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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.
@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.
Just like a log in a fireplace, they break apart on it's own during the kilning process--especially after the loader scoops them up. Any huge charred logs in the cooling/bagging area, are not charcoal--they're still wood inside. They get separated and loaded back into the kilns for the next burn.
The small chunks burn the same as the small chunks if the O2 supply is equal. This charcoal is bought by just as many people with Webers, UDS, and gravity fed verticals--they complain about the big chunks. Kamado guys complain about the small chunks. Unfortunately, you can't please everyone no matter how much I wish I could. I have three BGE's and a Rebel gravity fed. So whenever I get down to the really small chunks, I dump them in the Rebel's chute. The fines and chips go in a bucket for my wood stove or garden.
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Animal feed mills?
Yep, I've heard some farmers feed lump charcoal to pigs, or they now use charcoal powder in extruded food for chickens, cows, pigs, etc. I don't know really any more about it.
I was taken back by the size on my first bag. All the bags I've had have smaller pieces to me. ..but, it burns extremely clean and does a great job.
I don't understand the shipping explanation because all lump is shipped. I've picked up Rockwood at the warehouse and those bags had smaller than "normal" pieces. Again, I would and do use and recommend Rockwood.
But, you loaded all those bags in the utility trailer and drove 300-400 miles, right?
It's not FedEx or UPS guys throwing boxes around, it's the agitation that breaks it down. If I took a bag of Lay's potato chips, wrapped it in 4ft of bubble wrap and shipped it across the country in a refrigerator box, it would still break down from the vibration of transit.
I agree that shipping doesn't necessarily or fully destroy it--FireCraft is one of our biggest sellers for almost a year now. If the product was beat to hell after all the shipping, people wouldn't keep ordering it. I think it's a combination of agitation and a higher carbon content. The bags people get that are smaller pieces (even here in STL), are just a higher carbon content than the others. That's not a bad thing, since once lit they'll hold much lower temps with minimal O2. If those smaller chunks in those bags break apart really easily, that definitely indicates high carbon.
No worries man.....didn't come off that way to me at all.
henapple said:Don't worry about it...damn, wait till someone tries to sell something crappy or start a personal blog. You called it like you see it. It's all good. Everyone knows Rockwood. ..well, rocks.
Don't worry about it...damn, wait till someone tries to sell something crappy or start a personal blog. You called it like you see it. It's all good. Everyone knows Rockwood. ..well, rocks.
Damascus, VA. Friendliest town on the Appalachian Trail.
LBGE Aug 2012, SBGE Feb 2014
Hey Jeffroe, I noticed you live in Winston Salem. Don't know how far it is to Mooresville, but there is a place there, Fire Medic, that sells Rockwood.
WOWI'm amazed at the amount of comment on this post. This is the most I have had on any of my post. I would like to say that I am disappointed in the direction this post has gone. I hate that my most successful post has been so controversial.I did not mean at any point to make anyone think that Rockwood was bad lump. I had only intended to ask if anyone had noticed any change in the lump. I feel like I have thrown Rockwood under the bus with this discussion. I would like to say that Rockwood is the best lump I have used to date and I have been extremely happy with the product and how it preforms. I was only saying It seemed to have smaller pieces than the last bags I had used. It still preformed as it always has. I hate that I came off complaining about it. I did not intend to make it sound that way. After reading the title and where I said I hope I did not make a mistake ordering so much. I can see where I came off that way. I am still new to the forum thing and have only ever posted on this forum. I forget how literally some people take things and realize I may need to choose my words carefully when talking about certain things. I would like to apologize for starting such a conversational post and would l to let @stlcharcoal know that I did not mean to make it sound like I was talking bad about his product. I will continue using Rockwood lump because I believe at this point there is nothing on the market that works better. Plus he is a forum member.
"Spatched" means splayed open, flattened, so, you know, might want to see a urologist.