Welcome, Guest

Shop Amazon.com and support the WKC | WKC T-Shirts

Author Topic: Kettle BBQ: Temp control issues using lump in Slow n Sear  (Read 1652 times)

KevinInStL

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 103
Kettle BBQ: Temp control issues using lump in Slow n Sear
« on: May 21, 2020, 08:49:58 AM »
So I'm a lump-only guy. My wife and I both have very sensitive digestive systems, and we find that meat cooked with briquettes (even high quality briquettes like B&B) gives us an upset stomach. So lump it is.

I also like to BBQ on the hot & fast side, somewhere in the neighborhood of 300-350. However, I've been having issues with my temperatures going too high when using lump in the Slow n Sear. I always see people say lump is inconsistent in heat output. I wouldn't say that it's inconsistent, because it behaves the same way every time. But my problem is that all the lump in the slow n sear catches fire before one end has burned out, and so I always get bell-shaped curves in my temps, and often find it hard to stay under 350 (then later, above 300) without a ton of babysitting the vents. Part of this is due to the shape of the SnS with the middle being much wider than the ends. I put a firebrick in the middle of my SnS to try to even out the cross section, so there's not quite so much more charcoal in the wide middle area relative to the ends, but it didn't help much. I certainly don't mind a little fire management, but I'm not a fan of having to fuss with the vents constantly. I'd get a stickburner if I wanted to do that.

I got a Slow n Sear because I was under the impression that it'd make longer BBQ cooks on the kettle easier. But now I'm wondering if it's making it more difficult. Is there a better way to do long cooks with lump in a kettle? Is the snake method even possible with lump?

At some point I may get a WSM, which I think would make this a moot point. But for now I'd like to stick with just my 22" kettle.
ISO: Dark red/crimson mist kettle (cooker condition). 18" preferred, but a 22" would be awesome too.
Also ISO a current generation WSM 18".     
Grill on!

HoosierKettle

  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 6714
Re: Kettle BBQ: Temp control issues using lump in Slow n Sear
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2020, 09:27:28 AM »
What length of cook gives the most trouble?  Iíve done a snake with lump. Worked fine if memory serves. You could also try baskets on each side and add coal every hour.


Sent from my iPhone using Weber Kettle Club mobile app

HoosierKettle

  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 6714
Kettle BBQ: Temp control issues using lump in Slow n Sear
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2020, 09:29:55 AM »
.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 09:33:56 AM by HoosierKettle »

Mr.CPHo

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 3228
Re: Kettle BBQ: Temp control issues using lump in Slow n Sear
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2020, 09:42:59 AM »
Iím a lump+SnS user most of the time and I donít think it is the shape of the SnS that is giving you a temp spike.  Granted you didnít mention how youíre starting your lump, but I light a very small amount of lump in the corner and once that is fully lit, I pack in the rest of the lump into the SnS and close up my kettle with all vents open.  Then as I get closer to my desired tempt I start shutting down vents.  You may simply be starting with too much lit lump, or accidentally dropping some lit pieces into an already full SnS. 

If youíre using a chimney to start lump, donít wait until everything is ashed over like briquettesí instructions, thatís too late for lump. 

KevinInStL

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 103
Re: Kettle BBQ: Temp control issues using lump in Slow n Sear
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2020, 02:12:37 PM »
@HoosierKettle Anything 4 or more hours long, like ribs, butts, chuck roasts, etc. The same thing happens on 1.5-2 hr cooks, but those are always whole chickens for me, so the higher temps are not an issue there.

@Mr.CPHo I do start my lump with a chimney. I use the compact Weber chimney and fill it maybe 2/3 full.
While that's lighting i put charcoal in the SnS, leaving space at one end for the lit coals to go in. Once most of the coal in the chimney is ashed over I pour it in the empty end of the SnS. Bottom and top vents fully open until I get to about 300* (25* under my ideal target of 325) then I close the bottom vents to about 1/3 open. Temps continue to climb higher and higher, usually well above 350.

So maybe I need to dump the coals into the SnS sooner, before they've ashed over? Idk that doesn't seem to be my problem, but I'll give it a try.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 02:14:27 PM by KevinInStL »
ISO: Dark red/crimson mist kettle (cooker condition). 18" preferred, but a 22" would be awesome too.
Also ISO a current generation WSM 18".     
Grill on!

bamakettles

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 989
Re: Kettle BBQ: Temp control issues using lump in Slow n Sear
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2020, 05:53:21 PM »
You might look into the TipTopTemp.....works really well and performs the constant adjustments for you.  I have one and it works well.  But I enjoy fiddling with the vents so I havenít used it a lot.


Sent from my iPad using Weber Kettle Club

KevinInStL

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 103
Re: Kettle BBQ: Temp control issues using lump in Slow n Sear
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2020, 06:44:56 PM »
@bamakettles hmm oh yeah i have seen that. I saw some good reviews but also some claiming that it ended up making their fire burn dirty or led to soot deposits on the meat. You didnít have any of those problems?


Sent from my iPhone using Weber Kettle Club
ISO: Dark red/crimson mist kettle (cooker condition). 18" preferred, but a 22" would be awesome too.
Also ISO a current generation WSM 18".     
Grill on!

bamakettles

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 989
Re: Kettle BBQ: Temp control issues using lump in Slow n Sear
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2020, 07:37:57 AM »
@bamakettles hmm oh yeah i have seen that. I saw some good reviews but also some claiming that it ended up making their fire burn dirty or led to soot deposits on the meat. You didnít have any of those problems?


