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Excited to Grill with Charcoal

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Post Sun May 09, 2004 1:00 am
Vinsect well done
well done

Posts: 576
Location: Middle Tennessee
Anybody here fans of King of the Hill? Its a cartoon by the creators of Beavis and Butthead. The star of the show is Hank Hill who sells propane and propane accessories for a living in Arlen Texas. Hank is dedicated to propane and then some. In one of the best episodes Hank has to go out of town and while he's gone his wife Peggy and son Bobby accidentally discover burgers cooked over charcoal at a neighbors barbecue. They become instant converts to charcoal and start using charcoal behind Hanks back like teenagers smoking cigarettes behind their parents back. Hank Hill may very well be one of my role models but if I were his son Bobby, I'd sneak a steak over charcoal while he wasn't home too.
If it aint broke, Break it!
Then rebuild it better.

Post Thu May 13, 2004 8:02 am
whodat1 rare
rare

Posts: 11
Location: Katy, Tx

shawn wrote:
Is there really a difference in Lump vs. briquettes?

The price of "lump" seems a fair bit higher is it really worth it?

What is everybodys choice for wood when cooking baby back ribs?

Thanks


Well aside from the difference in taste, lump seems more expensive due to the fact that it weighs less for a given volume of space (a bag for example). So a 20lb bag of lump is larger than a 20lb bag of briquet.

Get rid of the starter fluid and you will notice an improvement in taste. Get rid of the briquet and you will notice another improvement in taste!

Post Fri May 14, 2004 10:30 pm
spfranz well done
well done

Posts: 615
Location: Minnesota

The Kamado company makes an extruded coconut charcoal briquette that is amazing. It's not cheap but it burns hot and it burns clean and it lasts for a quite a while. All the benefits of natural lump (no filler like briquettes) and briquettes rolled into one.

Scott
I like vegetarians. Some of my favorite foods are vegetarians.

Post Fri May 14, 2004 11:04 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3039
Location: Atlanta-GA
Scott,
I’m picking up some of the coconut charcoal tomorrow. The company just started distributing it in Atlanta. I faxed my order few days ago, and they e-mailed me with the confirmation the same day. They seem very friendly. It’s going to cost me $9.99 a box. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Post Sat May 15, 2004 9:44 am
spfranz well done
well done

Posts: 615
Location: Minnesota

I'd be interested to hear what you think of it BBcue-Z. It does take a little bit to get it going. What I'v found that works nicely is to put a layer of regular lump in the bottom of the chimney and then put the extruded on top of that. The newspaper gets the lump going which in turn gets the extruded going.

Scott
I like vegetarians. Some of my favorite foods are vegetarians.

Post Sat May 15, 2004 9:55 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3039
Location: Atlanta-GA
Scott,
I just picked up 5 boxes of the coconut charcoal. I will be trying it next weekend. Thanks for the tip on starting it up. I finally saw the Kamado cooker. That thing was soooo nice. They had the exact same model as the one on their website (it had the side shelves though). I want to get this cooker so bad now. The rep. told me that he used a whole box of charcoal to cook a pork butt. He started it at 9 p.m., and it was done by 11 a.m. the next day. He said that he never had to add any charcoal through out the cooking time. He also claimed that when he opened the cooker the next day; he found that the coals were halfway burned. That meant he could have gotten more cooking time out of them if he wanted to. If this was true, then this product is truly amazing. I will be cooking two whole pork shoulders next weekend, and I’m planning to start about the same time he did, except I’ll be using a horizontal smoker with an off set firebox. I’ll let you know how it turned out.

Post Mon May 17, 2004 7:55 am
Airfoils well done
well done

Posts: 1063
Z, while I've heard good things about the extruded coconut charcoal, I've heard equally good things about the Kamado and agree its a fine cooker. From the things I've read, I would credit a lot of the efficiency that the coals burned at to the cooker as well and wouldn't expect the same performance in my bullet as the Kamado.

Post Mon May 17, 2004 6:58 pm
Vinsect well done
well done

Posts: 576
Location: Middle Tennessee
Fuel efficiency is something I care about. I've remarked a few times about eventually wanting an assortment of different sized grills. (Mostly Weber kettles in the various sizes) So far, Ive added a traditional hibachi to the collection this week.
In response to discussion about the enormous gas grills, I've recomended getting someting smaller and adding a spare charcoal grill for versatility and extra cooking space for entertaining.
Usually the smallest grill that will cook your meal will be the most fuel efficient choice. The Kamados and Big Green Eggs being ceramic kilns , have insulated shells that makes them more efficient.

