We believe using a charcoal chimney is the best way to light charcoal. It requires no lighter fluid, and will allow you to keep your fire a 100% natural experience. Please see lighting instructions on the back of the bag, for more information.
Lump charcoal is very sensitive to airflow and venting. Typically it is ready to be cooked over within 15 minutes and will stay hot up to an hour. Since it burns more quickly than briquets, additional charcoal can be added to the fire at any stage to prolong the fire. Results may vary given grilling conditions and equipment.
Briquet charcoal should have airflow and venting to burn properly. It is usually ready for cooking within 30 minutes and will stay hot up to an hour. Results may vary given grilling conditions and equipment.
Please store it in a cool, dry location and seal the bag after each use, or store in a closable container.
Close the lid of the smoker or grill and then close all the air vents and/or draft vents. The fire should extinguish completely within 48 hours. Please don’t dispose of the ash until you are certain it is completely cooled and extinguished. You can reuse the remaining charcoal the next time you grill or barbecue.
If you need to extinguish the fire quickly, sand is a good choice. If a grease fire flares up, use a class B, ABC or K fire extinguisher. If that doesn’t get results, then clear the area and call the fire department.
Water is not recommended, because large amounts can crack or damage your grill, and may also create copious amounts of steam that pose a burn hazard. If you must use water, wear protective gloves and safety glasses, and cautiously pour small amounts on top of the coals.
Never leave a fire unattended.
Chips tend to burn faster than chunks, so they’re perfect for shorter barbecue times, and add a delicate, smoky flavor to your food.
Chips can be used wet or dry.
Wet: Soak several handfuls of chips in water for 30 minutes. Spread drained chips either directly on ready charcoal or, for slower cooking, put chips along the edge of the fire. Add chips every 15 minutes for a heavier smoke flavor.
Dry: Place dry chips close to the fire, allowing the wood to smolder. This method produces a sweeter smoke, however, keep a water bottle available to control flare ups.
(Please read your gas grill manual for more detailed information)
Unlike chips, chunks burn slowly, providing steady smoke for longer cook times and a more robust smoky flavor. Different types of wood can impart unique smoky flavors to the food.
You can use wood chunks as a smoking product. The wood block is typically burned with charcoal. Some BBQ chefs prefer to nest 1-3 presoaked wood pieces around the fire so it can burn and smolder; others prefer to layer the wood chunks with briquets. Either way can provide a rich, smoky flavor to your food.
Wood chunks are gaining popularity as a primary fuel source. You can use them instead of charcoal. Place wood chunks in a pyramid, set afire, and let them burn down to coals. You’ve effectively produced your own lump charcoal with this method. This is a bit of a tricky and lengthy maneuver, and is usually done by BBQ aficionados. Note: if the wood is not thoroughly burned, the fire can give food a heavy smoke taste.
Use Smokin’ Cups to add a delicate, smoky flavor to your grilled foods. You can choose from hickory, mesquite and apple flavorings for your food.
See also: What chip/chunk flavor pairs best with which food?
Smokin’ Cups can be used in a charcoal or gas grill, and provide about 30 minutes of smoke to add flavor to your meal. Simply peel off the vent sticker to expose the hole, so the smoke will be able to escape during cooking. Place the smokin’ cup in your preheated gas grill, or in your charcoal grill as soon as the charcoal has ashed over. Replace grate and start grilling.
While taste is a very subjective thing, we generally recommend the following pairings:
You can use Cowboy products in all types of outdoor cooking appliances, including basic open grills, classic kettle style barbecues, barrel grills & smokers, and kamado-style ceramic cookers.
All these appliances allow for multi-purpose grilling, including direct grilling, indirect grilling, and smoking, but each type helps you control cooking temperatures in different ways:
Kettle grills:, such as the Weber grill, include a lid that has multiple adjustable vents to help you control cooking temperatures, for quick searing of smaller cuts of meat, to lengthier indirect/direct grilling of larger cuts.
Smokers:, such as the barrel grill, are perfect for just that — smoking flavorful cuts of meat. Smoking methods involve indirect grilling with low to moderate temperatures over a longer period of time, using the smoke from charcoal, wood chips and/or chunks to infuse foods with a deep, smoky flavor.
Kamado-style ceramic cookers, such as the Big Green Egg, are optimal for high-heat roasting, grilling and smoking. With a deep egg shape and thick, ceramic walls, the heat from the coals radiates off the walls, resulting in a cooker that can maintain low temperatures for a long amount of time.
All of our products are HEAT TREATED. This means that all of our wood is artificially dried. This lowers the moisture content to an average of 18% to 22%.
Consistency: By drying all of our wood, our customers get the same, consistent product from one bag to another. This is important to help you achieve the same results every time you cook.
Safety: Heat treating also gets rid of anything in the wood without the use of chemicals. This reduces the possibility of infestation and prevents mold.
All of our wood is heat treated in accordance with and beyond the USDA Protocol T-314-c. Heat treated to a minimum interior temperature of 71˚ C for 75 minutes.
With Cowboy Charcoal, you get a consistent product that is completely natural.
Certification: All of our wood is heat treated in accordance with and beyond the USDA Protocol T-314-c. “Heat treated to a minimum interior temperature of 71˚ C for 75 minutes”, and in accordance with Florida Rule 5B-65 (Section 581.031 F.S./Chapter 5B-65, F.A.C.), under Florida Master Permit #FLWP2013-06 and under Texas Compliance Agreements TDA-271 & TDA 297.