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Rockwood Problem Question...

So I have used Rockwood in the past and it has been very good. When my supply of Ozark Oak ran out I ordered 10 bags of Rockwood from Firecraft.com. I just opened the first bag of it last week and have noticed it is nothing but small pieces. I hope I just got a bad bag.

Has anyone else noticed a change in the size of lump in the Rockwood?

I hope I did not make a mistake buying so much Rockwood...

Here are some pics. The larger pieces you see in the picture is pretty much the largest I have come across in the bag. I am probably 1/2 way or better into the bag.  I remember the last few bags I used had lots of large chunks and there was not much small stuff at all.
Jeff from Winston-Salem, NC  - LBGE
photo 1.JPG 135.9K
photo 2.JPG 146.5K
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Comments

  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 4,298
    edited May 2014
    I know everyone rants and raves about large pieces but really it doesn't matter. Not tryin to be a smartass. I have had bags RW & OO with smaller chunks they all burn the same I have had bags of RW that were all bigger chunks and some that were the opposite If it doesn't fall through the grate it will burn. The good thing is you are burning 2 of the best lumps out there If you don't believe me just ask @henapple

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    Large BGE. Small BGE Henderson, Ky.
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  • NPHuskerFLNPHuskerFL Posts: 9,524
    I would say just like any brand when shipped it could've been roughly handled etc. I've never used this particular brand but, based on forum responses I would say this brand is a solid winner. Chalk it up to shipping or random bad bag. I use WGWW and I've been very satisfied but, I've had 1 bag with smaller pieces than I was used to. Hey, it happens.
    LBGE 2012, Mini MAX 2014, SS Table and Stoker
    Die Hard HUSKER & BRONCO FAN
    Middleburg, FL
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  • RRPRRP Posts: 14,896
    I know everyone rants and raves about large pieces but really it doesn't matter. No tryin to be a smartass

    Me too! I hate those big pieces that I have to break up with a hammer! BTW I have never used Rockwood and I'm sure it is a fine product as I too came from MO, but shipping and handling makes a big difference. I always pick up each bag and feel how full it feels and sounds when I shake it.
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
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  • Jeffroe189Jeffroe189 Posts: 212
    I agree to a certain point. I use a Hique grate and when I use a lot of small pieces the tend to fall threw the grate faster and fill the egg up quick. I don't like really big pieces but these are mostly the size of golf balls.
    Jeff from Winston-Salem, NC  - LBGE
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  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,339
    Were the pieces small, or was it a lot of chips and dust? Smaller pieces are ok as long as they are not falling through the grate. The photo on the right looks fine to me.
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
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  • Jeffroe189Jeffroe189 Posts: 212
    yea looking at the pictures I feel like they do look bigger than I am making them out to be. LOL I was just curious if anyone has noticed the Rockwood changing any. Im really hopping its just this bag. I was extremely happy with the last few bags I used. I feel like they make a great product from what I have read on here. 

    Im not really complaining just curious if anyone has noticed a difference. Time will tell when I open the rest of my lump.
    Jeff from Winston-Salem, NC  - LBGE
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  • Jeffroe189Jeffroe189 Posts: 212
    RRP said:
    I know everyone rants and raves about large pieces but really it doesn't matter. No tryin to be a smartass

    Me too! I hate those big pieces that I have to break up with a hammer! BTW I have never used Rockwood and I'm sure it is a fine product as I too came from MO, but shipping and handling makes a big difference. I always pick up each bag and feel how full it feels and sounds when I shake it.
    I do agree that shipping is always going to be an issue with lump. I wish I could find a good product around here local. 
    Jeff from Winston-Salem, NC  - LBGE
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  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,339
    My current bag got beat up in shipping and there are a lot of smaller pieces. I dumped it out to put it into a bag I just finished and the amount of chips and dust was very low. So more smaller pieces, but very little unusable product.
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
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  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 1,115

    Nothing has changed on our end.  But remember, it's a natural product, so it's never going to be the same.  The only way to ever promise a consistent product every single time is to sell briquettes--and that's not happening.

    The bigger variable is shipping.....and the bags you have probably travelled close to 1500 miles in unknown conditions.  About this time last year is when we first started shipping Rockwood, not knowing what the product would look like after it travelled across the country.  Most people seem to be pretty happy with it, so I hope you just got some mishandled bags.

    Connect:  Website  -  Facebook  -  Twitter

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  • TerrebanditTerrebandit Posts: 1,294
    Those pieces don't seem terribly small too me.
    Dave - Austin, TX
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  • minniemohminniemoh Posts: 1,241
    I have been through 11 bags of Rockwood. I would bet that the rest of your bags will have larger pieces. That's how mine worked anyway. 

