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Can someone explain this sudden smoke issue?

RRPRRP Posts: 21,579
Of late there has been a rush to damn Royal Oak for sake of some other brands. RO has been my go to lump for years but I also use Ozark Oak and an occasional Weekend Warrior. I have never had complaints about this sudden "smoke and high VOC issue". How can one brand have such a perceived problem over another brand? I mean I can understand if a wood from a foreign country might be used and it is sparky and bitter, but when lump is produced in the USA using USA wood and the lump making process is the same then how can one lump be smokey and the next not so, unless pre-conceived notions are running rampant? I even laugh when it is said BGE isn't smokey, but RO is when the lump is coming out of the same kiln, and just gets poured into different bags! This issue just baffles me!
L, M, S, Mini
Ron
Dunlap, IL
Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
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Comments

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817
    Without touching the Royal Oak vs BGE there could be a lot of factors that can contribute. I would think that the finished lump would go through some form of shaker or vibrator equipment to get rid of the ash. If it didn't lump would be white or grey. If it's not shaken as long there would be more dust.There is also the amount of time it spends in the reduced oxygen environment and how thoroughly carbonized it is. I would think the wood itself would have to be "seasoned" to eliminate some of the moisture content. Maybe some use "greener" wood than others. This is from someone who knows nothing about the production. Transportation and handling could affect the quality as well. I can tell you that Maple Leaf does not spit when I light it with a map torch and RO does like crazy. This even  though Maple Leaf comes from a foreign country. I would like to hear from St. Louis Charcoal on this though.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • SGHSGH Posts: 23,693
    @RRP

    I dont have the answer but the only thing i can think of is lump is produced by the ton. With such large loads if the wood is not stacked proper or over stacked I could see all the wood not being reduced properly. Only other thing if they are not monitoring loading and different woods are winding up in the batch. Just a thought. Maybe others can answer.

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.
    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit
    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 
  • LitLit Posts: 6,778
    Its a bunch of BS. At eggtoberfest for example all cooks use BGE charcoal and nobody has time to dump fresh lump and let an egg sit there 30 minutes. We stir the coals, load it, and 10-15 minutes later its being cooked on again and there's never any issues. I see people on here saying they wait 45 minutes to an hour to put food on. That's crazy to me. I have used RO on and off for at least 5 years and gone through an easy 1000-1500 pounds of it and never once had an issue and I'm usually cooking 20 minutes after lighting the egg. My only complaint about RO is sometimes there's alot of small pieces but that's very rare if you are getting the 18 pound bags.
  • johnkitchensjohnkitchens Posts: 5,023
    I have never had to add more lump during a cook, I have never done a low and slow, but I have made the mistake more than once when I first got my egg of putting my food on too quick and not letting the VOC's burn off. 

    I was using the BGE lump at the time. I think the people that wait 30 to 45 minutes are doing so because they have ruined their cooks before by putting it on too soon. 


    Louisville, GA - 2 Large BGE's
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 10,112
    Is all RO made in the US? I thought it came from different countries. I'm pretty sure I remember bags made in Paraguay from some time ago.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • GeorgeSGeorgeS Posts: 955
    I'm not sure about Royal Oak but I felt the same way about Cowboy brand. When I first bought the egg I bought it from the Dizzy Pig Store and purchased a demo egg for the DizzyFest so I had to wait a few weeks to get it. My wife and I were shopping in Lowes and they had Cowboy brand on sale at $10.99 a bad for 20lbs. I bought ten bags and now I wish I bought a whole pallet. I messed up my first few cooks by going on the grill to soon but after a class at the Dizzy Pig store I realized I needed to pay attention to the smoke more. No more issues, it takes about 20-30 minutes for me to be comfortable that I'm not about to screw up my food. I started a thread shortly after joining the group about lump because I was really confused about people saying how bad the Cowboy brand was. I really thought I must have been missing something but a lot of very kind folks told me not to rock the boat if what I had was working for me.
    Bristow Virginia XL&Mini One of the best feelings in life is watching other people enjoy the food I cooked!
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,579
    edited March 2014
    caliking said:
    Is all RO made in the US? I thought it came from different countries. I'm pretty sure I remember bags made in Paraguay from some time ago.

