"...I'm very interested in experimenting with cooking over an open pit. I've already completely transitioned back to charcoal. As a matter of fact, I meant to buy more today, but it slipped my mind. I'll be back to visit before the weekend to pick some up! I switched my Buddy over to Black Wood as well. I use about half as much as when I was using Cowboy and Kingsford."
I am no expert but here are my thoughts.
I had a chance to give that sample you sent a test run.
I used a Kamado Joe Classic for the test and did up a 1.5 lb Prime top sirloin for a steak salad.
I am comparing Black Wood to what I normally use, Kamado Joe Big Block and Royal Oak lump.
KJ Big block is a very dense, heavy lump and has very large pieces. Because of the density it’s harder to light and takes longer to come up to temp. Good for a long, low & slow cook. I have seen where others have noted an off-taste to the food at times using the KJ lump. I agree, almost adds a slight acidity to the taste. KJ $24.99 for a 20lb bag.
Royal Oak is a light density lump, medium to small size pieces with the occasional large piece. I have found junk in the bag like a pieces of insulation, rocks, wood not fully carbonized and a questionable piece of wood or two. It lights pretty quick but sparks a bit and does put off the white smoke when first lit. RO $10. For a 16.6 lb bag at Wally World.
Black Wood lump first impression- good medium size pieces in the sample. I would call it a medium density lump.
I lit it with one small fire lighting square in the middle of the firebox. I wanted to see how it would light and spread. Upon light up I did not notice any sparking and no visible white smoke.
Approx. 20 minutes in I was at 300 degree dome temp.
25 minutes in I was at 500 degree dome temp.
30 minutes In I’m at 650 and closed the vents down to 1/3 open to lower the temp for a slower cook.
The steak tasted great, no off taste and was perfect for our liking.
For the first run I would say I am very impressed. I have ordered a few more 10 lb. sample bags. I’ll give Black Wood another spin as well as get a bag into the hands of a couple of our customers to see what they think.
As they say, that’s my .02!
Godfrey & Black- Rogers
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