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How do you store and sort your lump?

AlwaysGolfAlwaysGolf Posts: 704
edited 1:14AM in EggHead Forum
Just a couple of quick questions about lump storage and usage.

1) Do most people pour several bags into a rubbermaid container so that you can sort out larger pieces easier for certain cooks or just go bag by bag?

2) After a cook what is the largest size you keep or do you keep it all and just add more.
Do you try to arrange it or just light and go?

3) How many bags do you keep on hand? I saw a post recently where some have pallets on hand? Have to keep them out of sight from the wife or she will say I'm obsessed or something.



  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226

    I picked up some Kingsford Kaddy storage cases. Kingsford Kaddy I didn't buy them at this site it was just the first picture I could find.

    They have been out in the weather all winter, rain, snow, ice and summer. Love them.

    As for lighting.

    In the winter there is nothing better than my flame thrower aka Weed Burner up to temp on the large in about 20 seconds. In warmer weather I will either use napkin & oil (left & right center) or MAPP (3, 9 & 6 o'clock).

    MAPP or Weed Burner will send sparks.

    The oil/napkin or MAPP will get the egg up to temp at about the same time.

  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    I store mine in their bags stacked up in the barn. I only get one out at a time and dump straight into the Egg. Never sorted anything. -RP
  • Richard FlRichard Fl Posts: 8,248
    After 6 years of egging, I have gotten to the point I take a bag, usually BGE charcoal and dump it into a 18 X 24 inch screen box with 2x4 sides.The screen is 1/2 inch mesh. This dumping takes place over a large trash bucket and then the very large pieces I save for long cooks and the rest I store in 2 Kingsford Kaddys. This gets rid of the small pieces and the dust which is sparky. About $12 at Loews. Hold about 20# each.

    I have a large and a small and usually have 100-150#'s sitting around somewhere. Cook couple times a week.

    After 3-4 cooks I remove the remaining charcoal from the egg and the small pieses that fall thru are thrown into the garden with the ash.
  • NibbleMeThisNibbleMeThis Posts: 2,293
    I usually only have 2-4 bags at a time and I just keep them stacked in the garage.

    I don't really sort mine. I just open the bag from the front (instead of the top) the length of the bag and then hand pick the pieces large, medium, and small to go in the egg.

    To be honest, I only do this for long cooks. For short grilling sessions, I just pour in some lump :whistle: and go.
    Knoxville, TN
    Nibble Me This
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,993
    i buy by the pallet and just stir and then dump new lump mixing some old with the new. no sorting. i do clean the egg out when doing butts and briskets and start that fire with new lump.
  • CajunCajun Posts: 147
    After I open a bag and pour some lump, I roll the top and cram it into a cabinet outside near my egg. When I need more, I unroll top, pour whatever amount I need, roll top back up, cram again.

    Never have sorted, never have stored in waterproof or other containers. I just store in the bag it came in.

    No fuss, No bother
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Yep, that sounds about right. I do it the same way - I store my open bags under the covered part of my deck.

    I usually have 10-12 unopened bags in the garage. Most are BGE brand, some Wicked Good WW. When I empty one bag I go get the next.

    I never sort lump, never pull anything out of the eggs except what falls through the grate. Stir what's in there, add more if I need to, light it and go.
  • HammerHammer Posts: 1,001
    I generally have between 15-20 bags of BGE lump on hand at all times stored in the garage in Rubbermaid box's.
    I do sort my lump by size.
    As a rule I never just dump into the egg. I subscribe to the Elder Ward method on medium to long cooks, and having the lump sorted speeds up the process. By sorting it also let's me know what sizes I have on hand, and the most of.
  • tach18ktach18k Posts: 1,607
    I have an average of 4 bags of Roal Oak, I pour from the bag and I dont fiddle with the lump. It is what it is. I also use MAPP gas torch
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 516
    I recently picked up a clear plastic storage container made by Sterilite at Walmart. It has handles on two sides which lock the lid in place. It holds 40 quarts and is about 8" high so it is perfect for holding a whole 22-lb. bag of lump. The wide, deep shallow container also makes it easy to pick out the big pieces and spot any debris which should not be burned.

