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53 minutes ago, tfunge said:

Same here i just bought 2 bags of Royal Oak  in HD  very small prices! Very disappointed after all good reviews! 

Yep, and welcome to our little corner of the world.

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I finally sucked it up and tossed that bag of Royal Oak, I couldn't even keep it contained in my charcoal basket it was so small, write it off as a loss and a lesson!

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Something has happened with R.O. over the past couple of years.  I used to get it at HD ($12.97 for 20 lbs) and it was generally pretty OK.  But then it was a lot of dust and small pieces.  I moved on.  

 

Jealous Devil, Fogo and Harder Charcoal (apparently from Brazil) have been my go to for a while.  Was able to get Harder Charcoal on Amazon for $39.99 (33 lb).  Price recently went up so I have some Jealous Devil coming Friday.  Never had a bad bag with any of those 3.  For those of you with a Kroger nearby - I've had good luck with Simple Truth lump.  It comes in 8 lb bags (I think) and works well in a pinch.  Obviously a bit more pricey for a small bag but again it's pretty decent stuff if you need it.

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So an update.. was running short on charcoal so the wife grabbed me another bag of the Walmart "Expert Grill" lump charcoal. I was scared that without groping the bag and checking it out first it would be disappointing like the RO charcoal. To my surprise its another bag looks like of good sized lumps, I opened it and had a look (see pics) and also groped the bag further down and it all seems good again. The first bag burned very well and had large chunks all the way to the bottom, I'm hoping this does as well, especially for a 30 pound bag priced at $14.99 US.

 

 

IMG_5988.JPG

IMG_5989.JPG

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On 7/10/2021 at 12:57 PM, jark87 said:

After reading so many positive posts (here and other sites) about Royal Oak, I decided to try and save a few bucks and bought some from WalMart. Needless to say, I’ll be placing an order for Jealous Devil today. No large pieces in the Royal Oak bag and only a few medium chunks. Very disappointing. You get what you pay for, I guess.

 

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It's perfectly good charcoal.  I'd cook with that.  And I would have zero problems with it.

 

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18 minutes ago, John Setzler said:

 

It's perfectly good charcoal.  I'd cook with that.  And I would have zero problems with it.

 

I'm limited to what they carry around here and so far its at the top of my list.

 

It looks like cheap cheesy wallyworld stuff... but I like it. 

 

You should give it a try..

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57 minutes ago, John Setzler said:

 

It's perfectly good charcoal.  I'd cook with that.  And I would have zero problems with it.

 

I’m going to give it a try. I’m mixing it with the Jealous Devil that I got. I’ve found that I get a cleaner burn from the large chunks, but I’m not going to toss the RO.

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15 hours ago, John Setzler said:

 

It's perfectly good charcoal.  I'd cook with that.  And I would have zero problems with it.

 

Well you would have problems with it if it was all so small it dropped through the charcoal basket like mine did.

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10 hours ago, A.O. said:

Well you would have problems with it if it was all so small it dropped through the charcoal basket like mine did.

 

 A little bit of it may drop through but it's still gonna burn and make heat if it does.

 

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On 7/15/2021 at 1:48 PM, A.O. said:

So an update.. was running short on charcoal so the wife grabbed me another bag of the Walmart "Expert Grill" lump charcoal. I was scared that without groping the bag and checking it out first it would be disappointing like the RO charcoal. To my surprise its another bag looks like of good sized lumps, I opened it and had a look (see pics) and also groped the bag further down and it all seems good again. The first bag burned very well and had large chunks all the way to the bottom, I'm hoping this does as well, especially for a 30 pound bag priced at $14.99 US.

 

 

IMG_5988.JPG

 

I've been using RO with no issues for last couple of years but could not find any on my last shopping trip. Ran across the expert grill brand and took a chance. Like you, was very happy with the product and now on my second bag. I would have absolutely no issue buying again or recommending to anyone.

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My friend has been using Royal Oak for a while and is switching. Said last several bags have been chips and dust. I pretty much just use B&B and it works well for me. In fact I generally have to break up a number of pieces each bag to fit in my grills. 

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I am with John,  I cook with small charcoal like that all the time because a large number of bags of charcoal across a number of brands look or end up looking like  the smaller pieces in your second picture. It is usually the stuff toward the bottom of the bag. The amount of really small pieces is probably, in some part, due to how the long the bag has been on the market and how many times it has been moved or stacked in transit or in  the store you purchase it from.  When I get bags like that,  I just put some bigger pieces on the bottom of my charcoal basket and pile the small  stuff on top. Works great.  Royal Oak is my main charcoal, and I find it pretty consistent and a good burn. However,  I often buy bags of Fogo or Jealous devil and mix them together the royal oak. Even Fogo and Jealous Devil can have some small pieces, probably again from the way they have been handled.  When I use KJ Big Block, which is oversize large,  I actually use a small camp hatchet to chop it into smaller pieces. When it comes to lump charcoal  as long as it burns nice and smells good,  I like it. Now Cowboy charcoal has been a different story for me, because for some reason it seems to produce an overabundance of sooty carbon dust that sticks to all my ceramic components including the kettle and the dome and even my grate, and probably what I am cooking.  Because of that, cowboy is really the only charcoal brand I actively avoid using. 

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