Cooking for the Group and Lump Charcoal

By Keith N Fisher

As you can see from the picture, there wasn’t quite as many as we planned for. We didn’t have many leftovers though. The group of young people loved the stew and I learned a few things. I learned that every group is different. When we cook for the fourth grade, everyone loves the peach cobbler and corn bread. This group didn’t eat much corn bread and they liked apple cobbler.

We cooked at the ropes course on West Center Street in Provo. Down by the boat harbor. The group loved the course, and I had a ringside seat for what I call the Rocket Swing. If you ever get the chance, you should experience the fun.

While making corn bread in my carport, I decided to give lump charcoal another try. I’d grown sick of the fumes and smoke from briquettes, and I knew that lump charcoal was clean. Since barbecue is big business, the briquette manufactures tend to ignore the needs of Dutch oven cooks. Although I can’t prove it, they even add something to their product that makes it smoke. I’ve been cooking in Dutch ovens for a while, and it didn’t used to smoke like that.

My previous experience with lump was positive, but It tends to extinguish itself unless it’s kept together in a pile. With briquettes, once you catch the edges on fire, the rest of the coal will continue to burn, not so with lump. As you can see from the picture at the bottom, even placing it with briquettes doesn’t help it to burn.

Since the fumes of briquettes are getting to me, though, I’ve decided to keep working with lump. I’m going to devise a way to enjoy the clean, natural smoke of lump with no chemical fumes. All I have to figure is how to keep it burning. I will keep you informed.

If you know of a way to make lump work, let me know.