    When I was using Royal Oak I found that sorting was very important. I used about 8 bags of Royal Oak from different stores and each one had debris in it including rocks, fiberglass insulation, and mysterious unidentified junk which would not burn. The pieces were also pretty small so it would not burn well for a low'n'slow cook unless I filled the egg by hand with the largest pieces on the bottom, and even then I sometimes had trouble since the largest chunks were still pretty small.

    Now that I am using Wicked Good Charcoal I find that the sorting is much less important. Almost all of the chunks are HUGE, about 2-3 times larger and thicker than Royal Oak's best pieces, so no need to sort even for long cooks. This WGC is amazing, chunks which are actual hardwood logs and branches vs. lots of processed construction debris. I just did a low'n'slow recently and it never faltered.

    If I need to partially refill the egg then I just stir the existing burnt lump to push the ashes down through the fire grate then I make a hole in the middle to clear the fire grate and pour in the new lump.

    So my opinion is that sorting is related to the brand and quality of your charcoal, and what type of cooking you do. If you haven't tried WGC then I highly recommend it. The difference was startling. They don't sell WGC in my area but I got together with 5-6 other local eggers and we pitched in to get a full pallet of WGC and it came out to the same price as Royal Oak at Walmart. I kept about 20 bags for myself and these are stored in an outdoor wooden shed which gets warm in the sun so the lump stays dry. I only need to open one bag of WGC at a time but with Royal Oak I would sometimes have to open two bags to get enough large pieces when preparing for a low'n'slow.
  • HungryManHungryMan Posts: 3,470
    I second that. If I add more I just stir it up. The day I start sorting lump is the day I commit myself.
  • Michael BMichael B Posts: 986
    I keep my lump in their bags in the basement.
    When I open the last bag I buy 2 or 3 more.
    For most cooks, stir the old, dump in the new, and give it all one quick stir.
    For long cooks I put 3 or 4 large pieces on the fire grate and dump in the rest.
  • FlaMikeFlaMike Posts: 648
    I store the opened bag in this thing. Next to the wood chunks. So far, it manages to keep them dry enough.


    I don't sort, too much trouble. Just pour from the bag. When it gets down to the dust, I toss it out. I usually keep 2-3 back-up bags in the garage.
  • cookn bikercookn biker Posts: 13,407
    Where did you buy the storage cabinet at? Is that plastic or metal? Remember the cost?
    Colorado Springs
    "Loney Queen"
    "Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it."
    Bill Bradley; American hall of fame basketball player, Rhodes scholar, former U.S. Senator from New Jersey
    LBGE, MBGE, SBGE , MiniBGE and a Mini Mini BGE
  • It is probably a good idea to seperate and put in sealed containers for optimal set up. I could see using stackable see through containers for different sizes.

    Unfortunately based on the lump I buy around here only the med and small chunk containers would have anything in them!! To be honest I get really annoyed at all the small lumps I get vs the big ones - even in some famous named lump bags. In any case I try to set aside some of the big pieces for long cooks... Also I keep seperate bags of lump for short vs long cooks. Long overnight cooks using my premium long burning lump.

    I think my next purchase will be a Guru or a Stoker so I can have more efficient long burns even w/the annoying smaller pieces... As a matter of fact I should buy one today!!! Thanks for talking me into it.
  • EggtuckyEggtucky Posts: 2,746
    same here..never sort..dump str8 outta the bag..when I clean i do save some of the lump in a garbage bag..then when I am refilling I will pour some new lump into the bottom, then the used lump, then a final layer of new lump..never any problem with lighting or maintaining fire.. used the large for 26 str8 hours this weekend..just let the guru keep it up to temp after my butt cook for use for dinner..still had lump left :woohoo:
  • I keep three or four bags on hand in one of those large rubbermaid outdoor boxes with my other eggcessories. I do not sort or mix bags. I just dump from the bag into the egg and fire away.

