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Here are the results of my charcoal testing:


Longevity Testing:


My longevity testing was set up by weighing out 2lbs of charcoal into a small charcoal basket.  I put that in my Kamado Joe Classic 3 grill.  I used a propane torch to light the top of the basket for 45 seconds.  I installed the heat deflectors, grill grates, and closed the dome lid.  I opened the top vent to the first mark.  I used the FireBoard 2 Drive to run the grill at 300°F with the fan set to run at no more than 20% of it's maximum capacity.  The times I measured were the times it took for the grill to hit 300°F and then how long it stayed at 300°F before it fell back down to 280°F. 

 
Max Temp Testing:
 

 

I measured and setup the grill with 2lbs of coal the same as before and lit the grill the same as before.  I opened the top vent FULLY and engaged the FireBoard 2 Drive fan to run continuously at 100% capacity.  I measured the time it took the charcoal to get to its maximum temperature and what that maximum temperature was.  


Here are links to my live FireBoard 2 Drive results of these tests.  These links contain some photos of the charcoal being tested:

 

Cowboy Charcoal Longevity Test: https://share.fireboard.io/4C0EE7
Cowboy Charcoal Max Temp Test: https://share.fireboard.io/47BFB2
FOGO Charcoal Regular Premium Longevity Test: https://share.fireboard.io/2F4196
Fogo Charcoal Regular Premium Max Temp Test: https://share.fireboard.io/682C94
Jealous Devil Longevity Test: https://share.fireboard.io/08AE59
Jealous Devil Max Temp Test: https://share.fireboard.io/629A92
Kamado Joe Big Block Longevity Test: https://share.fireboard.io/741FB4
Kamado Joe Big Block Max Temp Test: https://share.fireboard.io/B0342E
Rockwood Charcoal Longevity Test: https://share.fireboard.io/310C07
Rockwood Charcoal Max Temp Test: https://share.fireboard.io/059803
Royal Oak Charcoal Longevity Test: https://share.fireboard.io/253191
Royal Oak Charcoal Max Temp Test: https://share.fireboard.io/FFD01A

 

There are no photos included with the Kamado Joe links above because I was originally going to make this into a video and I used that charcoal in the video.


I paid full retail price for all the charcoals that were used in this test except for the Kamado Joe Big Block.  I was given a supply of Kamado Joe Big Block in the past that I have not extinguished yet.  


I tested each of these charcoals in equal circumstances to the best of my ability.  I am not offering any opinions on the results I measured.  The reason I decided to conduct these tests was to satisfy my own questions that arise when I hear someone say that their favorite charcoal burns hotter or longer than something else.  This testing also gave me the first hand experience I needed to determine which charcoal I will buy for myself in the future.


#ManCaveCharcoalTests

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Royal Oak (Canada) is certainly the least expensive here (not that you can find ANY charcoal here any more)...but it's never on my list to buy as it tastes like you've cooked your food over burning an old car tire.

 

It's not the same as the US RO.

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14 minutes ago, SmallBBQr said:

Royal Oak (Canada) is certainly the least expensive here (not that you can find ANY charcoal here any more)...but it's never on my list to buy as it tastes like you've cooked your food over burning an old car tire.

 

It's not the same as the US RO.

 

Apparently not because what I get here is one of the best in about every aspect I can compare.

 

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On 8/26/2020 at 3:59 PM, SmallBBQr said:

Royal Oak (Canada) is certainly the least expensive here (not that you can find ANY charcoal here any more)...but it's never on my list to buy as it tastes like you've cooked your food over burning an old car tire.

 

It's not the same as the US RO.

well my experience with RO from Home Depot, over half my bag was just tiny pieces. really unusable.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Quote

This testing also gave me the first hand experience I needed to determine which charcoal I will buy for myself in the future.

 

So, based on this extensive testing and experience ... if you're buying charcoal for yourself in the future, is Royal Oak the strongest contender?  

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2 hours ago, RedClayHound said:

 

So, based on this extensive testing and experience ... if you're buying charcoal for yourself in the future, is Royal Oak the strongest contender?  

 

I don't want to influence anyone's charcoal purchases by saying what I'll be buying.

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8 minutes ago, John Setzler said:

 

I don't want to influence anyone's charcoal purchases by saying what I'll be buying.

It's different if someone asks you, ain't it?  What if I ask, "What was the last 3 bags of charcoal you bought?"

John, you are our Guru!  We come here for your influence.

 

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Thank you John for sharing your data, and I'm glad RO did so well in your tests...because I have a ton of it in my garage. I am relatively new to kamado cooking but my research of multiple tests did indicate RO is one of the better values in charcoal and it is good to see new tests confirm this. B&B is another value brand I've read good reviews on and would be interested in seeing it in your testing.  

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