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I have read posts that say lump charcoal is the best way to get a smoke ring and others that say the Kingsford briquettes are the best to use. I was wondering if anybody has used both and knows which produces the best smoke ring? I am hoping the lump charcoal produces the best smoke ring since it doesn't have the fillers that the briquettes have, but maybe it is the fillers that cause the smoke ring? Also, how much charcoal do you add to wood box and if you add charcoal do you need to reduce the amount of wood so that you don't end up with too much smoke? Thanks.
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B.Tatton -- "Welcome to the forum!"

I've used both lump and Kingsford briquettes. I have never produced a smoke ring with lump charcoal. It's my understanding the the SR comes from the nitrates and nitrites in the wood. In the burning process to make lump
charcoal these two essentials are dissipated.

If you do use briquettes be sure not to use the "match-light" stuff that is tainted with lighter fluid!

A SR only adds to the aesthetics, not flavor. I use two lumps of Kingsford to get a slight SR.

Do not cut back on your wood for smoking.

Hope this helps a little! Big Grin
Last edited by wheelz
As many of you know, I just don't get it. I have been q'ing all my life and never heard the smoke ring mentioned until I stumbled across this forum soon after it began. I ain't knocking it or anyone pursuing it, just don't get how something tasteless can be so important to so many!

To each his own!

Originally posted by GLH:
... just don't get how something tasteless can be so important to so many! To each his own!

Actually it's not tasteless. If you get a good wide smoke ring, cut it off, it comes off with a "cured" taste (since that's what it is).

Remember, most people eat with their eyes first and MANY, TOO many, grew up saying "well, look at that pretty smoke ring, that must be good barbecue". I certainly heard that ever since I did briskets in the 60's.

But you're right, to each his own.

For those that need visible help, we're here.

Ive used lump and have never had a smoke ring. I guess I need to try the Kingsford stuff.

I know the smoke ring isnt as important as the texture and flavor of the meat, but I do like how it looks when entertaining. Its kinda like a garnish or something like that. I would really like to see it on my ribs. To me this whole smoking thing is a hobby. Trying new stuff or perfecting techniques just adds to the fun.

Funny story. We have a halloween party every year and one of the games we play involves about 1/2 dozen prepared foods. Each food is made to look like something halloweeny. All the kids are given tags with names on them and they have to match each dish with the name. Things like human brains (jello), goblin vomit (green punch) and so on. One year we made brownies and rolled them while still warm to look like piles of cat poop. These were laid in a tuperware container about the size of a cat litter box that was filled with crushed vanilla cookies, looking like the real deal. Most of the kids wouldnt eat those brownies. Even though a few did, most were grossed out by how it looked. I love brownies and vanilla cookies but admit that it even freaked me out a little to see someone pick one of those little turds up and pop it in their mouth!

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