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Lump education 101 please!

So I have been cooking on my egg now for about 8 months and after ready a few post here over the last week I believe I must be really missing something when it comes to lump. I have been cooking with Cowboy brand and am noticing a trend here that most people don't care for it at all so I was wondering if we could start a discussion about different brands and types of lump so as to educate on why we might want to use different brands and what they are good for. I understand that some are made from different species of wood and have different burn characteristics so maybe we could list them with reasons to use one brand over the other and what for?
Bristow Virginia XL&Mini One of the best feelings in life is watching other people enjoy the food I cooked!

Comments

  • Go to the naked whiz website
    My PitMaster IQ120 FREAKIN ROCKS!!!!!!! Current BGE arsenal: XL & MiniMax
  • R2Egg2QR2Egg2Q Posts: 1,988
    ^+1. Pretty much everything you want to know about lump: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/lump.htm
    XL, Large, Small, Mini Eggs, Humphrey's Weekender, Superior Smokers SS-Two, MAK 1-Star General, Hasty Bake Gourmet, Santa Maria Grill, Thai Charcoal cooker, Webers: 18.5" WSM, 22.5" OTG, 22.5" Kettle Premium, WGA Charcoal, Summit S-620 NG

    Bay Area, CA
  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,273
    +1   Nakedwhiz is a valuable website for Egg's.
    Cookin in Texas
  • GeorgeSGeorgeS Posts: 955
    edited February 2014
    fairchase said:
    Always remember there is more than 1 way to do things , and never quit what your happy with just because someone else doesn't like it.


    Thanks for that, that is definitely not my speed! I just was curious if I was missing something better. Thanks all for the link! There is a ton of info there, plenty of reading material to keep me busy for a while.
    Bristow Virginia XL&Mini One of the best feelings in life is watching other people enjoy the food I cooked!
  • BYS1981BYS1981 Posts: 2,530

    Go to the naked whiz website

    Is naked whiz your sponsor?!

  • BYS1981BYS1981 Posts: 2,530
    In all seriousness naked whiz has some great information on his website.

    I used to use best of the west lump, HATED by most on this site, but I don't have an issue with it. It's cheap lump and sparks, but I can work with it. I usually use kamado joe lump now and find it lasts a really long time with little ash.

    In the end find the right lump for you by trying other brands. Some light faster, some light slower, some burn hotter, less ash, cost, etc.
  • tksmoketksmoke Posts: 776
    The Naked Whiz web site is an excellent source of lore and art for all things Ceramic.  Use it as a guideline, but as the old cliché goes, your mileage may vary.  He has attempted to analyze lump characteristics with a systematic approach.  Because of the small sample size, it is only a few steps above anecdotal.  But it is clearly the best information out there, and I greatly appreciate having it,  One of the problems is that lump manufacturers change their process, their QC, their sources, etc.  Thus a test done 2 years ago may not represent the product today.  As has been stated previously, if you see something that looks good, give it a try.  If you don't like it, post on this site with your observations.  The more information we have, the better informed we can be as a community. 
    Santa Paula, CA
  • I use Humphrey lump. Some hate it, some love it. Most don't like it because their response for customer service isn't great. Now that I've done a few offers with them and know which number and email address to use for quick service, this isn't an issue. I use it for a few reasons.
    1. I live in PA and Humphrey is a PA based company. I like supporting local businesses.
    2. Humphrey has a good mix of big and small pieces. It burns for the length of any cook I need it for.
    3. Because I live in PA, shipping is very reasonable. I actually get it cheaper per pound than Royal Oak at Walmart when I do a group buy.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • cazzycazzy Posts: 9,067
    +1 om @fairchase 's comment. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

    I use Ozark Oak cause I'm sponsored by their rep, who also happens to be sponsored by PBR.

    I think @caliking is sponsored by Wicked Good!!
    Just a hack that makes some $hitty BBQ....
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,779
    Just to add to the discussion-if you are using a lump charcoal that works for you then don't worry about what someone is using.  As has been mentioned, not all lump charcoal behaves the same, thus someone may find a characteristic that's more important to them than some one else-sparks, ease of lighting, smoke flavor, ease of purchase, burn rate, cost (although I have hard time with that given the BGE investment and toys $$:)) etc.  Bottom-line if it ain't broke, fix at your peril :)>-.
    BTW-welcome aboard and enjoy the journey!
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 11,128
    cazzy said:

    +1 om @fairchase 's comment. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

    I use Ozark Oak cause I'm sponsored by their rep, who also happens to be sponsored by PBR.