    I had a couple of bags that had a more chips and small pieces. For the most part, I had GREAT quality lump. It starts faster than any other lump that I have used and produces minimal ash compared to other brands that I have used. In the middle of my 11 bags, I burned a bag of BGE and a bag of Royal Oak (red bag from Home Depot) and it took forever for the white smoke to clear compared to the Rockwood. 

    I just got a bunch more and I'm looking forward to cooking all summer with it. I have since started to handle my bags of lump like potato chips - the more gentle the handling, the better. 
    L x2, M, S, and Mini. She says I have enough now....
    eggAddict from MN!
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  • GeorgeSGeorgeS Posts: 946
    That looks like my bags. I put together a group buy a while back and I've been through three of my bags and they have all been consistent in size (roughly the same as your picture) with not a whole lot of dust so I'm sure their wasn't any rough handling issues. I'm happy with it though, burns hot and long. I like it better than the Cowboy Lump I was using. They make a very nice product and you can't beat supporting a 100% American made product!
    Bristow Virginia XLBGE One of the best feelings in life is watching other people enjoy the food I cooked!
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  • plumbfir01plumbfir01 Posts: 679
    Those are still good sizes pieces. I get bags like that sometimes but they burn great in the egg and even better in the joe jr.

    I did a turbo butt for 5.5hrs at 325 then 8 hamburgers followed by 4lb of venison sausage and still had lump for the cook I did the next night in the jr... Pretty impressive
    Beaufort, SC
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  • Jeffroe189Jeffroe189 Posts: 212
    Thanks for all the input guys. Again I want to say at at no point was I wanting to talk bad about Rockwood. There is a reason I ordered 200 lbs last time. I think it is the best lump I have ever used. I'm sure the next 9 bags I have will be great. I can always use the smaller peices with my small. Thanks again
    Jeff from Winston-Salem, NC  - LBGE
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  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 5,983
    Not to beat it to death...but I don't see any issue with the sizes either.  I don't see many really tiny "gravel and dust" pieces so I don't think you will have any issues burning it in any size egg.  


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

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  • Jeffroe189Jeffroe189 Posts: 212
    I will also add that I just went threw 10 bags of Ozark Oak and they do tent to have very Lange peices in there bags. Some to big. It is a pain when you have to break up your lump before you can use it. So maybe I have just been a custom to it and just need to get used to Rickwood.
    Jeff from Winston-Salem, NC  - LBGE
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  • Hey it's lump!!! that's all not a precious gem! 8 years ago when I first started Egging I dumped out every bag of lump and sorted for the different sizes and disposed of all the dust and very small pieces. Put the bigger pieces in first then smaller and smaller. I searched all over Florida for something other than Royal Oak, in fact back then Wicked lump was the rage!!!!! I found some in the Atlanta area bought 8 bags and hated every cook with it as it seemed to have a funky smell no matter how long I let it burn. Now I buy Royal Oak dump it right out of the bag looking for pieces that are still raw wood as they will smoke to much for to long. Yes I find strange objects from time to time but I just dispose of them no big deal. G M
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  • saluki2007saluki2007 Posts: 924
    It's not about the size, it's all in how you use it.   =))
    Large BGE
    Morton, IL

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  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 2,895
    image
    Thanks,

    Matthew
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    Thomasville, NC - Large BGE (w/Nest) - Plate Setter - Maverick ET-733 - BBQ Guru Party-Q (new design ) Pizza Stone - BGE V-Rack - Weed Torch (to light egg)

    Facebook
    My Photography Site
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  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 2,895
    Not trying to be a smart butt, but sometimes folks take things to the extreme.... It is a natural product that really depends on the product, chipper, and likely a conveyer/filler.  You paid for the weight which I am sure you received over weight. 