    If I have used wood chips I always remove the old coals and ash before I start a new cook. I have found this necessary to prevent smoke flavor where I don't want it. I do save the old coals for future use
  • "Sparky""Sparky" Posts: 6,024
    I store mine in a rubbermaid container also.This keeps it nice and dry.I just scoop it out without sorting at all.I keep one or two extra bags in the barn.This is plenty for me,since I can get BGE lump very easily.If it were hard to get,I would stock up.When I can afford to fire up the XL :lol: I just dump it right out of the bag.
  • I sort my lump. I don’t like the weird stuff I have found in it to end up in the egg. I have been egging for 6 months and I have a paper grocery bag full of stones, moon rocks, insulation. And partially carbonized junk. I don’t want to be eating any of that stuff.
    Keep it in big plastic bins. The bins had a full life storing parts and have moved on to charcoal.
    I have been experimenting with different brands and always have eight to ten bags around. I’ll leave the reviews to others but the one thing I’ll say is manufacture of lump is a crude process and no two bags from the same brand will be the same.
    I like to load the big stuff on the bottom and medium on top. If it burns a hole down the center I just stir it down to the grate and put a big chunk on the bottom and build up the center.
    Eventually all I have left is smaller pieces. At that point it seems like it’s time to do a cleanout burn and I just open it up and let it go. The old stuff never seems to go above 650 no matter what brand it was when it went in.
    I don’t have a torch (yet) . Used a chimney, oiled napkins, and starter cubes and alcohol gel. I like the gel and the chimney. Napkins and cubes is a bit Smokey.
    I aint normally what you would call a type A person, just kinda fussy bout my egging.
  • usc1321usc1321 Posts: 627
    I generally keep about 3-4 bags of coals on hand. I leave them in them in garage unopened. I keep about 2 bag opened in a big rubbermaid container bought from Target for about 10bucks. ;) I don't sort it until I need to do a long slow cook then I will seperate it for the cook. :laugh: B)
  • I find this thread very interesting. I have been sitting on the sidelines lurking to see what the responses have would be shared. NONE of the responses touched on what I saw as a (former) user of Kingsford's finest.
    That topic is humidity.
    I found that the humidity factor was the largest single enemy I had to fight. The longer I stored the charcoal on the deck (outside), the worse the problem became.
    I must say that as a newbie with the real deal (lump), I am not seeing the dramatic problems of slow light times, but I am surprised that I have not seen anyone raise this issue.

    Being a new member of the Church of the Holy Lump, I still see a relationship of humidity to dome temp, but I have not seen any reference to that situation.

    Most of my cooks now are low and slow, so it would *appear* to be less of a problem, but I must still contemplate that element as being a factor in my grills. There is no doubt; the higher the moisture content in the lump, the longer it takes to achieve the desired temp.


  • FlaMikeFlaMike Posts: 648
    I think I got it at Home Depot. It's plastic, not real good quality, the top sagged in when I put a storage container on top. About $59.00 I think. It serves the purpose, but I wouldn't buy another one. I would look for better quality for a few dollars more.
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 516
    Jamie: by storing the lump in sealed plastic containers this should minimize or eliminate humidity as a factor. I prefer to store my spare lump in a dry wood shed which gets warm from the sun during the day. This keeps the lump nice and dry even when it is humid outside. Once I open a bag then it is kept in a sealed plastic tub which is not airtight but it is close so I haven't seen humidity as a factor.
  • I have not experienced any humidity problems yet. Probably because I got the egg last October and I live in Minnesota.
    I take humidity readings regularly at business I am a vendor for and have to regularly tell people that the humidity in Minnesota in the winter is less then Death Valley.
    Spring has sprung as of a couple of days ago (yes it reached 70 degrees in Minneapolis for the first time since last October). And soon we will have mildew growing on our moss. So thanks for the heads up.
    My charcoal bins don’t seal well but I’ll be getting some that do!
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