Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Stubbs charcoal review

If your like me, and i hope you are, haha, then you like your grilled or smoked food to taste clean and crisp. I have found that the original Kingsford charcoal has way to many chemical binders and unwanted material in it for my taste when it comes to smoking food. I will use it for grilling foods since it does have a high heat capacity, and by the time its is scorching hot, the binders have burned off. The good news is, KF has been working hard to ensure there customers are happy. In the meantime i use Royal Oak lump or Stubbs all natural charcoal for slow cooking.

When i first stumbled upon a bag of Stubbs, i was pretty skeptical due to the price and weight of the product. At 7.99 for a 15 pound bag of 100% all natural hardwood briquettes with no chemical binders, i admit that i was disappointed because i knew it was going to be a bad day for cookin! Wow! was a wrong!. I am now a proud sponsor of Stubbs charcoal. It is great for the smoker and the rotisserie on the kettle. I have not used it for any grilling since i have Royal Oak 100% lump charcoal from the good ole USA for that.
The overall size of each briquette averages out to be the same size as KF Blue(Kingsford charcoal in the blue and white bag). Just by looking at it, you can see the pieces of hardwoods they used for the charcoal. Stubbs uses a vegetable binder(5% of product) to bind the hardwood together.
I poured all 15 pounds(un-lit) into my fire basket of my drum smoker and used one chimney full of lit charcoal to pour over the top of the un-lit coals. I left the lid off of the drum and all 4 vents open to bring her to temp. I have a drip pan in my smoker so i usually take her temp up a little hotter. I like 300 at grate and that gives me about 250 or so above the drip pan for the food to cook. It has a we bit more smoke upon ignition than i like, but after an extra 5 minutes, the nasty white smoke was gone and i had a clean burning fire.I smoked some chicken and country style butt ribs for 4 hours and then snuffed the coal out my closing all the vents. After the smoker cooled down, I investigated the remains of the fire basket. To my surprise, i had 85% of the charcoal left.

As you can see, i had plenty of fuel left for my next cook, BUT i dropped the drip pan with apple juice in the fuel. So now i have to wait for it to dry out again… Anyway, i shook the loose ash off of the coal and was very surprised at how little ash was produced after a 4 hour cook.

In conclusion, i have really enjoyed this product. I now buy a bag or two every time i go to Lowes. I hope others will try it out and see for themselves how well it works for the grill and smoker!

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