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Kamado Joe Charcoal

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Has anyone found that the red bag kamado joe lump charcoal tends to impart an off flavour into food? I notice it with poultry especially as it absorbs flavours easily. 


I've been careful to let all the the VOCs burn off and always make sure my fire is burning hot and clean. I always have thin blue smoke before I cook yet I always end up with a bit of an unnatural chemical taste in the food. 


I've aused maple leaf and Basques sugar maple lump charcoals and they don't have any unnatural / chemical taste. 


Does anyone have similar experience with KJ lump? I've tried a few different bags over the last year and my experiences seems to be consistent. 




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I opened my first bag of kJ big block yesterday. I can say it preformed quite well. Lasted on a low n slow, no funky flavor,  also have had good luck with fogo, wegmans ( I think that is royal oak) and black diamonds. At the moment I would say fogo and kJ big block might be my all purpose favorite, but black diamond seems to heat up quite fast...so on an ordinary night with time constraints BD might be a more logical choice. 



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Charcoal will absorb VOC's and other process odors. If your batch was near bottom of the charcoal making it may have added "flavors". To combat this open the bag for 2-3 weeks before using and let it sit in a dry area. This will allow the VOC's to gas off. I keep 2-3 bags open all the time. When you first open a bag (lesser brands have more smell) you can get that odor & over the weeks that odor will dissipate.

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