    It has been my personal experience that Royal Oak packages state that they are a product of the US when it is, but when a foreign grown wood it also so states. I remember buying some from Paraguay and it was stinky sparky junk. I cleaned out my egg and threw the rest of that lump in the trash.
    L, M, S, Mini
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • gmacgmac Posts: 1,655
    Can someone go one step further and explain VOCs?  I understand volatile organic compounds, what I don't understand is what flavour they supposedly impart etc.  I light the egg and put the food on fairly quickly and when I'm doing a low and slow, I know that not all the charcoal is burning at the start or even likely fairly long into the cook.  I don't seem to detect any issues or off flavour or anything.  
    Shouldn't there be detectable issue with a low and slow if this was the case?  
    Mt Elgin Ontario - just a Large.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817
    edited March 2014
    RRP said:
    caliking said:
    Is all RO made in the US? I thought it came from different countries. I'm pretty sure I remember bags made in Paraguay from some time ago.

    It has been my personal experience that Royal Oak packages state that they are a product of the US when it is, but when a foreign grown wood it also so states. I remember buying some from Paraguay and it was stinky sparky junk. I cleaned out my egg and threw the rest of that lump in the trash.
    I'm with you Ron...I hate foreign stuff!

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • AcornAcorn Posts: 163
    I have Royal Oak and BGE in the garage, I have read on here for months that they are the same but they burn different for me. I have no issue with either however its a spark show for about 10 minuets with RO. The BGE brand does no do that. The pieces look very similar but the two products act different.

    Atlanta, GA  - LBGE -
  • AcornAcorn Posts: 163
    RRP, thanks for posting the Varsity Chili recipe not long ago. I'm from Atlanta and enjoy going over once a month or so and loading up. Since you re-posted the directions I have made it 3 times, its spot on. I even found top cut hot dog buns at Publix.
    Atlanta, GA  - LBGE -
  • TerrebanditTerrebandit Posts: 1,699
    It's overblown. In fact, I think it's a NON-issue. I'd consider hoarding the stuff if I thought the world was coming to an end. :))
    Dave - Austin, TX
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,579
    Acorn said:
    RRP, thanks for posting the Varsity Chili recipe not long ago. I'm from Atlanta and enjoy going over once a month or so and loading up. Since you re-posted the directions I have made it 3 times, its spot on. I even found top cut hot dog buns at Publix.

    You're welcome and your post really makes me happy! Confirmation of the closeness of a knockoff recipe to the real thing is great!
    L, M, S, Mini
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • jhl192jhl192 Posts: 1,006
    The only lump I had a bad experience with was Cowboy and that was BAD! That being said, I think Rockwood is noticeably better in several ways than the other decent lumps I have used.
    XL BGE; Medium BGE; L BGE 
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,579

    I'm with you Ron...I hate foreign stuff!
    I get the pimp, Steven, but I believe you know what I meant! BTW Happy March...only 4 more months until warm weather, huh? LOL
    L, M, S, Mini
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • Hungry JoeHungry Joe Posts: 1,465

    I had a bad run of RO but the last two batches I bought from restaurant depot has been pretty good. Last fall I threw out at least 2 bags after I cooked with it in my egg. These where the 8 pound bags from walmart. Over an hour and still to much smoke, one cook I abandoned and moved over to my second egg because I didn't want to ruin dinner. These were 400 degree cooks so I know it should have cleared up but an hour later it was still bad. I still have a few of those bags that I skipped over in favor of the larger bags and some Rockwood that I was trying out but I will eventually give them another try.

    FWIW I always had decent luck with RO for the most part in the past.

  • minniemohminniemoh Posts: 2,080
    Here's my theory: just because RO and BGE are made by the same company doesn't mean that they are made to the exact same quality standards or even in the same kilns. It could be that they are made in different batches and some are not "baked" quite as long and yield higher weight product that hasn't fully carbonized. This higher weight lump puts off more smoke since it hasn't been fully converted to carbon. I'm no expert... just my theory.

    I used to think lump was lump and sometimes you get good bags and sometimes you don't. While I haven't been egging for decades like many folks on here, I have found that I do prefer some charcoal brands over others. 

