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Lump Charcoal

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19 hours ago, HeavyG said:

@psych - for folks not looking to gain a more smokey taste from the charcoal itself I suggest you look at Rockwood. It is probably the most neutral "flavor" of charcoal available. It is more neutral (less smokey) because it is fired to a higher degree of carbonization than other brands. That means there are lesser amounts of the volatile organic compounds to burn off while cooking.

 

It used to have somewhat limited regional availability but it is now available nationwide thru Ace Hardware stores.  It may also be carried by independent stores and you can check their website for dealers nearby. If there are no Ace Hardware stores in your area you can order it from their website.

 

Great tip! Looked at their website and like what I see. I'll order some tonight.

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On 1/1/2019 at 9:11 PM, psych said:

I've used KJ Big Block, Royal Oak, and Fogo black and have yellow bag on standby. IMO, KJ Big Block is too big for the classic joe unless I mix it and some smaller chunks from another bag. I'm afraid Fogo yellow will be the same size chunks. Right now Fogo black bag and RO are my go to''s.

 

While we're on the topic, can someone share their experiences with "Jealous Devil" lump. I liked what they had to say about sustainability on their website and may give it a go. In particular, my wife is sensitive to a heavy smoke/charcoal flavor so I'm interested in opinions on that. 

I've been using Jealous Devil for the past 6-7 months. Love it. Was using Fogo (green bag) prior to that, and the JD lumps seem to be consistently bigger than what I was getting in the green Fogo bag.

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I dont know if any of you have had this experience but i used the primo bag that i got with my grill for Christmas and i have found ROCKS in it...

 

not a boatload, but enough to make me wonder if theyre scooping up using a skid-steer on the yard...

 

i bought some wally world stuff... as i was down to the crumbs in my other bag... i like the big pieces more than the marbles... they seem to want to clog my vent hole(s)

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44 minutes ago, TexasBlues said:

I dont know if any of you have had this experience but i used the primo bag that i got with my grill for Christmas and i have found ROCKS in it...not a boatload, but enough to make me wonder if theyre scooping up using a skid-steer on the yard...

 

The rocks might be mortar from the retorts where the charcoal is prepared. KJ, for example, sources their charcoal from Argentina and the openings to the retorts are sealed with brick and fresh mortar. The rocks might also be older mortar used to build the retort.   

 

Oven.jpg

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Working on my second bag of Fogo since I found it last summer.  Love it.  Really large chunks make it even easier to keep it down low.. Expensive as heck, but really good.

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1 hour ago, JeffieBoy said:

Working on my second bag of Fogo since I found it last summer.  Love it.  Really large chunks make it even easier to keep it down low.. Expensive as heck, but really good.

 

Yellow or black bag?

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I've had real bad luck with Royal Oak lately. Not sure if it's just the way the Home Depot near me has been handling them but seems like over 50% of the bags I get are nothing but small pieces. The latest bag was the worst yet. Almost the whole bag was small pieces. like 1 to 2 inch pieces. Maybe they drop it onto the truck out of a third story window or something???  They sell it for $9.99 for a 15 pound bag but 15 pounds of not good is a bummer. 

 

I know there's been mixed reviews on Cowboy but all the Cowboy lump I've bought lately has been great. A lot of nice large chunks. Super long and consistent burn times with very little ash. Haven't had experience with earlier incarnations but every bag I've bought within the last half year has been nice and consistent. Smoked a pork butt for around 12 hours and there was still a ton of charcoal left (like 2 thirds). Held temp rock steady too. Not sure if they've upped their game or just some really good batches going out for whatever reason but so far so good.

 

Also tried some American Frontier (the one that got good reviews on Naked Whiz). It was pretty decent but the Cowboy was much better. 

 

There's a company out here called Lazarus that you see everywhere but it's mesquite. Nothing against mesquite but a little intense for longer cooks.

 

I think I'll order some of that Kamado Joe Big Block and see how I like it. It's real pricey though. Looks like $30 for a 20 pound bag is the going rate. Anyone know if there's a way to get it a bit cheaper online somewhere?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, helliger said:

I've had real bad luck with Royal Oak lately. Not sure if it's just the way the Home Depot near me has been handling them but seems like over 50% of the bags I get are nothing but small pieces. The latest bag was the worst yet. Almost the whole bag was small pieces. like 1 to 2 inch pieces. Maybe they drop it onto the truck out of a third story window or something???  They sell it for $9.99 for a 15 pound bag but 15 pounds of not good is a bummer. 

 

My experience has been similar.  Based on what you're seeing, I am going to try the Cowboy next.

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14 minutes ago, Keebler said:

 

My experience has been similar.  Based on what you're seeing, I am going to try the Cowboy next.

 

 

Let me know what you think. Curious if it's just the batches that are ending up where I live or if they've upped their game. I've read a lot of people saying excessive ash, short burn time etc but those all seem to be older reviews.  I've had the complete opposite experience but have only been buying it within the last 5 months or so.

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On 2/5/2019 at 8:25 AM, helliger said:

I think I'll order some of that Kamado Joe Big Block and see how I like it. It's real pricey though. Looks like $30 for a 20 pound bag is the going rate. Anyone know if there's a way to get it a bit cheaper online somewhere?

 

I get a few bags at the Costco road show whenever it comes around. About $20 for a 30 lb bag. It works out to be a few cents cheaper per pound than full priced Royal Oak.

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