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Old 05-23-2008, 11:23 AM
 
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Hello. I have a general question about charcoal. I always use the self lighting charcoal briquettes because it's easier for me, it's hard for me to light regular charcoal. But I want to try different types of charcoal like hardwood. What kind do you use and what are the pros and cons?
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Old 05-23-2008, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Jollyville, TX
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We use both the regular charcoal briquettes and the hardwood. The hardwood makes a hotter fire but burns more quickly. As for starting, buy one of those chimneys. They work GREAT and there's no lighter fluid smell or taste (better for the environment too). You start it using plain old newspaper. It is actually a lot cheaper too. The main difference between the briquettes and the hardwood is that briquettes contain fillers like sand and the hardwood is just that, wood. When I'm cooking something that takes several hours, like a pork butt, I start out with both briquettes and hardwood. Another advantage to the hardwood is that you can add more to the fire without it having to turn gray first. But, the chimney again comes in handy for that too - if you want to start more charcoal, you can get it going before you add it to the fire.
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Old 05-23-2008, 12:22 PM
 
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I've checked quite a bit on this as I'd like to get a cheap(or make my own) weber charcoal grill. If I ever get one I'm gonna get a chimmney starter for sure and buy lump charcoal.

Only reason for me to get one is to play with, try something different. I'll do anything to grill/smoke outside w/cold beer........heck, even warm beer.
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Old 05-23-2008, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
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I'm with Moonlady on the chimney. Works like a hot-damn and as she mentions, no lighter fluid taste or smell.
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Old 05-23-2008, 02:00 PM
 
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Thanks for the responses. I never thought about a chimney. I really hate the chemically taste of the lighter fluid especially if it all doesnt burn off before you start cooking. And it usually took me forever to get the fire going. I am grilling this weekend and will look into getting a chimney. Can you buy them at places like Fred Meyer or Walmart?
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Old 05-23-2008, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
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I'm not sure where we got ours, sorry.

Maybe call around first and let your fingers do the walking. I would think perhaps the larger hardware/outdoors stores ..

When you do purchase one, there's a trick to lighting it .. three loosely bunched up pages of newspaper and the airways must be open if it's a webber bbq, so it's got enough oxygen.

When you're finished bbq'ing, shut down all the vents and you will then save what's left of your coals and can use then again next time.

Put those into your chimney first, as they're smaller and catch fire faster, with the newer charcole on top. If you don't have any old ones to start with, only fill the chimney half way to get it going, otherwise you choke off all the oxygen.
Then add more a few minutes later when it's going.

Hey! I'm learning!
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Old 05-23-2008, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Jollyville, TX
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Seems like we bought the first ones from any old place that sold bbq equipment, but the last one I bought from a bbq specialty store and it's a Weber and it's bigger and seems more durable. Cost about $15 - the smaller ones cost $8-10.
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