    At the end of the day, it's just HEAT & MEAT! I'll just leave it at that. 
    L x2, M, S, Mini and a Blackstone 36. She says I have enough now....
    eggAddict from MN!
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,579
    Thanks all...but theory and opinions stated so far have just been that. Like Steven said very early on wouldn't it be nice to hear from a producer to tell us more? It just seems strange to me that after 14 years of happily using RO lump that this whole issue has become such a problem never noticed by others before.
    L, M, S, Mini
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • For what it's worth I have never had to wait much for voc's...I light my egg with the top open for about 8 min in my chimney...dump it in the with the rest and shoot for target temps...by then the bad smoke is usually gone...i use ro almost exclusively. ..I never have any trouble.. nothing against anyone else who uses other stuff...if Rockwood or OO was in my area I would give them a shot but RO us close by and has done the job up to this point.
    Making the neighbors jealous in Pleasant Hill, Ia one cook at a time...
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,305
    i dont have a ro source right now but cowboy sometimes has smoke issues, occassionally find an unburnt branch in there. pretty easy to see it and pick it out before lighting.
  • zosobao5150zosobao5150 Posts: 133
    Is your statement of BGE and RO coming out of the same kiln a theory or  a fact?  I am not trying to be smart, just trying understand.

    "I even laugh when it is said BGE isn't smokey, but RO is when the lump is coming out of the same kiln, and just gets poured into different bags! This issue just baffles me!"
    RRP said:
    Thanks all...but theory and opinions stated so far have just been that. Like Steven said very early on wouldn't it be nice to hear from a producer to tell us more? It just seems strange to me that after 14 years of happily using RO lump that this whole issue has become such a problem never noticed by others before.

    XL BGE
  • mimaulermimauler Posts: 136
    I agree completely with "Lit" up above.  I've never waited for an hour to put my meat on.  I have never used anything other than Royal Oak once and awhile I've used BGE.  They just started selling the larger sized bags at Home Depot where I'm at and I'm happy on that.  20 minute wait and that's it for me. 
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,579
    Is your statement of BGE and RO coming out of the same kiln a theory or  a fact?  I am not trying to be smart, just trying understand.



    Well let's see if I can attach this link...http://www.nakedwhiz.com/lumpdatabase/lumpbag5.htm
    L, M, S, Mini
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • zosobao5150zosobao5150 Posts: 133
    thanks!
    XL BGE
  • B&BKnoxB&BKnox Posts: 283
    I agree some lump can be much smokier than others.  My go to for a long time was GFS which I have confirmed many times is made by RO.  I stopped using it when it started taking 40 minutes or more for the heavy smoke to clear, this was 400 degree cooks.  I started examining the pieces closer and noted a lot of under-charcoaled pieces particularly on the ones with bark.  I just tried a bag of frontier from Sams and it was so bad I had to wait over 1 hour most times, this on 500 degree pizza cooks and opening the dome 45 minutes into the burn, flash back and campfire.  Now I almost exclusively use B&B green bag (hickory)  It sparks when lighting (with map torch) but burns clean and 15 minutes food on.  Rockwood was really good in the time to food on dept, always burned clean, we did a pallet buy of it, my only complaint was size of lump dominated by small and then medium pieces.

    I am convinced to hit price points mfg run differ quality woods (moisture content) thru kilns in like batches.  With non-branded lower price point lump being the most moist and run for shorter times or in bigger batches thus producing more under-charcoaled lump.  Just my opinion.
    Be Well

    Knoxville TN
  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 7,797
    RRP said:
    Thanks all...but theory and opinions stated so far have just been that. Like Steven said very early on wouldn't it be nice to hear from a producer to tell us more? It just seems strange to me that after 14 years of happily using RO lump that this whole issue has become such a problem never noticed by others before.

    @RRP - A thought that hit my head on this today concerning the all of a suddenness. Just suppose with the popularaty of the ceramic cooker getting stronger and stronger that there are many people joining the BBQ clan that had never cooked on anything other than gas or briquettes. Their senses and taste buds are not where the old time bbqer's are in regards to smoke smell and flavor so certain brands seam stronger to them( my wife comes to mind here). The newer cooks are cooking more boutique style dishes and not so much stick burner style. There is no doubt in my head that some lumps have a more powerful smoke taste and sometimes even certain bags of what you consider to be your "go to" lump take longer to burn clean, I have experienced this with RW as well as RO. I think moisture during storage has something to do with that. IDK. For my style of cooking and my wife's taste buds I am sticking to RW but to each is own, it's only lump and the end result is all that matters. FWIW - I used to be a diehard ford guy too :D :D

    -----------------------------------------


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,579
    Just checking the non-bump mystery again.
    L, M, S, Mini
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,579
    RRP said:
    Just checking the non-bump mystery again.
    This work???
    L, M, S, Mini
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,579
    nope - not today either
    L, M, S, Mini
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,579
    Ping dldawes1 - please try to post a reply and see if it bumps. OK?
    L, M, S, Mini
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
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