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What charcoal to use? New user

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I don't know if you have a Kroger near you, but I was on a time crunch and drove to one right up the street vs 15 minutes to Home Depot and back for Royal Oak and I was pleasantly surprised with their Kroger brand lump.  I may have just gotten lucky, but over half the bag was nice sized chunks.  I didn't have to sift through to find them.  I did a beer chicken and it turned out great with no funny flavor.  I always find the briquettes to give it a flavor I don't care for and will never use them in my Akorn.

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I have used a few different types but have come to like the Royal Oak that comes in the green bag. I think RO has more than one type of lump to choose from so make sure you get the stuff in the green bag. I have read elsewhere that the RO is who Big Green Egg has produce theirs but theirs is about three times the money. 

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I don't know if it still is but kroger along with quite a few store brands is Royal Oak. Also charcoal briquettes are made from the fines left over after the lump is packaged plus charred sawdust, coal dust and a binder. The stuff doesn't have a whole bunch of charcoal in it. This is a pretty good article  http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/cooking-tips/article/everything-you-need-to-know-about-charcoal-from-briquettes-to-binchotan

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I am another lump believer. I just don't like the flavor, or the ash, that comes with briquettes. My favorite is Kamado Joe lump but it's fairly expensive for me, as I have to order it online from Ace because no one carries it locally.  The other lump I use is Royal Oak in the red bag.The KJ is much denser and burns hotter than the RO and also usually has larger pieces. I normally use a 50/50 blend of RO and KJ  for most of my cooks. I get the best bang for the buck with this blend.  My main complaint with RO is the small pieces. I have never seen RO in a green bag everything around me is always red bags.

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I have tried several different brands and I keep going back to Cowboy lump.

 

What do you like about it? What makes on charcoal better than another. 

 

I would rather shop at my local hardware store instead of the big store but they only carry the Cowboy Lump. The reviews on Amazon for Cowboy lump are not good at all. I have only used Royal Oak so far and really don't know what makes charcoal good.

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I have tried several different brands and I keep going back to Cowboy lump.

 

What do you like about it? What makes on charcoal better than another. 

 

I would rather shop at my local hardware store instead of the big store but they only carry the Cowboy Lump. The reviews on Amazon for Cowboy lump are not good at all. I have only used Royal Oak so far and really don't know what makes charcoal good.

 

There is a Kamado Joe roadshow at the Overton Ridge Blvd. costco in Ft. Worth as we speak. Two 22lb bags of KJ lump for 29.95. The stuff is premium.---Ken

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I've been using Frontier lump, just because of the price. The last bag I got was a 35 lb band for $17.99. Like $.50 a pound.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I've always assumed that charcoal gives you the clean heat, and the wood you use gives it the flavor.

As long is what you are using burns well (and clean), use it.

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I really like the kamado joe charcoal. A lot of big chunks of coal. And is only a few dollars more than the royal oak and the kamado joe charcoal seems to last longer.

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Problem is those big chunks are difficult to light and slow to get going.  You should not have to use starter cubes with a torch.

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