Charcoal

Also called Stump's Clone.
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Texasbowhunter
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Charcoal

Post by Texasbowhunter » August 6th, 2020, 9:44 am

Morning Guys,
I was thinking about this for a month or two when it dawned on me what the charcoal was possibly actually doing...
So let me elaborate...
First off I use the Big Green Egg Charcoal...I have felt it gets a more of a consistent burn then a few others I have used...(might be in the head)...
So with the charcoal burning to create the source of heat and adds some smoke flavor (I presume) the Big Green Egg uses OAK wood...
I have used the Apple wood as a source of flavor in the earlier burn...
So the question here is would the OAK charcoal not take over the Apple flavor...Should I use apple wood to burn as a source of heat?
Thanks
Paul



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Re: Charcoal

Post by mp4 » August 6th, 2020, 7:14 pm

It's at least an experiment to try. Personally, I think the type of charcoal (as long as it's lump anyway) doesn't have as much affect on flavor as a smoldering chunk of raw wood. I think the flavor profile comes from the transition of wood to charcoal so the oak flavor profile is basically gone in the charcoal you're using. My 2 cents worth.



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Re: Charcoal

Post by Dirtytires » August 7th, 2020, 11:20 am

Green egg charcoal looks like it is a mix of oak and hickory so you already have two woods to start with.

You can mix whatever you want in order to get the proper flavor you want. I had an offset that I burned mesquite lump in it and experimented with all sorts of wood chunks. At the end of it all, I concluded my chunks didn’t do anything at all for flavor and I stopped using them completely.

Bottom line is you will have to experiment for yourself but you are definitely not limited to same species of lump and chunk wood.



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Re: Charcoal

Post by Texasbowhunter » August 7th, 2020, 12:21 pm

This is good to know...
Its sounds like a bit of what I'm seeing...
When the flavored woods I'm desiring for flavor is burning there is smoke coming from the chimney however when it is burned out there is very little smoke if any coming from the chimney...
So if the flavor from the smoke is in the first 3-4 hrs. and I keep my flavored wood going then use just the Green Egg as a source of fuel I theoretically should not be getting an over whelming smoke flavor from the fuel wood?

So Lets say just for conversation if I loaded up the shoot with the desired (apple) wood I wanted to burn for a source of smoke flavor and fuel would I load the shoot up with chunks of the desired wood or should it be burned like the woods in which I have loaded previously are burned...
Thinking/Wondering if I was to make my own charcoal should it be burned like what I buy to ensure a more uniform burn or can I load it in the shoot raw and it will burn uniformly?
If I have to burn it what method can I use and what am I looking for as far as when to remove it from the fire and allow to cool and use later...
Just thinking out load...
Paul



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Re: Charcoal

Post by Big T » August 7th, 2020, 8:15 pm

I don't have a GF but I've read that a lot of guys recommend putting a couple of small chunks of wood in the ash pan. The falling embers will cause it to ignite and the smoke is drawn into the CC. When I use my UDS. I use charcoal for fuel and a couple of chunks of wood on top of the fire basket for smoke. I can taste the difference between the oak and pecan that I normally use. As for making your own charcoal, I believe that you would need a retort to properly make it. I've never done that either so again I'm just repeating what I've read. lol


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Re: Charcoal

Post by Dirtytires » August 8th, 2020, 11:20 am

Charcoal is so cheap that it’s not really cost effective, in my opinion, to make your own. I also don’t have an abundance of hardwoods or property to devote the process but some here have done it over the years.

Don’t worry so much about the smoke/flavor relationship. You do not need any visible smoke to get flavor out of your wood and,in fact, the sign of a perfect fire is no smoke at all. Bystanders love to see smoke. I was at a NASCAR care a number of years back where a vender had a big burley man out front constantly stoking a rusty 500 gal pit. It was pouring out thick black smoke. Every time the line for food slowed down the cowboy hat out front would stoke the fire again causing a new wave of smoke and the line would grow again. The ironic part here is the smoker was empty. The meat was coming from a refrigerated semi truck out back yet the people raved about how great the meat was. My point? All part of the magic.....literally smoke and mirrors.



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Re: Charcoal

Post by Pete Mazz » August 9th, 2020, 3:32 am

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Re: Charcoal

Post by dacolson » August 11th, 2020, 7:15 pm

Sorry for the book ... I’ve messed around a fair bit with different charcoals on the BGE. The only difference in flavors I’ve ever gotten is from a batch of Jealous Devil which comes from a South American hardwood. I’m sure it was in my head but it had a sweeter smell to the smoke. I’ve been using The Good One, Rockwood and Fogo charcoals recently. All very similar - almost no flavor but mild smoke. All are great for high temp pizza cooks or as base heat for low and slow smokes. If you want to add smoke wood flavor to your food over long cooks at smoker temps, you have to add wood chunks. Fruit woods, pecan and alder are the mildest and sweetest. I never soak wood or use chips. It needs to ignite and get to temp or you’ll get bad white smoke. It’s the biggest draw back IMO of the BGE. It’s tough to keep the heat down and keep from smothering your smoke wood. Even with a pit controller like the Flameboss. 225° is hard without bad white smoke. 275° is much better. A stick burner wins all day every day.
As far as burning just wood in the BGE, I have not been able to get low temps and keep the wood burning given the proximity to the food. Charcoal as a heat source + wood chunks seems to me to be the only way to smoke low and slow on the BGE.


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