question about lump vs. Stubbs Briqs

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by quityerbitchin, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. I am a newbie, so bear with me.  My first 2 cooks on the UDS were with Stubbs Briqs.  I had little trouble with them and feel they came out pretty well. But Sarturday i picked up a bag of lump at Bass Pro Shops, and used it yesterday.  I wasn't a big fan. 

    The first issue came when I dumped the lit coals into my fire basket (using minion method) and a few of the smaller ones fell right thru!

    Then about an hour after I started it my temps were down to 180, so I took a look.  The lumps had nestled themselves into a cylinder and were not falling on the lit coals.  I took the meat off and shook the basket and all was well, but I am just wondering if there is a real benefit to using lump vs. a good all natural briq?
  2. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The lump usually burns hotter & longer. I was going to say spread out the lump, but you did & it was better,  but if you like the Stumpps & are happy with it, then by all means use what you like!!
  3. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Not all lump is the same. Some burn hotter, longer, produce more ash etc. Here is a great site to look at reviews and see what your lump rates.

    I use Frontier lump in my UDS and love it. I can go 20 hours+ with the basket I have. I have tried briquettes a few times but found that I go through less lump so I have never had a reason to go back. Plus I catch the lump when they are on sale at Sams Club and I can get a 40lb bag for around $15. I picked up 4 bags last spring and I am just starting on the 2nd bag. I can usually get 2-3 smokes on one fill of my basket depending on what I am smoking. Every few smokes I will remove all of my lump pieces and get rid of the ash then throw a few new pieces in the basket then pour my used lump over the top of that so I am only using a few new pieces ever smoke. Its all a preference so if you like one vs. the other I would stick with that.
  4. I personally was never able to use briqettes in a smoker environment withouth them smothering themselves out in all the ash they create.  I can run my smoker on lump all day and all the ashes fit in a small coffee can.  You do have to contend with some small pieces, but I find the good far outweighs the bad.  That being said, that is my personal experience.  If you are having success with briqs, by all means keep on rolling.  If it aint broke, don't fix it.
  5. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I find a mix of briquets and lump gives you the best of both worlds. Put a layer of briquets down as a base then some lump in the middle and top with more briquets. The bottom layer of briquets will keep the lump from dropping you the bottom of the basket, you will have a more controlled burn, can still burn hot if you open the air vents, and produces less ash than just briquets.
  6. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have done this as well and it works like he said but after I scored a whole bunch of cheap lump I didn't want to spend the money on the briquets since they seem to be spendy for a pretty small bag.
  7. Like the others have said, I also mix good natural briquets (Stubbs or Kingsford Comp - whichever is cheaper) with lump.  I'm currently using Best in the West Mesquite lump, mainly because Smart and Final sells a 40 lb bag for $14.49!  If it's a long smoke, I mix.  If not, I use straight lump since it's cheaper and gets hotter for direct grilling (steaks, burgers, etc.)
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  8. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Does the mesquite lump flavor the smoke with mesquite? I've been seeing this around & wondering. They have alot of a brand called Diablo here? Been hestitant to try it as the mesquite is so strong
  9. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    No... once wood has been charcoalized it doesn't impart any flavor, the charcoalization process has burned off all the volatiles that create the "flavor". They tell you mesquite, oak, ect. primarilly to let you know that it is created from a hardwood - meaning it is a denser charcoal that will burn hotter and longer. You still have to add your "flavor" wood to the lump to get the "flavor" you are after.

    One thing to be aware of when lighting lump is it will pop and spark - sometimes a LOT!! So put a screen ontop of your chimney starter and keep a hose handy. There is a brand I like called Lazari that is great charcoal, but it looks like the friggin' 4th of July when you light it.... lol.
  10. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes watch out for your eyeballs and arm/leg hair when you light that stuff. haha
  11. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Stubbs is made from Cowboy lump that has been ground and pressed into briquettes, best of both worlds IMHO.[​IMG]
  12. bignick

    bignick Meat Mopper

    rb...thanks for the link to the lump new favorite
  13. Lots of sparks from lump.  I've tried a half a dozen different lumps and no significant taste difference between regular lump and mesquite lump.  I've tried the Lazari.  Only issue I had was it took me a while to get it lit.  Once lit, it was pretty good.  If I wasn't so cheap, I'd probably use Stubbs or Kingsford Comp more often, but I pretty much use any decent lump that's cheap.  I envy those on these forums who are lucky enough to find really good deals on good charcoal, or even better, mispriced bags of charcoal.  I comb the aisles of wherever I'm at because you never know. 
  14. piaconis

    piaconis Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Royal Oak lump is the way to go, if you can get it.  I love Stubbs for briquettes.  They don't smell like burning 2x4's when you light them, unlike Kingsford.
  15. smoked 3 racks of st.Lois ribs Sunday using stubs on my lang 60 used  just under 2 bags the ash was very comparable to lump and about .50 that of royal oak briquettes[​IMG]

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