    Dump it, light it, cook, and be happy. 
    Thanks,

    Matthew
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    Thomasville, NC - Large BGE (w/Nest) - Plate Setter - Maverick ET-733 - BBQ Guru Party-Q (new design ) Pizza Stone - BGE V-Rack - Weed Torch (to light egg)

    Facebook
    My Photography Site
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  • LitLit Posts: 3,531
    I had the same issue and the bags came from firecraft. I couldn't understand why it was getting good reviews on the forum. I threw away several pounds of dust and tiny pieces. Guessing now its the shipping. As far as people saying small pieces are fine yeah maybe pieces that are smaller but not when there are lots of pieces under an inch in diameter. If the OPs post is the top of the bag imagine what the bottom pieces look like.
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  • plumbfir01plumbfir01 Posts: 679

    It's not about the size, it's all in how you use it.   =))

    She lied to you bro
    Beaufort, SC
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  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,339
    Lit said:
     As far as people saying small pieces are fine yeah maybe pieces that are smaller but not when there are lots of pieces under an inch in diameter. If the OPs post is the top of the bag imagine what the bottom pieces look like.
    That's a fair point about smaller pieces being at the bottom. Most of the chips and dust work their way down depending upon how much it has been handled. The OP stated he was "probably 1/2 way or better into the bag," so I took it to mean that the photos were not top of the bag. 
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
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  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 1,115

    If you want to see what the charcoal looks like when it leaves the plant, look at the latest post on our Facebook page.  That piece I'm holding in my hands was about the size of a grapefruit before I broke it apart with very little effort.  Good charcoal is very brittle.

    http://www.facebook.com/RockwoodCharcoal

    Lump charcoal does not go through any "chippers" or anything to break it down.  It's scooped out of the kilns by a loader, and then goes through several processes to separate the chips and fines.  Those chips and fines, and even the charcoal dust that comes out of a air collection system, is all sold.  So, it's not like a charcoal company is sticking it to the customer by giving them fines & dust--there are buyers that want that stuff as the lump (briquette manufacturers, compost companies, animal feed mills, etc.)




    Connect:  Website  -  Facebook  -  Twitter

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  • PhiliciousPhilicious Posts: 312
    Is Rockwood available in east TN?
    Born and raised in NOLA. Now live in East TN.
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  • saluki2007saluki2007 Posts: 924
    It's not about the size, it's all in how you use it.   =))
    She lied to you bro
    image
    Large BGE
    Morton, IL

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  • McStewMcStew Posts: 438
    im still looking for a coyote to get me some of this in CA  [-O<
    Marina Del Rey CA 
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  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 2,895
    @stlcharcoal very neat behind the scenes look.  If a chipper is not involved does it go through a shaker after charring to break the logs up into pieces?  Didn't mean to say chipper out of context, I was simply stating the pieces will all be different and essentially not a big deal. 
    Thanks,

    Matthew
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    Thomasville, NC - Large BGE (w/Nest) - Plate Setter - Maverick ET-733 - BBQ Guru Party-Q (new design ) Pizza Stone - BGE V-Rack - Weed Torch (to light egg)

    Facebook
    My Photography Site
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  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 1,115

    @Philicious

    Yes, any Ace Hardware east of Nashville can order it using SKU 8400772.

    Looking at my list, the four TN stores that have ordered it from the Gainesville warehouse are located in: Athens, Pulaski, Chattanooga, and Dunlap.  These doesn't mean they're stocking it, or even have any in stock--they may have ordered those bags for a customer.  Call ahead.


    Connect:  Website  -  Facebook  -  Twitter

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  • SenecaTheYoungerSenecaTheYounger Posts: 368
    edited May 2014
    There's always a new flavor-of-the-month charcoal brand that is the "best", for a few months until something supplants it in the fickle mind of the back yard barbecue gurus.

    SEE: Royal Oak > BGE > Wicked Good Competition > Wicked Good Weekend Warrior > Maple Leaf > Ozark Oak etc. etc.

    Sooner or later, they all get a spot in the sun. But they are natural products and exhibit variation.

    That said, I don't understand the fetish for large chunks to begin with.  The logical extension here is one 20 pound lump of charcoal in each bag.  That wouldn't work.

    Sure, we like some big chunks for airflow under a roaring fire, but your chunks don't look "small to me at all.

    Maybe my BGE is the odd one, which can burn almost any lump, in any size, and operate perfectly fine.

    I prefer smaller chunks for overnighters, giving the small fire plenty of chances to cath on neighboring points of lump. Or to spread on top of a fire built for searing.  If you want a ridiculous fire for searing, pour whatever charcoal you want in the thing, and spread medium small lump on top, uniformly across the lump.  SHUT the lower vent, and cook with the top open. 

    Hotter than dome closed with all vents open, and you will have a uniform bed of ridiculous coals across the entire diameter of the grill.  The smaller chunks fill in and provide the uniformity, and the entire fire is on top, not below the surface.

    If I had big chunks, it would take longer for that fire to spread and reach temperatures that the small chunks, in a uniform bed, achieve: those nearing that of the outer ring of the Seventh Circle of Hell, the Phlegethon.




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    Copia ciborum subtilitas impeditur

    Seneca Falls, NY

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