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Food & Wine Ground >> Grill fuel


3/25/08 10:19 AM
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Kevin Curtis
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Edited: 25-Mar-08
Member Since: 07/17/2001
Posts: 4475
 
I just got a Masterbuilt 7-in-1 grill smoker... I grilled some chicked using lump charcoal. I lit in a chimney, and waited 20 minutes to heat up (chimey was 90% full). Within another 20 minutes the temp had dropped to 250F. First ime I ever used the lump... it seemed to burn faster/hotter, and I didn't think it had as intense a flavor as regular charcoal. Thoughts?
3/25/08 10:46 AM
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alpo
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Edited: 25-Mar-08
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 33762
Umm.. I dunno, I think briquettes taste like shit, personally, though that may just be a mental thing because I know I'm tasting glue and other chemicals. Most people add wood chips or blocks to lump charcoal. You have to remember you're using a new bbq pit, so it isn't seasoned yet. You have to use it a bunch of times before the flavor is going to stabalize, by getting a nice layer of ash and fat residue all over the inside. Also, what kind of chicken are you grilling at 250? I smoke quarters at 250. If I grill breasts or thighs, it's usually at 450. 250 doesn't seem high enough to get any kind of sear.
3/25/08 12:29 PM
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Kevin Curtis
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Edited: 25-Mar-08
Member Since: 07/17/2001
Posts: 4476
The temp dropped and I ended up finishing in the oven. Would I need to use even more lump normally to cook a couple lbs of bird? The taste was nice, just milder than I expected/wanted.
3/25/08 12:48 PM
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alpo
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Edited: 25-Mar-08
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 33769
I don't know, it really depends on what cut of chicken you are cooking. Breasts and thighs shouldn't take any longer than 10 minutes at 450 degrees. You might try adding a little more lump on top of the coals when you dump them out from the starter or don't let them burn in the starter for so long. Sometimes if you wait too long before dumping them, they can burn up quite a bit and reduce to like half the size. You really just want to get to the point where you start to see some white ash on most of the coals.. some of them can be mostly black, that is ok. If they are all glowing red and ashy, you probably waited too long. When I use a chimney starter, I let it go for around 12 minutes, then dump and spread them a little, then wait another 5 minutes or so. Sometimes I put some extra lump on top if I know I'm going to be cooking for a while.
3/25/08 4:27 PM
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Kevin Curtis
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Edited: 25-Mar-08
Member Since: 07/17/2001
Posts: 4477
I had the chicken off towards the edge of the coals because I din't want the breast to get too cooked on the outside and not cooked on the inside... plus I was trying to gauge how fast the they would cook while simultaneously doing two other things at the same time. I think I left them in the chimney too long... thanks for the tips! (p.s. - I'll try adding a little lump on top)

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