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Old 02-14-2010, 02:15 AM
 
Location: New Haven Michigan
426 posts, read 1,188,466 times
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I used to bar-bq a few times a week, all year, even in the winter.Have been doing it for over thirty years. The last few years I have noticed that the briquets have been getting smaller and burn out quicker. I don't even bother cooking chicken or ribs anymore as the heat is gone before the stuff is even cooked.
I do not use charcoal lighter. I have always used one of these electric starters that you plug in and it gets the coals hot. By the time the colas get good and white hot there is not alot left. You have to use double now, and half the time that don't wodk. Is it just me or what?
I have used name brand like Great Lakes, Kingsford and store brands, same thing.
Any comments or thoughts.
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Arlington Virginia
4,538 posts, read 8,407,188 times
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I use a charcoal chimney starter which requires only a couple of crumpled up pieces of newspaper. Plus the chimney gets all the coals burning quickly. It's amazing how well these things work. I use good ol' Kingsford charcoal.

The Charcoal Chimney Starter

charcoal chimney - Google Product Search
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Casa Grande, AZ
8,685 posts, read 15,003,656 times
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When I use the charcoal grill, I use something called Cowboy charcoal...it is a hardwood charcoal blend that burns longer, but I won't use alone as I think it sparks too much, so I mix with usually a generic or Kingsford. I use lighter fluid, but don't go overboard and it burns off...man-guy uses a propane torch and that is why he has little burn holes in his T-shirts...
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:12 AM
 
Location: South Central Texas
114,750 posts, read 57,201,198 times
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Like everything else these days!! Less for more$$ . We have mesquite trees everywhere here. We still go through lots of charcoal. QW's right I need to get a Chimney starter or make one some day. Especially cooking chicken or big briskets you'll need to replenish coals for extended cooking time.
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:27 AM
 
Location: SouthCentral Texas
3,855 posts, read 4,359,767 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satx56 View Post
Like everything else these days!! Less for more$$ . We have mesquite trees everywhere here. We still go through lots of charcoal. QW's right I need to get a Chimney starter or make one some day. Especially cooking chicken or big briskets you'll need to replenish coals for extended cooking time.
My Sporting goods outfitter has huge burlap bags of Hickory, Pecan, Oak, and Mesqiute large chunks for around 10.00$. I get squite everywhere, but I did a pinnic shoulder, some chicken and sausage with Hickory. The bag was large enough to cook the shoulder for 12 hours and do all the chicken and sausage.
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:36 AM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
206,853 posts, read 80,023,504 times
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I have no trouble at all with Kingsford charcoal. Currently using a bag of their professional and I love it.
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Richardson, TX
11,715 posts, read 18,614,670 times
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We had a lot of issues with lighting the charcoal this past summer, haven't barbecued this winter.

Sometimes we buy Kingsford, sometimes we buy the store brand. We have used the chimney starter for years, but this summer we sometimes had to try two or three times to get them well-lit. We also had incidents where the coals never got really hot and it took FOREVER to cook our food on "low." At first I thought we had old coals, or that we had allowed them to get damp, but it just kept happening.

We never did figure out the problem, we store the charcoal in the bag, rolled up, in the garage.
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Murrayville, Georgia
3,464 posts, read 1,714,009 times
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I think that instant light briquettes from Wal-Mart are by far the best money can buy and they last the longest...

good luck...
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
28,505 posts, read 27,305,179 times
Reputation: 35742
Quote:
Originally Posted by satx56 View Post
Like everything else these days!! Less for more$$ . We have mesquite trees everywhere here. We still go through lots of charcoal. QW's right I need to get a Chimney starter or make one some day. Especially cooking chicken or big briskets *you'll need to replenish coals for extended cooking time.*
That's the ticket. When the charcoal's ready, I throw on a few briquettes and then a few more every so often. I'm using the term 'a few' loosely.
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:59 AM
 
791 posts, read 1,301,190 times
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I favor that "whole branch" type of mesquite charcoal. Can't seem to find it here in NYC...had it out in CA, Bay Area.

You can make your own charcoal. Start a nice hot fire in the grill, pile on a bunch of nice hardwood sticks, then close it up, let the steam and wood tar vent off.

Hardly ever use fluid starter. Perhaps, a drop...mostly I use newspaper in a chimmney I make out of an old coffee can.
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