Sent from my iPhone using Weber Kettle Club

I have not had those issues.  It might depend on what type of fuel you use..... I've used only briquettes and very little wood - maybe a couple chunks of apple or peach.  You might try again, just filling the basket with briquettes and lighting a tumbleweed on one side.  I never use a chimney when going low and slow on the SNS.  This method may take a little while to get up to temp, but once fine tuned it seems to hold steady.  Again, I don't mind fiddling with the vents and actually enjoy it.  The TTT made the cook a bit boring for me actually lol.  Best of luck!

Ndekens

  • Happy Cooker
  • Posts: 8
Re: Kettle BBQ: Temp control issues using lump in Slow n Sear
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2020, 05:59:25 AM »
Okay, I have noticed the same type of issues with lump. Have you tried the royal oak lump? And if so were you and your wife okay with that? I ask because royal oak makes a briquette that is literally the peaces too small for lump all compressed together with no other stuff. There are videos somewhere that show this. Maybe this would be a briquette that you two can use? I have only seen them at places like Walmart though usually in a double bag pack.


Sent from my iPhone using Weber Kettle Club

Darko

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 4495
Re: Kettle BBQ: Temp control issues using lump in Slow n Sear
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2020, 09:59:22 AM »
Lump is difficult because the pieces are so different.

KevinInStL

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 103
Re: Kettle BBQ: Temp control issues using lump in Slow n Sear
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2020, 08:01:01 AM »
Okay, I have noticed the same type of issues with lump. Have you tried the royal oak lump? And if so were you and your wife okay with that? I ask because royal oak makes a briquette that is literally the peaces too small for lump all compressed together with no other stuff. There are videos somewhere that show this. Maybe this would be a briquette that you two can use? I have only seen them at places like Walmart though usually in a double bag pack.


Sent from my iPhone using Weber Kettle Club
I haven't tried the RO lump yet. I did get 4 bags of the RO classic briquettes when they were $4 at Lowes last Labor Day. I found them to suck so much that I still have 3.5 bags of it sitting around.  They burned up really fast, produced a ton of ash, and did not put out much heat at all. They were also the worst offenders of producing meat that gave us an upset stomach. So I'm weary or trying any RO product at this point, maybe with the exception of the lump.

I think the briqs you're referring to are the RO Natural briquettes. But I believe they do still use some type of binder, maybe corn starch? I don't think it's possible to make briquettes without a binder.

I think I may try my next cook without the SnS, and I'm strongly considering the TTT too.
ISO: Dark red/crimson mist kettle (cooker condition). 18" preferred, but a 22" would be awesome too.
Also ISO a current generation WSM 18".     
Grill on!

Ndekens

  • Happy Cooker
  • Posts: 8
Re: Kettle BBQ: Temp control issues using lump in Slow n Sear
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2020, 02:55:34 PM »

Okay, I have noticed the same type of issues with lump. Have you tried the royal oak lump? And if so were you and your wife okay with that? I ask because royal oak makes a briquette that is literally the peaces too small for lump all compressed together with no other stuff. There are videos somewhere that show this. Maybe this would be a briquette that you two can use? I have only seen them at places like Walmart though usually in a double bag pack.


Sent from my iPhone using Weber Kettle Club
I haven't tried the RO lump yet. I did get 4 bags of the RO classic briquettes when they were $4 at Lowes last Labor Day. I found them to suck so much that I still have 3.5 bags of it sitting around.  They burned up really fast, produced a ton of ash, and did not put out much heat at all. They were also the worst offenders of producing meat that gave us an upset stomach. So I'm weary or trying any RO product at this point, maybe with the exception of the lump.

I think the briqs you're referring to are the RO Natural briquettes. But I believe they do still use some type of binder, maybe corn starch? I don't think it's possible to make briquettes without a binder.

I think I may try my next cook without the SnS, and I'm strongly considering the TTT too.

I have tried the TTT, its high maintenance because you have to keep the hinge and spring clean and free otherwise it dosnít work. That and it falls off your kettle when you lift the lid. The SnS is better. Im gonna try going back to using lump this summer after learning more this past summer with my old kettle. I got a brand new 26Ē I havnt used yet since im waiting for the SnS. Maybe the lump will work better in it for me.


Sent from my iPhone using Weber Kettle Club

powermatt99

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 75
Re: Kettle BBQ: Temp control issues using lump in Slow n Sear
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2020, 03:53:47 PM »
I've cooked with lump in my WSM with an ATC and had no issues maintaining temp. I imagine an ATC on a kettle would be quite similar using lump.

SMOKE FREAK

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 975
Re: Kettle BBQ: Temp control issues using lump in Slow n Sear
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2020, 05:16:10 PM »
I have only seen them at places like Walmart though usually in a double bag pack.


Sent from my iPhone using Weber Kettle Club

I think I may try my next cook without the SnS, and I'm strongly considering the TTT too.

The RO Premium briqs are junk! The RO Natural briqs are a very good briq.

I vote for losing the SnS and learning how to tend your fire. Once you have that under control you will never use the Sns again...