    I think @caliking is sponsored by Wicked Good!!

    :))



    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • tksmoke said:
    The Naked Whiz web site is an excellent source of lore and art for all things Ceramic.  Use it as a guideline, but as the old cliché goes, your mileage may vary.  He has attempted to analyze lump characteristics with a systematic approach.  Because of the small sample size, it is only a few steps above anecdotal.  But it is clearly the best information out there, and I greatly appreciate having it,  One of the problems is that lump manufacturers change their process, their QC, their sources, etc.  Thus a test done 2 years ago may not represent the product today.  As has been stated previously, if you see something that looks good, give it a try.  If you don't like it, post on this site with your observations.  The more information we have, the better informed we can be as a community. 
    Lore is so accurate! Check out the review of Maple Leaf. Gets a bag, rates it as best ever. Then gets a small bag, which few of us would do and downgrades it for two reasons, lots of small pieces and it's no longer available in the USA. I have trouble understanding how in an objective analysis, where the material is available affects it's quality.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • tksmoketksmoke Posts: 776
    In my previous comment, I said that if you don't like the lump you are using, post your observations.  That isn't exactly what I meant.  If you love it, are neutral, or hate it, post your observations.  As a relative newbie here, the information posted on this site has guided my learning experiences.  There've been a number of times I've been thinking "oh, this is great".  Then I read something posted with a different idea.  When I move off in that direction, I find it to be a large improvement on what I thought was great.  Learning has occurred!!  Great Fun!!!  Enjoy the trip!!!  
    Santa Paula, CA
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,986
    Use Ozark Oak. ..IT FREAKING ROCKS.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • I would bring you a bag of Maple Leaf to Salado if it didn't cost so much to fly it. Then your feelings would be hurt though.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 6,194
    Last year I gave an egger friend from PA a bag of Basques at the Niagara eggfest and she was instantly hooked; within a week or two, she drove 71 miles to Ohio to load up.  If you are near one of these US retailers give it a try and judge for yourself. (p.s. I'm not affiliated with Basques, just a happy customer):
    canuckland
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,986
    I'll have Ozark Oak at salado
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • cazzycazzy Posts: 9,067
    henapple said:

    I'll have Ozark Oak at salado

    Not after I take my share!!!!
    Just a hack that makes some $hitty BBQ....
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,779
    Is this thread becoming a "who's bigger event??"  If so, then Salado may be quite the happening...not to mention those with or without the kilts..attendees will have all the fun!! But the judging crtiteria is yet to be defined...  :)>-
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,986
    Only $25 for 10 lbs
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • GeorgeSGeorgeS Posts: 955
    Thank you all for your input! I'm not the kind of guy that changes my shirt because someone else tells me there are cooler shirts. What I'm looking for really is those of you that change up your lump based on what your cooking to tell me why. I'm looking for something that I might be able to look at when I want to try something new that might give me some direction for things like flavor, heat intensity, duration of burn etc. so that if I decide I want to try cooking a brisket next week I might have some information that could be handy. I will check out the nakedwiz and see what I can pick up there.
    Bristow Virginia XL&Mini One of the best feelings in life is watching other people enjoy the food I cooked!
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,779
    Guilty as requested-I will use any Royal Oak branded lump (which is most of those mentioned-but not BGE due to the branding up charge (although I do believe they get a better selection of the lump)) for hot& fast cooks- low&slow I will use Rockwood or once again Wicked Good Weekend Warrior.  Since there is a big Ozark Oak following, I have run thru about 80 #$'s of it and found that it  started and burned well but had too much smoke flavoring for me-I like to add the smoke wood for the smoke and find Rockwood and WGWW to very smoke neutral. And we all have opinions...FWIW-

    I have spent several years trying to dial down my options to make my life easier but reality is that within around 60 miles (one-way) I can get many great lump charcoals-eggcept those hoarded by those who live in the GWN-but that's a whole 'nother thread!  
    At the end of the cook "It's all lump" and we are dancing around the edges.  FWIW-YMMV-
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
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