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Question about Lump

freedoniafreedonia Posts: 37
edited 1:03AM in EggHead Forum
I've discovered that the airflow in my egg was becoming severely restricted due to small pieces and almost dust-like particles from the lump I was buying (Publix Greenwise brand).

Do most of you just pick out the medium and large-size pieces from the bag and leave the small pieces out of the egg?

I was just dumping the contents of the bag into the egg and not really worrying about the fact that many, if not most, of the pieces were small and falling down into vents and clogging them until I couldn't get higher temps for some grilling earlier this week. I've since cleaned it out completely, and for my ribs today, I'm only using the bigger pieces. However, I'm left with a bucket full of small pieces. Toss them away, or use them judiciously? I looked in the remainder of the bag I have opened, and there is mostly very small pieces left, and I'm tempted to just throw the remainder away.

Comments

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,653
    Have you looked over the Naked Whiz's lump charcoal database? He examines many brands, and shows how the samples he has had have different amounts of large, midsized, small and dust lump. Some brands appear to be better.

    Don't put a solid coat of tiny pieces and/or dust on the top. That too will restrict the airflow. But mixing some throughout will work fine.

    Also, you can keep larger pieces that have burnt down, but once they become small enough to clog the grate holes, they are pretty much useless.
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    There are certain pieces of lump in every bag,regaurdless of the brand, that just doesn't burn. And when i clean out my ash, i dump nearly everything.
  • freedoniafreedonia Posts: 37
    I did look over the database. The interesting thing about the Publix brand is they tested 2 bags and one bag had both large and small pieces and the second bag had mostly small pieces.

    My understanding is that the Publix Greenwise is the same as the Royal Oak brand which is highly rated. Anyway, it's much more convenient to buy the Publix brand when grocery shopping than to make a separate trip to Wally World or somewhere else just for lump.

    I guess I need to be more careful than to just dump the contents of the bag into the egg.
  • freedoniafreedonia Posts: 37
    Do you mean you start fresh with all new lump each time? Or do you remove what's left after a burn and then return larger pieces along with new lump?
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,358
    While brand has something to do with the size it also depends on the handling in transit and stocking. For instance I never buy lump from a grocery store where they only have a couple bags deep and obviously keep re-stocking it. I prefer buying it where it is still stacked on a pallet from the producer. I have also learned not to take damaged bags, nor corner bags, nor crushed and dirty bags. Those have been abused. And lastly, when you pick up a bag give it a shake - honestly you can hear the lump clink and not shuffled in the dust - I'm dead serious!
    L, M, S, Mini
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • freedoniafreedonia Posts: 37
    Thanks, that sounds like great advice.
  • BigBadgerBigBadger Posts: 461
    I figure "Why waste it?".... unless of course it's dust, I use it all. I tend to just add lump each cook as I always have leftover lump in the firebox. I stir it well to remove the ash and in doing so the wiggle rod thingy seems to remove the small crap from the fire grate holes. I then light the leftovers and after a few minutes dump right from the bag. Seems to work for me without air flow problems such as I had been experiencing before I got into this routine.
  • transversaltransversal Posts: 719
    Ron, my own dealer taught me that trick. He told me to always go for the most pristine looking bags on the rack......he also showed me how to feel a bag'a lump up to look for bags with larger pieces......now, in all honesty, feelin up lumps was something that I already had some experience in. But, for some reason, it wasn't nearly as pleasant in the lump aisle of the hardware store as I've I've found it elsewhere.
  • transversaltransversal Posts: 719
    I've always tried to place as much of the larger pieces of the lump lower in the fire. That seems to make it more difficult for smaller pieces to find their way into the air holes. While it's not good to lay a solid sheet of smaller pieces over the top, I find mixing them in with medium size chunks in the middle and upper layers the most effective way to go. Seldom, if ever, do I throw any of it away. It all seems to get burned eventually without any real cooking fatalities. While I like cooking with larger chunks, there are some on here who actually complain about certain brands that have too many large chunks. Personal preference, I suppose. :)
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,358
    :woohoo: :woohoo: :woohoo:

    OTOH if you get too aggressive and suggestive in the hardware store someone may still call the police!
    L, M, S, Mini
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • Capt FrankCapt Frank Posts: 2,578
    I totally agree with RRP. I buy Publix lump when we are in Florida and Kroger lump in Cincinnati. Both are made by RO, both are stacked [sometimes crammed on a shelf] in the market. I have started buying RO from a nearby Wally World in Florida. It is on a pallet in the garden dept and has obviously not been handled since loading. Much as I hate going to WW, I do make this exception. :)
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,686
    I'm really surprised no one has mentioned a wiggle rod which I consider an essential tool to be used when loading the BGE with charcoal.

    I normally just give the lump a few stirs to get the ashes to fall through the grate, then dump in new lump on top (I try to avoid lots of dust at one time). I clean out the ashes every few cooks.

    Once loaded, I use a wiggle rod to make sure most of the holes in the grate are not clogged. Then I light it and use the wiggle rod again l ater if the temp doesn't seem to rise fast enough.

    This way, 98% of the lump gets used until it is burned up.

    You can make a wiggle rod or buy one here:

    http://thirdeyebbq.com/WiggleRods.aspx
    Large BGE
    Barry, Lancaster, PA
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,358
    Personally I find a robust stir of the lump down from the top clear against my grate clears the ash and small pieces far quicker and better than going hole to hole with my wiggle rod.
    L, M, S, Mini
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,686
    During the cook, the pieces of charcoal are always shifting and sometimes a number of holes get clogged. If I find the temperature not behaving the way I expect, I use the wiggle rod and it usually fixes the problem.
    Large BGE
    Barry, Lancaster, PA
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