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Mesquite & Lump Consumption Rate ?'s

KamperKamper Posts: 41
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
I called BGE yesterday and ordered a 40lb bag of the mesquite charcoal for hi-temp steak grilling. I'm told the proceedure is to fire up with the normal lump, then add a "fist sized" amount of the mesquite charcoal to the grill; then let the temp rip. I've put my dome gauge around the clock frequently for steaks, and just recal in prep for lo n' slo's. BGE said it would burn at around 1200F (OK in the newer eggs, not OK in the older clay versions). I had been using mesquite chips or the Jack Daniels variety only...never the mesquite charcoal...trying to improve the totally barberic "Pittsburg Steak" It sounds like my 40lb bag will last a while. Does anyone else have experience with the mesquite charcoal that could offer me some advice? I'm standing by with my blast furnace apparel at the ready...[p]Also, I fire up my medium 2-3 x's a week and have been through 5 20lb bags of BGE lump since June and am deep into my 6th...are you folks burning through it at about the same rate? I close the egg down after cooks and I have replaced seals every season, and I don't bother with high heat cleanings...what's your experience?[p]Kamper

Comments

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Kamper,
    I think you got some bad info from the store. I assume they are not understanding what you asked. When you use mesquite lump - you use 100% of it in the firebox. I guess you could mix it 50-50 but you don't get any benifit from a handfull in a 1000 deg fire. Lets understand what mesquite lump is - its carbon made from a mesquite log as opposed to an oak log. There is not 100% carbon in the lump but close and the little mesquite left will add a taste to the food -- just as the lump made from oak does. The grain structure of mesquite is what makes the lump burn a little hotter. You won't see any magical increase in temps but it does burn a little hotter and it will last longer than 40 lbs of reg oak lump. I love a good "Pittsburg" and the Egg is the only way I have been able to get one even close at home. I wonder if the BGE store though you meant mesquite chunks of wood. Those you add to the fire - albeit not above 375 deg or they just burn.[p]Tim

  • Tim M,[p] Good info. There was some talk several months ago on the forum about some mesquite charcoal from www.texas-mesquite.com. According to the reports at that time, the stuff was only partly carbonized and some chunks were a bit green. It was these that people were using to flavor meat. Hey NB, didn't you try some of the stuff? See link below for the source . . .[p]-MikeO
    [ul][li]Taste O' Texas Charcoal[/ul]
  • Tim M,[p]Here's the old thread:[p]-MikeO
    [ul][li]Mesquite thread from September 1999[/ul]
  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    MikeO,
    Sounds to me like he is talking about mesquite wood - not lump. He is mixing 30% wood and 70% lump charcoal. You could do the same with hickory or oak woods and burn them to where they are just coals. I have never tried it myself but I have a load of hickory in my woods on the ground I could use to try it sometime. Some use 100% wood and burn it down to the coals - never tried that either. [p]Tim

  • KamperKamper Posts: 41
    Tim M,[p]Thanks, you always give thorough answers and I appreciate it. I think the BGE guy I talked to understood that I was not talking about mesquite chips but rather you-bet-cha mesquite charcoal. In fact, he specifically stated that after the cook, you could remove the mesquite charcoal and use remaining & new "normal" BGE lump when not doing steaks. I have been able to achieve some pretty hi temps with normal BGE lump for steaks, but thought the mesquite lump would be a worthy experiment. In any case, I'll go with your recommendation, fire up on mesquite only and see what happens.[p]Have you used the mesquite for the long term burns? You mentioned it lasted longer; is that the real advantage over regular lump? It's not really a flavor issue then, since you can add mesquite chips to regular lump, correct? Do you think hi temps/uneven heating is causing our mutual fire box cracks? Think there will be neg impact from hotter burns? I finally replaced my fire box in Oct and am starting to see cracks around the air holes. I really need to patent the two-piece fire box idea...whaddaya think?[p]Thanks again, Kamper
  • KamperKamper Posts: 41
    MikeO,[p]Thanks for the feedback...I know, I know, I should have checked the archives BEFORE pounding out a call for data... [p]What about your reg BGE consumption rate??? How fast are you going through a bag?[p]Thanks again, Kamper
  • Kamper,[p] Up until recently, I've been a relatively slow BGE user (in more ways than one!). So, it takes me a while to go through a bag. Now that I've got juniorEgg, I suspect I may go through less as I can cook for myself on the small BGE and not have to heat up Mr. Avocado proper. That being said, I've done more high temperature cooking lately and it definitely burns up the lump faster. I don't think there's anything abnormal about your consumption rate. After all, the laws of physics do apply -- as long as the fuel is the same, you should burn the same amount every time for a given amount of energy released. This reminds me -- after two rounds of New York Strips on New Years Eve, I need to get me some more lump![p]-MikeO
  • KamperKamper Posts: 41
    MikeO,[p]And the Laws of Physics WILL be obeyed...at least in MY household![p]BTW, I always ask for the "ripped" bags of lump...I usually can get 'em for abt 1/2 price, abt 6 bucks.[p]Thanks, Kamper[p]
  • Kamper,[p] Yup, just like the Simpsons episode where the teachers go on strike:
    Marge: "Homer, we need to do something about this. The kids are starting to act strange. There's something unwholesome about flying a kite at night."
    Bart (outside flying a kite at night) in a creepy voice: "Hello, mother."
    Homer: "Yeah, and this perpetual motion machine Lisa made is broken. It just keeps going faster and faster. Lisa, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!!!"[p]Anyway, I thought by now you'd have jumped in on the round roast discussion below. I've decided to get a chuck roast and try my xtra low and slow method. We'll see if two Eggs, two cookbooks and me (the idiot in the middle) can cook an acceptable roast . . .[p]-MikeO

