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Royal Oak going down hill? (Yes....another Charcoal discussion)

pmckinney4pmckinney4 Posts: 17
edited September 2012 in EggHead Forum
Hello Everyone,

I live in northeast Ohio and picked up my large BGE this past march.   I have been loyally using Royal Oak Charcoal since then.   I usually pick it up at one of the local Walmart's.

My last 4-5 bags have been a lot of small crumbled pieces that burn quickly and cause a lot of ash.  This was not the case last spring when I got my BGE.  
I was in a pinch and picked up a bag of Cowboy last week while I was at lowes.   It has beautiful large pieces and seemed to burn much nicer than my recent Royal Oak.  I was pretty shocked by this.

I was wondering 2 thing:

1.) Is anybody else noticing a decrease in quality of Royal Oak?  A co-worker of mine that has the Chargriller Akorn has been using lump charcoal told me he has had the same issue with his last several bags of Royal Oak.    

2.) Any other brands I should be trying that are readily available in NE Ohio (Akron area) or readily available online with no to minimal shipping costs?
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Comments

  • I picked up some "Best of the West" at Sam's over the weekend, sorted 2- 40 lb bags and got a 20 gallon container full of big stuff. It is 100% Mesquite and really burns nice.
  • Wicked Good if you can find it.  You can always order it @ wickedgoodcharcoal.com. Really the best stuff out there, especially on long cooks. That stuff burns forever. 

     "Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great, Here's to "Down Home," the Old North State!"

    Med & XL

  • Does anyone know what makes good lump compared to bad lump? Apart from size of course but why would one piece of approx equal size to a diff brand burn longer or shorter? Is it mostly type of wood? The process of making lump, like over or under burning it?
    Boom
  • I live in northeast Ohio also and have had the same problem.  The last 2 bags of Royal Oak I used were slow to start and contained all small pieces.  I've switched to the Cleveland Charcoal Company and have had really good luck with it.  Same price and great charcoal.
  • I had some bad bags of Wicked Good (with what they charge it is a ripoff), so it happens.  If you order online, there are much better lump brands than Wicked Good like Ozark Oak and Dragons Breath at the same cost.

    Lately I have been using the 8.8 pound bags from Publix for $4.99 and they burn as long and as good as any bag of Wicked Good I ever used.

     

  • Solson005Solson005 Posts: 1,874
    +1 for the Ozark Oak my dealer threw in a bag when we got the LBGE and we haven't used anything else, yet..  And that was last October. 

    Large & Small BGE, CGW Two-Tier Swing Rack for BOTH EGGS, Spider for the Wok, eggCARTen & and Cedar Pergola my Eggs call home in Edmond, OK. 
  • I think I know what happened to your Royal Oak.  I live in Illinois, and have had almost all huge pieces.  Sound like you mix our two together and will be about right.  It does appear to go in cycles.  
  • I use Ozark oak, probably the best I have use especially for the money.  Used the Sams Club 100% Mesquite very good value and good for slow cooks, the last 2 bags have been alot of tiny pieces or huge pieces no in between.  Doesnt seem to get as hot as other brand, but very good value.   I am currently using RO all natural and been very happy.

  • I live in northeast Ohio also and have had the same problem.  The last 2 bags of Royal Oak I used were slow to start and contained all small pieces.  I've switched to the Cleveland Charcoal Company and have had really good luck with it.  Same price and great charcoal.
    Does the Cleveland Charcoal company only sell through their place in Cleveland or do they have resellers?  I don't want to drive downtown Cleveland from Akron just for charcoal, but I am all about trying a local product if it is accessible.   
  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,274
    Outside of raw supply, I think what tends to bad bags (small pieces) is from where in the production pile the bags are filled.  Bags filled from the bottom of the production pile have a better chance for small pieces, as small pieces can fall to the bottom easier.  Then, bags are probably palletized right after filling, so we have a better chance of getting a run of  small piece bags when these pallets shows up at the discount store.  

    Just my hunch, but I'd bet a cold beer on it......lol

    t     
    www.ceramicgrillstore.com
    ACGP, Inc.
  • I buy from Shines Bait & Tackle on E 55th, not sure where else you can buy it from.  Check the company website and see if they list retailers or have contact info for stores.  I fish on the lake often and just happened to notice it at the bait shop.  $14 for 20 lbs, $28 for 40 lbs. 
  • I live in Mansfield, OH. I bought a bag at Walmart and had the same issues as you did. Then bought 2 bags of Royal Oak at Menard's in the green/tan bag and it's really nice. Even a little cheaper. GFS has a 20lb. bag for $13.
  • I found the same issues from the bags i bought at wallyworld.  I bought bigger bags at restaurant depot.  The were much bigger piesces and much less dinero!

    "You are who you are when nobody is looking"

  • Another vote for Publix Greenwise.  Good, consistent lump for me.  And an even better deal when it occasionally drops to $4.99  Unfortunately Publix is a regional retailer and limited, I believe, to the southeastern US.