....but when it comes to smoking, what makes smokers great is actually their innefficiency. You get all the flavorful smoke of a big fire without all the heat of a big fire. Isn't that what maximizes your flavor?
If you get into clean-burning fuels like coconut charcoal and super efficient grills like Kamados that don't burn as much smoke-producing wood, how is that different from using a gas grill with a smoker box?

There is a place for gas grills and deffinitely a place for super efficient grills. In fact, not everyone like heavily smoke saturated flavor. When you try smoking this way, let me know how the flavor compares with traditional smokers thogh.
If it aint broke, Break it!
Then rebuild it better.

Post Mon May 17, 2004 7:45 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3039
Location: Atlanta-GA
My interest in the coconut charcoal is purely about fuel efficiency. They claim that it burns hotter and lasts longer than the traditional charcoal (I have not tested it yet). Gas is not the same as coconut charcoal. As Steven puts it so nicely, it’s all about “playing with fire”. There is something about lighting a real fire and cooking over it.
As far as the Kamado cooker, my interest is purely in its capability of reaching a temp in a neighborhood of 800 degrees. I’m interested in trying Tandoori style of cooking, and so far nothing came close to achieving that kind of temp. If I ever get one, I don’t think I’ll be using it for smoking.

Post Mon May 17, 2004 7:53 pm
spfranz well done
well done

Posts: 615
Location: Minnesota

I'm not sure that I agree with the point about ceramics not smoking as well. I had a Bandera before my Kamado and as far as smoke goes, there really wasn't a difference. When I want heavier smoke with the Kamado, I just use more wood. With the Bandera I'd go through 4 times as much fuel and have to constantly tend it. Personally, I'll take the ceramic over anything else out there.

Scott
I like vegetarians. Some of my favorite foods are vegetarians.

Post Tue May 18, 2004 6:15 am
Airfoils well done
well done

Posts: 1063
I knew Vinsect would get in trouble with the ceramics comment. :D The fact that they are more efficient doesn't make them less as smokers IMHO but more because they require less fuel for heat and less wood for smoke and if they weren't so expensive, one might be in my backyard. Problem is, my personal preference is for the Kamado over the BGE and plunking down that kind of change on a cooker when I have 4 already takes some convincing of the better half. :?

Post Tue May 18, 2004 6:52 am
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3039
Location: Atlanta-GA
Airfoil,
That’s exactly my problem. I have 3 smokers and 2 grills, and convincing my wife that I need another unit is not going to be easy. I don’t think there is anything wrong with smoking in the Kamado, but what’s interesting about it, is that it’s so versatile. It can cook very well at both extreme temps (very high and very low). And that make this cooker so unique.

Post Tue May 18, 2004 10:20 pm
spfranz well done
well done

Posts: 615
Location: Minnesota

There's a simple solution to your problems guys. Just take your wife to the Kamado site and show her the picture. Then let her pick the color. Also, you can tell her that you can get rid of some of those other grills. Trust me, you won't use half of them once you get a Kamado.

The price is actually pretty easy to justify as well. How many grills do you think you'll go through in a lifetime and what will the cost be? If you buy cheap grills, they last for a couple of years and you get a new one. Kamados have a lifetime guarantee. One grill and you're set for life (assuming of course that you don't decide to buy another Kamado).

Scott
I like vegetarians. Some of my favorite foods are vegetarians.

Post Wed May 19, 2004 2:07 am
Vinsect well done
well done

Posts: 576
Location: Middle Tennessee
Ouch, I got raked over the coals on that one.
BBcue-Z, I know you get to play with fire with coconut charcoal too. My comparrison to gas is based on it being cleaner burning. BTW, I'll have to learn more about Tandori cooking.

Apparently, I stand corrected on my theory of smoking with super-efficient ceramic grills.
Spfranz, I'd appreciate it if you could teach me more about smoking on your Kamado. If it does take less fuel, less maintainance, and still offers comperable quality... I'm all for it.
For starters, how low can you get on the temps?

Can we at least agree that "traditional smokers" are based on the concept of using an inefficient heat design to offer the smoke of a large fire with cooler temperatures?
If it aint broke, Break it!
Then rebuild it better.

Post Wed May 19, 2004 8:09 am
Guest

I'm not really sure how low of a temp you can get because I haven't done any cold smoking. My guess would be someplace around the 150-175 range.

If you're looking for really low temps to do things like cheese, you can find a discussion on the Kamado forum at http://www.kamado.com/discus/messages/3/306.html

I'm happy to answer any other questions you may have. Fire away!

Scott

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