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Kamper,
    Don't get me wrong - you can use both mesquite lump and reg lump anytime in any mix. I just didn't think you would get much "extra" heat from a handfull in a 1000 deg fire. That stuff goes bye-bye really fast at those temps no matter what the source wood was. [p]I have used mesquite lump and I don't like it. I am not much for a lot of wood taste in my food anyway - subtle is best - and the mesquite imparts a bitter taste to me. Try it and see what you think but use a 30-70 blend at minimum. You can see an extra 2+ hrs on a full load when doing lo&slo. I am not sure what you'll gain at 1000 deg - not much but some.[p]Tim

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    MikeO,
    If you already spent your money, I will let you do the honors..I was about ready to do the same thing. Now just seeing if I can get a sirlion steak acceptable for the palate...heeee...Wonder what Guiness Stout, or Killians Irish red would do for it for a marinate..?
    Cheers..C~W

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,295
    Char-Woody,
    I think it is kind of hard to top Guiness Stout for a maridande ingredient! Especially on beef. I can taste it now.[p]Maybe put some Killians in the drip pan.

    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • GfwGfw Posts: 1,598
    Nature Boy, Guinness make a great marinate - even on ribs!

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,295
    Gfw,
    As long as you save some for marinating the chef.

    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • Char-Woody,[p] Nope, but am gonna do it on the way home. Plan on cooking it on Saturday after letting it sit in something overnight tomorrow, then brown on juniorEgg and smoke in Mr. Avocado in a dutch oven (cover off, at least for the first part of cooking). Whether you do one, too, or not, I figure I need to give some of my own advice a few more tries, or quit giving the advice![p]Actually, I just got back from working out. While I was riding the exercycle, I read the chapter on braising in Harold McGee's book "The Curious Cook". According to him, I'll need to go higher than 160 to break down the connective tissues in the roast. Hmmm. Only one way to find out! Hey NB, maybe if you've got a spare second on Saturday, you can drop by and give me some advice on this thing. Now that I'm down to one teleconference a day on this y2k stuff, we need to meet! Send me a note if you're interested.
  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,295
    MikeO,
    Thanks. I might be able to swing out for a while. Drop me an email with your phone and address, and I will let you know if I can swing it. Not sure what the missuz has planned. 4 o'clock is Redskins time!![p]I did a chuck roast for chili that was great. Rubbed it and flash froze it for 3 hours, smoked over heavy mesquite for an hour at 175-200. Seared at 500 for 4 minutes a side, then refrigerated it to increase the smokiness. Cut still uncooked meat into cubes, and egged it into a chili in an open dutch oven.[p]Smoky and good.

    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    MikeO, That must be a good book!! Kinda my thinking also in wrapping em (Texas Crutch) for the final blow. Get that internal breakdown. Your pot idea has merit also. I have a cast Iron Dutch oven that may turn the tide on those difficult roasts. Let us know how the pot boils..:-)
    Cheers..C~W[p]

  • GfwGfw Posts: 1,598
    Nature Boy, one day we'll get together and make sure that both chefs are well marinated! Maybe some beef and pork too.

  • BBQ-BoBBBQ-BoB Posts: 124
    Kamper,[p]Since I found a source of mesquite lump for 9 bucks for 40 pounds...that is all I have been using for over 6 months. I like the mesquite...never had a bitter taste to anything. I have a large egg and cook at least 5 times a week. I bet I go thru a 40 pound bag in a month. Sometimes I throw a chunk of hickory in the egg for a little smoke flavor variety.[p]I just put a small egg on layaway. I think I am using too much lump for the small meals I sometimes cook. So the small will compliment my large egg nicely.[p]enjoy....everything.[p]BBQ-BoB

  • KamperKamper Posts: 41
    BBQ-BoB,[p]That's a heck of a price, where do you find it for that? Do you live in Mesquite, Texas or something?[p]KLamper

  • BBQ-BoBBBQ-BoB Posts: 124
    Kamper,[p]I live in Glendale AZ, (suburb of Phoenix)[p]The place I get it from - American Charcoal - gets it directly from Mexico. The bags are also lined with a thick plastic to keep humidity out. There are pictures in the small office showing the various stages of making the charcoal. They supply Mesquite lump to alot of the restuarants here in the Phoenix Metro area.[p]Otherwise mesquite sells in the grocery store for around 3 bucks for 8 pounds. The BGE oak lump sells for 12 dollars for 20 pounds....so I go with the mesquite.[p]good 'q-ing[p]BBQ-BoB
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