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Rockwood Conundrum

My dealer started me off with Nature Glo and I went through several bags of it.  Then I discovered some Royal Oak at Menards ... cheaper than Nature Glo and supposedly the same stuff, so I went through more than several bags of it. Over Christmas I ended up driving past Dave's Ace Hardware where I bought a stash of Rockwood.  Gave a bag to my BGE dealer to try it ... feel a little like a drug dealer trying to get him hooked on it.

I'm not a lump expert by any means.  But, even I can tell the difference between Royal Oak and Rockwood.  I became a convert with the first cook ... plain and simple.  Finished the fourth cook with it tonight ... yes, I'm conservative and wanted to triple check to be sure the first cook wasn't a fluke. Rockwood starts easily, comes to temp quickly, and smells sweet well before the egg is at temp.  Burn time is great.  What more can you expect of a bag of carbon?  My wife doesn't like heavy smoke, so she gives it a double thumbs up.  And, if she's happy, yep, I'm ecstatic.

I don't want to be evangelical over the conversion.  In fact, I'm not sure it's beneficial to attempt to convert others.  Jonathan has a finite supple of lump ... if others start using it, maybe there won't be enough to go around ... hmmm ... what to do ...that's the conundrum ...

Washington, IL  >  Queen Creek, AZ ... Two large eggs and an adopted Mini Max

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Comments

  • RRPRRP Posts: 23,608
    Sounds like an honest personal assessment to me! There must be a reason that folks have been rating Rockwood along with Ozark Oak as high as they have! I save my stash of OO for my baking egg as I know it is essentially smoke free for cakes, so Rockwood is a great alternative! Thanks, Tom!
    Re-gasketing America one yard at a time.
  • logchieflogchief Posts: 1,411
    I'm a noob and started out with a bag of BGE, then found Hasty Bake on Amazon which seems to work OK.  I keep hearing all the hype about Rockwood and guess my next purchase will be that.  Can't get it anywhere here in CA, but Firecraft.com has it for 19.95 for 20# and free shipping over $99.


    Think this will be my next purchase for lump.  Any thoughts?  Not to highjack @Jeepsters47
    LBGE - I like the hot stuff.  The big dry San Joaquin Valley, Clovis, CA 
  • theyolksonyoutheyolksonyou Posts: 18,077
    Tom, I'm right there with you. If folks want to use RO, fine by me, but I've gladly been driving 1 hr each way to stock up on RW. That said, I found out all Ace in NWGA. Can order in any quantity, so I'm now gonna order from the one 6 miles down the road.
    Jason NW GA- home of carpet and Mexican restaurants
    LBGE, MM, BS (Blackstone and the other kind)
    One sorry Labrador

    My chili did not suck. My wings either. 
  • antonanton Posts: 1,813
    I finally found a great neutral orangewood from mexico, that burns real hot, long and clean. Great stuff called Santa Clara Valley orangewood. I have tried many over the last 7 months, this is 19.99 for 20lb as well. Not on Naked whiz. Nobody in Ca carries Rockwood in my area, toyed with the online idea, but haven't pulled the trigger.
    :-bd
     Using a MBGE,woo/w stone,livin' in  Hayward California," The Heart Of The Bay "
  • TerrebanditTerrebandit Posts: 1,750
    logchief said:
    I'm a noob and started out with a bag of BGE, then found Hasty Bake on Amazon which seems to work OK.  I keep hearing all the hype about Rockwood and guess my next purchase will be that.  Can't get it anywhere here in CA, but Firecraft.com has it for 19.95 for 20# and free shipping over $99.


    Think this will be my next purchase for lump.  Any thoughts?  Not to highjack @Jeepsters47

    @logchief‌ you're screwed. They don't ship to CA! It must cause cancer there or something. http://www.firecraft.com/product/rockwood-lump-charcoal-20lbs/hardwood-charcoal
    Dave - Austin, TX
  • SGHSGH Posts: 27,683
    @Jeepster47‌- Brother you called this one right on the money. Rockwood is about as neutral of a lump as it gets. When you want absolute total control over the smoke profile, Rockwood is second to none. Plain and simple. I used Royal Oak for a couple of years prior to trying Rockwood and Ozark oak. After trying them there is no going back. The difference is as pronounced as night and day. However all that said, I still buy the 17 pound bags of Royal Oak when it's on sale at Walmart because it's very cheap. I use it to bring the big units online and up to temp before converting them over to all wood. Royal Oak works great for this purpose.

