Grilling with Mesquite chunks instead of charcoal

Discussion in 'Grilling Tips' started by mythmaster, May 18, 2010.

  1. mythmaster

    mythmaster Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Am I the only person who does this? Is there a reason not to?

    I have an el cheapo charcoal grill from Wally World, and I use Mesquite chunks for fuel instead of charcoal. Also, I don't use lighter fluid -- I use those wax brick thingies. I just break them up, distribute them amongst the chunk pile, and light them up. The chunks catch fire and burn down just like charcoal.

    Then I spread them out and grill steaks, burgers, or whatever as normal. When I'm done, I have a nice piece of grilled meat with some Mesquite flavor cooked in.

    Has anyone else tried this?
  2. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I love grilling with mesquite. I usually get some coals going and put some chunks on top. The charcoal is a lot cheaper than mesquite my way, thats why I do it like that.
  3. mythmaster

    mythmaster Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I don't grill very often, so the cost doesn't concern me. A bag of chunks will last me all summer. I really do like the flavor that it imparts using only Mesquite chunks. I was just wondering if there was some reason that I *shouldn't* be doing it this way (a) and if anyone else has tried this (b).
  4. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I've thought about going to some mesquite lump in the grill, but I did a full smoke in the SNP a few weeks back, and that did bring on a really strong smoke flavor...too heavy, as it turned out.

    Now, if I had some oak lump...oh yeah, count me in!

  5. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I dont use alot of mesquite when smoking but when open top grilling its the best. I find putting a few chunks on top of coals gives me the same amount of smoke goodness as if I used all mesquite. Nothing like a ribeye on the grill, I like to smoke a few times a week all summer.
  6. mythmaster

    mythmaster Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, guys! It doesn't seem like there's a reason to NOT do this, and I've had great success doing it -- especially with steaks. They come out very tasty!

    So, I would recommend using only Mesquite chunks instead of charcoal or some other combination. It has worked out very well for me, and it wouldn't hurt you to try it.
  7. coffee_junkie

    coffee_junkie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have used maple with good results, but use lighter fluid to get the chunks going. I wonder if a chimney starter would work.
  8. danielh

    danielh Meat Mopper

    I like to mix lump charcoal/hickory about 70/30 when grilling.. Just throw the hickory straight in the chimney with the lump, so no fluid needed..
  9. mythmaster

    mythmaster Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Those "wax bricks" work really well for me. Have you seen them? They're designed to start charcoal without lighter fluid, and they work perfectly well with Mesquite chunks, too.

    I don't mix in any charcoal at all, just the Mesquite chunks. They hold their heat just fine, and the flavor isn't overpowering.

    This works really well for grilling, guys, so I just thought that I'd share.
  10. squirrel

    squirrel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I use a chimney starter and it works fine with charcoal, wood or combo. I couldn't use all mesquite in a closed wood smoke, it's just too bitter to me, but I do like a hint of mesquite especially with chicken. I use alot of pecan, because I have alot of trees on my property.

    I do like using the mesquite along with the pecan and hickory when smoking a bunch of butts for pulled pork. Maybe it's all in my head, but by rotating the woods it seems to me I can pick up on all the flavors.
  11. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Really that is about the only reason not to do it. Alot of people find mesquite too strong and over powering. I do not, but if I am grilling, I have used the mesquite/charcoal briquettes by Kingsford at times.
  12. jak757

    jak757 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Squirrel -- just wanted to comment on the photo. It's amazing! Photography is my other hobby, and I always appreciate seeing such a beautiful picture. Great work!
  13. bob1961

    bob1961 Smoking Fanatic

    has anyone tried the kingsford mesqu charcol in the brown bag, i have a bag but haven't used it yet..........bob

  14. mythmaster

    mythmaster Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    If that's the one I'm thinking of, yes I've tried it before and didn't care for it. Only about 1 in 10 bricks has mesquite in it, and I couldn't taste mesquite in anything that I cooked.
  15. fftwarren

    fftwarren Smoking Fanatic

    I dont grill with mesquite but I have started just grilling over an open wood fire made of oak and pecan/hickory when I can. Makes the food taste great. I just hate using charcoal because it cost so much. We try to grill at work and try to keep the price down, when you have to add charcoal to the shopping list, that and lighter fluid adds dang near $10 to the bill. so when I can I just light the fire an hour earlier or so and grill over a wood fire. turns out great and taste better than charcoal to me
    Last edited: May 27, 2010
  16. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use a charcoal chimney to light my chunks, I don't like the smell or taste of lighter fluid. Whatever works for you my friend.
  17. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That's your property!!!!!

    I love you and hate you at the same time[​IMG]

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