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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 01-04-2013, 09:19 PM   #1
trufunk
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Default Anthracite coal good for BBQ?

I went to Grimaldis this evening for piazza (jalapeno & pepperoni). I asked the waitress what kind of coal they use, I was expecting some kind of lump but no she said they use Anthracite she brought me a piece, looked like a small meteorite very cool. Has anyone used this for Qing? Is it expensive?
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Unread 01-04-2013, 09:20 PM   #2
MilitantSquatter
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I wouldn't try it personally, but I'm curious it if works better in a PBC vs a UDS

I know the best pizza place in America, the famous Totonno's in Coney Island (shut down due to Hurricane Sandy) uses anthacite coal in their oven since 1924.
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Unread 01-04-2013, 09:23 PM   #3
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It would make stuff taste a bad funky. man. hey... this is a funky thread so far.
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Unread 01-04-2013, 09:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trufunk View Post
I went to Grimaldis this evening for piazza (jalapeno & pepperoni). I asked the waitress what kind of coal they use, I was expecting some kind of lump but no she said they use Anthracite she brought me a piece, looked like a small meteorite very cool. Has anyone used this for Qing? Is it expensive?
Kingsford Original has anthracite coal in it.

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Unread 01-04-2013, 09:43 PM   #5
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Militant -that piazza looks G U D!

T- That's what I was wondering about the taste...I do like the flavor on the piazza but I guess they ain't smoking piazzas just using coals for heat?

Patio- is the original in the blue bag? I usually buy lump or mesquite charcoal from HEBs here locally.
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Unread 01-04-2013, 09:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Patio- is the original in the blue bag? I usually buy lump or mesquite charcoal from HEBs here locally.
Yup, blue bag, hickory, and mesquite.

John
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Unread 01-04-2013, 09:47 PM   #7
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Coal is basically solidified crude oil -- decayed plant matter, compressed over long, geological time. For cooking purposes, burning coal differs from burning charcoal in that exposure to a coal fire can poison your food with petroleum by-products. Coal can be used to fire a stove or an oven, but only if the food is in a completely separate environment from the fire.

"Indirect heat" as in barbecue terminology is not indirect enough when the fuel is coal.

In coal-fired pizza ovens, which are still used in the Northeast US, and not to confuse them with wood-fired hearth ovens. A coal fire is much hotter than a wood fire and would be great for getting the thermal mass of a big ceramic oven up to temperature, but the firebox and exhaust are completely isolated from the cooking chamber.

.
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Unread 01-04-2013, 09:51 PM   #8
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I heard a PBC can separate the anthracite fumes from the wood fumes. Its the horseshoes I think.
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Unread 01-04-2013, 09:53 PM   #9
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Anthracite is the cleanest burning coal out there. At least that's what I was taught. It is hard to light though. In the power plants, bituminous was used only to get the anthracite lit, after that they all ran on anthracite.

I have no experience with coal fired pizza ovens. The ones we used were Blodgett ovens during my stint at Pizza Hut in the mid '70's.
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Unread 01-04-2013, 09:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IamMadMan View Post
Coal is basically solidified crude oil -- decayed plant matter, compressed over long, geological time. For cooking purposes, burning coal differs from burning charcoal in that exposure to a coal fire can poison your food with petroleum by-products. Coal can be used to fire a stove or an oven, but only if the food is in a completely separate environment from the fire.

"Indirect heat" as in barbecue terminology is not indirect enough when the fuel is coal.

In coal-fired pizza ovens, which are still used in the Northeast US, and not to confuse them with wood-fired hearth ovens. A coal fire is much hotter than a wood fire and would be great for getting the thermal mass of a big ceramic oven up to temperature, but the firebox and exhaust are completely isolated from the cooking chamber.

.
Understood! Thanks for dropping science!
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Unread 01-04-2013, 10:16 PM   #11
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KW you are correct, Anthracite is about 92% pure carbon and does not give off tarry or other hydrocarbon vapours when heated below their point of ignition.

When I lived near Buffalo, NY the steel plants would bring in Bituminous Coal and run it through a high temperature oven to remove any impurities. The resulting prodict was coke, a highly effective fuel, essentially producing double the heat content of the coal.

The coke was then used to melt the ore and other ingredients to make ingots of pig iron for later smelting.

The smelting furnaces had little or no smoke as they burned the coke, but the ovens used to make coke would release a reddish brown ash that covered everything in about a half mile radius.

It was a dirty job.
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Unread 01-04-2013, 11:36 PM   #12
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No, true coal is NOT GOOD at all for cooking with unless, like already mentioned, the cooking chamber is completely sealed from the exhaust.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitmaster T View Post
I heard a PBC can separate the anthracite fumes from the wood fumes. Its the horseshoes I think.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilitantSquatter View Post
I wouldn't try it personally, but I'm curious it if works better in a PBC vs a UDS
Give it a rest about the PBC. Seriously. Bringing it into other threads?! Talk about mature...True mockery at its finest.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 07:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IamMadMan View Post

In coal-fired pizza ovens, which are still used in the Northeast US, and not to confuse them with wood-fired hearth ovens. A coal fire is much hotter than a wood fire and would be great for getting the thermal mass of a big ceramic oven up to temperature, but the firebox and exhaust are completely isolated from the cooking chamber.

.

FYI... Totonno's has the coal and pizza right near each other... grandfathered in under NYC laws and the cook time is very short due to the intense heat.


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Unread 01-05-2013, 07:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilitantSquatter View Post
FYI... Totonno's has the coal and pizza right near each other
I stand corrected... I have never heard of coal and food being in the same chamber. Thank for the pictures.

But also after "KW" pointed out that Anthracite is a dense clean burning coal, I did look up and find that it is aprox 92% pure carbon and does not gives off fumes below the point of ignition. This means it burns cleanly consuming any petroleum based vapors within the fire the same way propane (liquid petroleum gas) is cleanly consumed in the burners of our backyard grills.

"PatioDaddio" also pointed out that Anthracite is in Kingsford Charcoal Briquettes as well.

Thanks for expanding the horizons of my knowledge.

But personally I still would not use it if the exhaust came in contact with my food.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 04:15 PM   #15
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Kingsford's latest MSDS doesn't list anthracite. It did earlier. I have no idea how long it's been gone.

http://www.thecloroxcompany.com/down...albriquets.pdf
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