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

    Status- Standing by.

    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. 

  • Jeepster47Jeepster47 Posts: 3,827
    @SGH ... ironic to have you speak up.  It was one of your posts (I'll probably get it wrong) where you told about going to an eggfest and someone gave/loaned/sold you some Rockwood.  You said after trying it you immediately relegating RO to the fire starter status. That's when I decided to check it out. 

    Absolutely nothing against Firecraft, but I wanted to try some Rockwood right off the pallet.  Luckily, Dave's Ace orders lump straight from St Louis Charcoal by the pallet(s).  I investigated Ozark Oak, but the lady said they didn't sell to Yankees ... or something like that.

    I'm sure there are other brands that yields good results ... @anton found some in his area.  Unfortunately, this area of the country is in the Bermuda triangle for good lump.

    Washington, IL  >  Queen Creek, AZ ... Two large eggs and an adopted Mini Max

  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 10,206
    Welcome to the clean side @jeepster47.

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


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • Rockwood is the boss. I got in on a group buy a while back and need to pick up some more. In a pinch I do like the BGE stuff, and I've also had good experience with Good One brand charcoal. 


  • theyolksonyoutheyolksonyou Posts: 18,077
    Rockwood is the boss. I got in on a group buy a while back and need to pick up some more. In a pinch I do like the BGE stuff, and I've also had good experience with Good One brand charcoal. 



    BGE is marked up royal oak. Save some coin if you can. Note: I'm a rockwood believer, but I wouldn't pony up for BGE if RO were available.
    Jason NW GA- home of carpet and Mexican restaurants
    LBGE, MM, BS (Blackstone and the other kind)
    One sorry Labrador

    My chili did not suck. My wings either. 
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 7,559
    I love my RO
    Visalia, Ca

    LGBE- Pit's by Klose Trailer -Stumps XL Stretch - Custom Santa Maria-Modified HD Offset Smoker Reverse Flow- FatStack Smoker coming soon- Blackstone 36 - Custom Cold Smoke House and a lonely Brinkman Vertical Smoker
  • Rockwood is the boss. I got in on a group buy a while back and need to pick up some more. In a pinch I do like the BGE stuff, and I've also had good experience with Good One brand charcoal. 



    BGE is marked up royal oak. Save some coin if you can. Note: I'm a rockwood believer, but I wouldn't pony up for BGE if RO were available.
    Didn't know that. Thanks for the heads-up. Like I said, it works in a pinch, but Rockwood is my go-to. 

    Worst brand I've used is Stubb's brand charcoal. At the end of each cook I'd find a rock or two at the bottom of the ash pile. Pure trash. 
  • flynnbobflynnbob Posts: 653
    Tom, I'm right there with you. If folks want to use RO, fine by me, but I've gladly been driving 1 hr each way to stock up on RW. That said, I found out all Ace in NWGA. Can order in any quantity, so I'm now gonna order from the one 6 miles down the road.
    I told the Ace in Crabapple about it and they have been ordering in 2 pallet quantities.  It has been flying out the door.  The only lump I use now.
    Milton, GA.
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 4,343
     
     At the end of each cook I'd find a rock or two at the bottom of the ash pile.  

    In the defense of all lump charcoal manufacturers, you're going to get rocks in ANY brand of lump.  The only way you're not going to get rocks is to buy briquettes.

    Rocks are lodged into the tree trunks when they get dropped or dragged out of the forest.  You're not going to find them until the charcoal burns around it.  Even if you did, a char dust covered rock looks just like a chunk of charcoal when it comes out of the chute in the bagging process.  Not sure about the other guys, but with us you're usually getting 0.3-0.5# overage in each bag--more than enough to make up for a rock or two. 

  • DieselkWDieselkW Posts: 886
    I think I've tried everything.

    There is a bit of cross pollination in the lump business - Hasty Bake is Ozark Oak, and Royal Oak private labels for too many to list.

    Rockwood is an outstanding lump, IMO. I buy Ozark Oak because I like the smaller bags, since I carry it from the garage to the egg and back, a path that runs through the house, I appreciate the lighter and easier to carry 10 pound bags of Ozark Oak.

