    cowboy is a mild lump. also, most any left-over lump when relitis less smokey
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • volntitanvolntitan Posts: 95
    Cowboy?  Can you get that retail?  I found some places here in town that carry WGC and of course the BGE brand.
  • dlk7dlk7 Posts: 982
    Cowboy?  Can you get that retail?  I found some places here in town that carry WGC and of course the BGE brand.
    Volntitan - what's the cheapest you have found WGC and BGE in Nashville and where?

    Two XL BGEs - So Happy!!!!

    Waunakee, WI

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Cowboy is available around here at hardware stores, and i believe it is also rebranded as the in-house brand at Whole Foods (grocers)
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • tazcrashtazcrash Posts: 1,837
    I've found Cowboy in Home Depot, and Lowes.
    Bx - > NJ ->TX!!! 
    All to get cheaper brisket! 
  • volntitanvolntitan Posts: 95
    Cowboy?  Can you get that retail?  I found some places here in town that carry WGC and of course the BGE brand.
    Volntitan - what's the cheapest you have found WGC and BGE in Nashville and where?

    Haven't searched alot yet, but Embers in Cool Springs has it for $22.  I think Pool and Spa Depot carry it as well, but haven't called yet.
  • volntitanvolntitan Posts: 95
    So far, $22 is the cheapest I've found WGC.  I did find out that a local healthfood store, The Turnip Truck, sells Nature's Grilling Hardwood and Woodstock Lump Coal, but don't know much about them.  The Nature's Grilling Hardwood Blend is $5.19 for a 6.6 lb bag
  • EggbertsdadEggbertsdad Posts: 775
    Lowe's and Ace Hardware sell Cowboy down here in S FL. I bought a bag of it last week and it had some huge pieces in it. It does leave a ton of ash but I like the mild flavor.
    Sarasota, FL via Boynton Beach, FL, via Sarasota, FL, via Charleston, SC, via The Outer Banks, via God's Country (East TN on Ft. Loudon Lake)
  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,251
    Mass does not necessarily equal BTU's. It depends on what constitutes that mass.
    True.  I haven't looked that hard, but typical reference sources use a single BTU figure for wood once moisture is held constant.  There is probably variation, and it could be effected by the process of making charcoal too.

    I'm not sure that any of the brands that do not specify a single wood source are consistent enough in their mix to make assumptions about.  However, you may have some insight into that.
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
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