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Charcoal Concerns and a Question ....

JimcamelJimcamel Posts: 3
edited January 2012 in EggHead Forum
I've owned my BGE for a year now ... it's my only cooker in Florida so I am kinda committed to it.  We use it almost every day.  At home I use a gas Weber and a Traeger ... but for here, it's all about the BGE and I really want to perfect my skills on it.

But I am still struggling with the charcoal issue.  I think I've settled on Royal Oak (orange bag..which I can get quite cheaply @ Walmart)...but I am still bugged by problems I have with BGE's product; I still have one un-opened bag left.  Each time I use IT my food tastes like soot/coal-oil.  I preheat, wait for the smoke to go away, (20-30 mins) set a temp - and each time it tastes awful.  I have NOT found this with the Royal Oak.  I have sifted both products to get rid of the coal dust; followed all the instructions I can to start (I use electric), I clean the ash area frequently, etc.  So - is there something I don't get ?  ...because the BGE product is supposed to be the best.  I got better results with Cowboy.  I mean if that's it, I can dump my last bag of BGE in next week's trash and just use the Royal Oak - but I am thinking there's still something fundamental I don't understand ... so I'd appreciate any feedback y'all might have to improve my fire skills.

thanks, jc

Jim Camelford My BGE is in Florida ... my other stuff is in Canada I love BBQ and learning about it And, oh yeah, I also do photography


  • GreenhawKGreenhawK Posts: 398
    If you are having good results with other brands of lump, and not the bge brand, I wonder if it got wet or contaminated is some other way.  The procedures should be the same no matter what brand you use.
    Large BGE Decatur, AL
  • tnbarbqtnbarbq Posts: 248
    I have had just the opposite issues.  I found scrap lumber in Cowboy and will never use it again.  Royal Oak makes BGE lump and many other brands as well.  I use Best Choice from the local IGA. RO makes it too.  Since you're letting the coals burn for a while, that struck down my theory.  Are you lifting the lid and peeking a lot?  That would stir up ash to an extent.  How much charcoal are you loading into the BGE?  If it is too high, maybe that's a cause.  Just throwing a couple of ideas out there.
    Mid TN. Hangin' in the 'Boro. MIM Judge
  • jscarfojscarfo Posts: 402
    ive been using the wicked weekend warrior an d happy with it
  • Did all the "bad" lump come from the same vendor?
    My actuary says I'm dead.
  • I posted this in another thread, but it might be useful here too:

    Cowboy has up until recently been mostly made from milling scrap.  I.E.
    flooring, molding, etc. which has been kiln dried and then shaped. 
    There is nothing wrong with this as a source for making charcoal. 
    Cowboy knows that they can't use woods with finish on it, or treated
    lumber scraps.  Cowboy had some unique qualities that made it quite
    attractive to me as one of several brands I chose to use.  In the last
    couple of years, the rumor has been that the building industry has been
    down and there is a lot less of the milling scrap available for use by
    Cowboy and thus they have taken to using wood like slabs from lumber
    mills like the Royal Oak does, for example.  I've had a couple of bags
    of the "new" Cowboy and it has been reasonably good, just mostly
    smallish pieces.  But it's ok to find millwork scrap in lump charcoal
    from Cowboy.  I've seldom if ever seen it in any other brands.
    The Naked Whiz
  • What he (Naked Whiz) said.  If a mill is cutting oak stock and using the end pieces for charcoal it's a good idea.  My concern is that a perfectly good bag of lump may have gone bad through who knows how and a vendor, cutting corners to survive, sold it as "good".  A lot of these vendors are living on the edge.  Caveat emptor.
    My actuary says I'm dead.
  • I always use Ozark Oak.  Love it.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    I like cowboy. I frankly liked the mill scraps. That stuff lit fast and had a neutral odor

    I'm smart enough to see they are not finished or construction debris, and couldnt helP but howl at the warnings offered by some

    Lately, it has all been very dense, inch to two inch caliper hardwood suspiciously dense like south american stuff. Also good

    There is no charcoal which doesn't cook well. I dont care what anyone says. Like women, they just have different personalities. But they all get hot if you know how to get them lit.

    Hand me a bag of whatever, and we are going to have dinner. Except briquettes, sure.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • FxLynchFxLynch Posts: 433
    edited January 2012
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    good to see you went back to the natural hair color
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • I was about to light up the egg, but lost my appitite.
  • jscarfojscarfo Posts: 402
    do you have her phone number.
  • jscarfojscarfo Posts: 402
    i think its a her
  • tnbarbqtnbarbq Posts: 248
    I think this is the girl who kick my rear in 5th grade.
    Mid TN. Hangin' in the 'Boro. MIM Judge
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,435
    I always use Ozark Oak.  Love it.
    I just bought 2 bags of Ozark Oak to see how it cooks since I keep seeing lots of good comments about it. 

    So far I don't see much difference from the USA made version of Royal Oak.  I have also used Wicked Good which is very expensive but superior quality. I save it for my low and slow cooks.  I had hoped to replace Wicked Good with Ozark Oak. 

    Prices around  here:
    Ozark Oak 10 lb $12 (at BBQ store - not available anywhere else except mail order)
    Wicked Good 22lb $24 (at BBQ store - not available anywhere else  except mail order)
    Royal Oak 10 lb $6.37 at Walmart
    Barry Lancaster, PA
  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    edited January 2012
    FWIW, Ozark Oak can be had for $11 a bag from and if you order $100, you get free FedEx Ground shipping.  I ordered 12 bags (I ordered when it was on sale for $9/bag) and all went well....
    The Naked Whiz
  • hornhonkhornhonk Posts: 3,841
    Do you plan on reviewing the Ozark Oak? Please? I'll dance at your next wedding.
  • Hornhonk, some day....

    The Naked Whiz
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,435
    FWIW, Ozark Oak can be had for $11 a bag from and if you order $100, you get free FedEx Ground shipping.  I ordered 12 bags (I ordered when it was on sale for $9/bag) and all went well....
    Is it really worth almost twice the price of Royal Oak at Walmart?  It looks about the same as Royal Oak and seems to be about as dense.  I haven't noticed any longer burn time or less ash build-up.  It has small  pieces mixed in with large stuff, but no where near as good as Wicked Good.

    Anyone have any opinions on the comparison?  Anyone know of a good bulk purchase of Wicked Good?
    Barry Lancaster, PA
  • reh111reh111 Posts: 176
    I've been getting the 20 lb bags of Mesquite lump at Sam's - brand is "Best of the West" - I'm really happy with it
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