    Royal Oak is hit or miss from my Wal-Mart here in west Georgia.  Sometimes lots of large pieces, sometimes medium and small.  Sometimes lots of sparks, sometimes none.  True Cue is good stuff too.
  • ccpoulin1 said:
    I found the same issues from the bags i bought at wallyworld.  I bought bigger bags at restaurant depot.  The were much bigger piesces and much less dinero!
    This...look for the bigger bags.
    Sarasota, FL via Boynton Beach, FL, via Sarasota, FL, via Charleston, SC, via The Outer Banks, via God's Country (East TN on Ft. Loudon Lake)
  • I have ran into the same in my last four bags. Many small pieces and a few chunks of concrete. I will be trying out a new brand
  • I had started thinking that RO was burning pretty fast here lately.  So I have started ordering Wicked Good online at Ace Hardware and have it delivered for free to my local Ace Hardware store.  Not a problem yet with Wicked Good.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Welcome to the Swamp.....GO GATORS!!!!
  • Hoppy & HoppetteHoppy & Hoppette Posts: 38
    edited September 2012

    I have been using Cowboy brand for years, and the price was getting pretty high.

    I bought a 35 # bag of Frontier brand at BJ's a couple weeks ago for $19.95 a bag and have done three burns on this stuff. Nice big chunks with a slow burn and very little ash after the burns.

    This stuff has been great for me.

  • Royal Oak seems to the only lump I can get to cook through an eight hour butt without running out regardless of how much lump I fill the firebox with. Yes, I use all fresh. Never had that issue with cowboy or BGE lump.
  • I had a lot of plastic confetti like strands in my last bag of Cowboy.  Since I'm a dump & light kind of guy and not a sorter, that was a little disconcerting.  Nothing like burning plastic to flavor your meal.  Anyway, I just got my first bags of WW and my inner pyro is amazed and very happy.  They burn hot and for a long time!  Much better performance than I got with RO or Cowboy. 

    ........................................................................................

    Flint, Michigan.  Named the most dangerous city in America by the F.B.I. three years running.

  • Well...a lot the brands listed don't seem available in this area. I did email cusT service at a couple places to see if there r local retailers. I was at a grocery and came across a bag of Woodstock for $6.69 for a 8.8 pound bag. Don't know if it is any good. I didn't see it in the lump database. Hopefully I can check it out this weekend.
  • dtun1dtun1 Posts: 32
    I've been using both Royal Oak & BGE lump & I really can't see any difference between them other than cost. I see no difference when low & slow or hot & fast.  Royal Oak costs a little less but not enought to really matter. Good & bad bags from both.
  • Hi54puttyHi54putty Posts: 1,460
    The lump experts on here claim RO and BGE lump are identical. It seems that they are to me. RO is just less expensive.

    I prefer WG and RO as a backup.
  • TjcoleyTjcoley Posts: 3,184
    I've had a couple bags of Wicked Good lately that had a couple of pieces that sparked a lot and had a chemical smell until burned up. Took a lot longer to get to the 'smoke smells good' stage. In looking more closely, there seem to be a couple of really shiny pieces in the bags. No sure if those are the culprit or not.
    __________________________________________
    It's not a science, it's an art. And it's flawed.
    - Camp Hill, PA
  • royal oak blows....plain and simple. I haven't been too thrilled with BGE lump either, and I get it for free.   Hands down the best lump is wicked good weekend warrior. Nice big dense pieces, with enough little ones to fill in the gaps. Takes longer to light. But burns much hotter and cleaner and lasts longer.
  • Hmm.....looks like Wicked good doesn't have dealers in Ohio on their website.   I wonder if I can have shipped to the Ace 2 towns over.  I'll have to check it out.
    I had started thinking that RO was burning pretty fast here lately.  So I have started ordering Wicked Good online at Ace Hardware and have it delivered for free to my local Ace Hardware store.  Not a problem yet with Wicked Good.

  • gte1gte1 Posts: 375
    edited September 2012
    Hmm.....looks like Wicked good doesn't have dealers in Ohio on their website.   I wonder if I can have shipped to the Ace 2 towns over.  I'll have to check it out.
    I had started thinking that RO was burning pretty fast here lately.  So I have started ordering Wicked Good online at Ace Hardware and have it delivered for free to my local Ace Hardware store.  Not a problem yet with Wicked Good.

    As long as the distributor has it they should ship to any Ace. I really like this stuff, but if I got BGE for free that would be the one for me! Oops quoted the wrong post. Did I say I would love free BGE
    George
  • robnybbqrobnybbq Posts: 1,615
    My last two bags of RO are all tiny pieces (Got these at Walmart).  The RO bags I got form another store were fine.

    Wonder if the big box stores are getting the cheap leftover RO

    _______________________________________________________________
    LBGE, Adjustable Rig, Spider, High-Que grate, maverick ET-732, Thermapen,


    Garnerville, NY
  • I have been using Cowboy brand for years, and the price was getting pretty high.

    I bought a 35 # bag of Frontier brand at BJ's a couple weeks ago for $19.95 a bag and have done three burns on this stuff. Nice big chunks with a slow burn and very little ash after the burns.

    This stuff has been great for me.

    I bought a bag of this stuff as well. Not bad for $20! I think it does produce quite a bit of ash, but my last bag was Wicked Good WW. Still 35 lbs. for $20 is hard to beat.
    Sarasota, FL via Boynton Beach, FL, via Sarasota, FL, via Charleston, SC, via The Outer Banks, via God's Country (East TN on Ft. Loudon Lake)
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 9,765

    robnybbq said:
    My last two bags of RO are all tiny pieces (Got these at Walmart).  The RO bags I got form another store were fine.

    Wonder if the big box stores are getting the cheap leftover RO
    I have experienced the same thing. The RO I get from Wegman's(store-branded) is much better than the RO my Dad purchased at Walmart.
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