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Wasting Charcoal?

bbqdivabbqdiva Posts: 192
edited 12:57AM in EggHead Forum
Heya Eggies,[p]I think I'm wasting a lot of lump. I know that you are supposed to be able to re-use any lump in the firebox that has not burned. However, I've always been a little nervous about that, so I take it all out and start fresh every time. I'm wasting a lot of lump aren't I? What are the general practices regarding leftover lump?[p]


  • bbqdiva,
    what i do is pull out the old and put in a bucket then add new in the bottom then put the old on top. dont waste the charcoal. it works fine

  • JM3JM3 Posts: 272
    If there is still a lot left I just stir and relight. If it is looking a little low I stir, add some new and relight. [p]If I'm doing an all nighter or a super high temp I might clean all the old lump out and save it for a different type cook. But that is rare.[p]Don't waste all that time removing the lump all the time. I don't think it is worth it.[p]John

  • uncbbquncbbq Posts: 165
    I just stir the old around to knock off the ashes and add however much new to the top. If I'm cooking something short that doesn't need any new, then I don't add any at all. The old stuff has fewer volatiles left in it, so it sparks and smokes less in the beginning, and flashback danger is decreased (but not gone). Every 5 cooks or so, I burn everything down to ash to try to clean the interior a little bit. But there is no need to throw away the unused lump. Being able to use it is one of the distinct advantages of the Egg.

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,946
    bbqdiva,[p]For me, it depends a little on what I'm cooking. If I'm going for a long cook, I clean the box out, and add fresh lump carefully placed in the Elder Ward method. If I have some leftover, and I'm just cooking something quick, like chicken pieces, I just restart what's left. It seems to me that mixing fresh lump and used gives an uneven burn. That is, the fire moves through the used lump faster than the fresh. So, I usually scoop out the used lump, and put it in a bucket. When the bucket fills up, there's enough for a whole fire pot full, and I use that for short and medium length cooks.[p]gdenby

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    why would you be nervous?
    lump is pure carbon, it doesn't get transformed into anything if it isn't used, it remains carbon. if it isn't ash, it'll burn.[p]yup, you are wasting lump.[p]

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • bbqdiva,
    Good of you to think about that. The used lump is fine for any type of cook, just stir it up so the ashes fall through the grate and light. If you need more lump than is left, add some. The only exception that I have to this guideline is when I have accidently spilled fat on the lump during the previous cook (sometimes happens with butts when I am careless). Then you need to remove any affected lump first. Its easy to tell lump that has absorbed fat, it has a hice glossy sheen. [p]Brett

  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    Stir the old to get the ash to fall out and add as much new as you need. When the ash gets to the point of restricting airflow, clean it out. -RP

  • bbqdiva,[p]As some others have noted - YES! It is fine to use left over charcoal. It is composed of the same stuff it was when you put it in there. Enjoy!
  • bbqdivabbqdiva Posts: 192
    heya stike,[p]nervous....because I like everything constant and try to keep as many variables consistant..I don't like change...and I didn't know if using this charcoal would effect the heat ...or something like know what I'm trying to say :P
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i think it would help keep thing consistent. think of it as sourdough starter.[p]the good thing about used lump is it often has most of the VOCs driven off already. mix it in with new and get crackin!

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • BlueSmokeBlueSmoke Posts: 1,678
    Heat is heat is heat (I think Gertrude Stein said that - <grin>). Ex-hundred degrees is the same if it comes from new lump, used lump, electricity or dried cow pies. There is some possibility that you'll have grease drippings from a previous cook, but these can be easily dealt with by cranking the heat to 500 or thereabouts after you remove the food and before you shut down. (Or fire up early and burn off the residue from old drippings.) You only need to burn until the smoke runs clear.[p]Ken

  • bbqdiva,
    On Friday, I loaded my egg to within 2 inches of the top of the fire ring. I still have lump left after the following cooks:[p]Thighs (450 degrees for 20 minutes)
    Baby backs (250 degrees for 5 hours)
    Tuna (450 degrees for 3 minutes)[p]After each cook, I simply closed everything down. Using my MAPP torch, I simply pick one spot and hold it there for 30 seconds.[p]If you are cleaning after every cook, I'd say you are wasting lump.[p]The benefit to cleaning is you always start with a fully loaded box. But unless you're trying to go nuclear (700 degrees or more), it isn't necessary to dump the partially burnt lump.[p]IMHO.

  • duckeggduckegg Posts: 267
    Those little pieces of charcoal can stop up the air holes and make it tough to get above 250, it's probably a good idea to keep them towerd the top and use bigger pieces in the bottom.

  • EggEdEggEd Posts: 88
    I think some your lump is leaving before it's time[p]I Trexed steaks for the second night in a row on a leftover lump from a butt cook. no new lump added. I stirred the lump all around alot until I could not see any ash before each cook. Still some lump leftover.[p]So I guess if it ain't ash it's good to go. I have scooped out the old lump and filtered into small pieces (no ash) to throw on the top of my next lo 'n slo

  • DavidDavid Posts: 97
    bbqdiva,[p]I agree you're wasting lump. I have a pair of Mechanix gloves I keep with the egg stuff. I use them to put lump in, but I also use them to stir up the lump. With both gloved hands I can really rotate the lump, and push any ash through the grate. Then just pull the ash out.[p]I've never thrown out any lump.
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