More on Lump Charcoal

By Keith N Fisher

Last week, I promised to continue my lump charcoal experiments. This week, I tried keeping a reserve. I thought, if I could keep the chunks together long enough for them to turn white with ash, then the chunks might continue to burn.

I made a pile and lit it
I used my kettle barbecue, poured lighter fluid on, and lit the pile. I waited, and when several of the pieces were mostly white, I separated them. Not only did they go out, but I had to keep pouring lighter fluid on the pile.

As you can see from the picture behind the blog title above, I’ve cooked with lump charcoal and campfire coals, before. It was always piled on the lid, though.

A few years ago, a group of us got together and purchased a pallet of restaurant style natural mesquite lump charcoal. The company was called Lazari and it came in large bags about forty pounds each. There were many large pieces. Some of them looked like tree limbs. It burned clean with little smoke and no chemical smells.
I made sure they were burning before I seperated the coals

On the day I took that picture, I was using the Lazari. The bag was new and cooking with it was no trouble. Then I took some to a cook off in Wyoming and just couldn’t get it to burn. I ended up finishing the dish with briquettes.

The beauty of briquettes is the uniformity. Counting coals is easy. Like lump and campfire coals each briquette burns at a different temperature, but they generally don’t go out before they become ashes.

the coals went out
Because of the chemical fumes and extra smoke, however, briquettes are killing me.

You might say, lump is kicking my hump. Briquettes, however, will take my breath away. I’m going to locate some Lazari and try it again, but the search goes on. I’m going to find a charcoal that doesn’t emit deadly fumes or smoke too much. I know the latter part will be hard, because the BBQ guys love the smoke.

I’ll keep you informed about the search. Maybe I’ll start reviewing different kinds here on the blog.