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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Unread 03-15-2013, 09:02 PM   #1
barbeque nut
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Default charcoal-I just don't understand this

Hi everybody, I've got a question about charcoal. Supposedly all natural lump charcoal is the best to use because it doesn't have all the chemicals in it like alot of the briquets do. Also lighter fluid should'nt be used because it is oil based and it will get into your food. Now for the good part- I have seen bbq teams, even championship teams use briquets and sometimes even lighter fluid. What gives? would highly appreciate your comments, thanks, barbecue nut
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Unread 03-15-2013, 09:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: charcoal-I just don't understand this

I used to have a cousin that used lighter fluid. I've since disowned him.....




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Unread 03-15-2013, 09:05 PM   #3
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There are all natural briquettes available from several sources including Kingsford, Stubbs and others. Lots of teams use Kingsford blue bag as well.

About the only top team that uses lighter fluid that I know of is Myron Mixon (Jack's Old South) and the theory is that he cooks hot enough that the lighter fluid burns off before he puts his food on.
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Unread 03-16-2013, 06:17 AM   #4
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The chemicals in the briquettes are just another flavor profile.
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Unread 03-16-2013, 09:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
There are all natural briquettes available from several sources including Kingsford, Stubbs and others. Lots of teams use Kingsford blue bag as well.

About the only top team that uses lighter fluid that I know of is Myron Mixon (Jack's Old South) and the theory is that he cooks hot enough that the lighter fluid burns off before he puts his food on.
If you ever watch Myron, he doesn't actually use the charcoal as the main heat source, rather he uses it as a starter. He puts the wood on after the charcoal has burned down to complete white ash.

IIRC, from that point on, he is only cooking with wood; never adds charcoal (or lighter fluid) throughout the cook.

Just my observations.

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Unread 03-16-2013, 09:15 AM   #6
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Yeah, true. Same with most guys running offsets. I still would use lighter fluid in any of my cookers.
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Unread 03-16-2013, 10:15 AM   #7
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i don't see an issue with lighter fluid in and of itself really, however, a naturally started chimney works just as well and fast if not better even.

i use stubbs natural briquettes, but have been playing with KB a bit lately. if i find the time i plan on a side by side cook in the WSM's. i for sure would post the results.
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Unread 03-16-2013, 10:34 AM   #8
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We used to chase the natural briquettes when they were available here, but the majority of our contests have been with plain old Kingsford blue bag.
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Unread 03-16-2013, 10:36 AM   #9
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I can't tell any significant difference between KB and all natural Briqs.
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Unread 03-16-2013, 10:39 AM   #10
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Lighter fluid is not a problem as long as you let the coals ash over before putting the meat on..like Myron says, follow the darned directions. That said, charcoal chimneys are cheap and then there's never an issue...
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Unread 03-16-2013, 03:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogiesnap View Post
i don't see an issue with lighter fluid in and of itself really, however, a naturally started chimney works just as well and fast if not better even.
I agree with the chimney starter for our BWS Fat Boy.

But, when you have smokers the size of Myron's, he loads them up with 40lbs of KB, then soaks with lighter fluid. He is cooking in a lot shorter time frame.

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Unread 03-16-2013, 08:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txschutte View Post
I can't tell any significant difference between KB and all natural Briqs.
Some of the natural lumps are very dense. I got a 50% improvement in my time between refueling by switching to Wicked Good Weekend Warrior. Natural lump also has a lot less ash than the blue bag stuff.

I went over to the dark side and now use a pellet cooker for the big meats, but we still use Wicked Good in our BWS for the small meats. We sometimes use Nature's Our as a "starter". It's lighter, less dense, and lights faster. With a Stoker, I can light the smoker with a cigar style lighter...no chimney, no lighter fluid.
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