    They both smell sweet, they both have a noticeable reddish tinge to the ash, they both light easily and burn hot, they both cook with very little added taste.
    I think they must be sourcing the same forest.

    Indianapolis, IN

    BBQ is a celebration of culture in America. It is the closest thing we have to the wines and cheeses of Europe. 

    Drive a few hundred miles in any direction, and the experience changes dramatically. 



  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 4,343
    edited January 2015

    logchief said:
    Can't get it anywhere here in CA, but Firecraft.com has it for 19.95 for 20# and free shipping over $99.


    @logchief‌ you're screwed. They don't ship to CA! It must cause cancer there or something. http://www.firecraft.com/product/rockwood-lump-charcoal-20lbs/hardwood-charcoal

    Prop 65 = Special labeling for anything that emits carbon monoxide (e.g. anything that you burn.)  We would have to keep an environmental attorney on retainer out there and produce special bags to keep in inventory just for CA.  Sorry, but no thanks.

    We already have the huge CPSC mandated label on both sides warning about the dangers of carbon monoxide.  Not good enough for CA though.....gotta have another one somewhere "conspicuous" on the bag quoting Prop 65. 

    I wish we had the power like Starbucks to thumb our nose at law, but we cannot take the risk.  I don't remember what gas(es) their coffee emits, but they refused to put the label on their cups and are already getting sued.  We'll take the road of S&W and Ruger.......just give up the market to someone else who wants to take on the risk. 


  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 4,343
    DieselkW said:

    I buy Ozark Oak because I like the smaller bags, since I carry it from the garage to the egg and back, a path that runs through the house, I appreciate the lighter and easier to carry 10 pound bags of Ozark Oak.
    ...
    I think they must be sourcing the same forest.

    We have 10# bags too, not many places outside of STL carry them though.  Any dealer can order them by the pallet just like the 20's.

    About 80% of the domestic lump charcoal comes from the milling operations in the Mark Twain National Forest (southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.)  It's mostly oak, but there is some hickory, cherry, maple, pecan, and other native hardwoods that end up in the bundles.  Walnut is the only one that doesn't in up in the bag--that's in short supply and not the best for making into charcoal anyway.  At the end of the day, if it's kilned correctly, there's not much "wood" left in the bag anyway (i.e. you're not going to be able to tell the difference between oak or hickory CHARCOAL)

  • Excellent info, thanks. I wish my BGE XL had labels (large, several languages, with diagrams) so that I felt safer when smoking a bacon bomb.
  • boochsr71boochsr71 Posts: 267
    The only thing available around me is Royal Oak or GFS, which I understand is Royal Oak. I was very disappointed with this bag I just opened, the pieces are all very small....

    Booch- from Medina, Ohio

  • I've been using RO for most of my cooks so far, since it's cheap and available locally in Colorado.  However, I recently placed a RW order at Firecraft myself.  It should be here well before my next brisket cook.  I'm really looking forward to this RW experience.
  • RRPRRP Posts: 23,608
    boochsr71 said:
    The only thing available around me is Royal Oak or GFS, which I understand is Royal Oak. I was very disappointed with this bag I just opened, the pieces are all very small....

    Even if I am picking bags out of a pallet I lift each one up and by pressing on it and giving it a little shake I can fairly well determine if it has large pieces or is a bag of bits and pieces. Give it a try and I believe you will soon get the hang of it.
    Re-gasketing America one yard at a time.
  • boochsr71boochsr71 Posts: 267
    @RHP Thanks Ron, I will do that from now on!

    Booch- from Medina, Ohio

  • Jeepster47Jeepster47 Posts: 3,827
    That's sick @RRP ... now you've talked another member into fondling the lump.  Geez.

    Washington, IL  >  Queen Creek, AZ ... Two large eggs and an adopted Mini Max

  • RRPRRP Posts: 23,608
    That's sick @RRP ... now you've talked another member into fondling the lump.  Geez.

    :))
    Re-gasketing America one yard at a time.
  • theyolksonyoutheyolksonyou Posts: 18,077
    This thread has apparently been doomed by the mods. Doesn't appear to bump.
    Jason NW GA- home of carpet and Mexican restaurants
    LBGE, MM, BS (Blackstone and the other kind)
    One sorry Labrador

    My chili did not suck. My wings either. 
  • Jeepster47Jeepster47 Posts: 3,827
    This thread has apparently been doomed by the mods. Doesn't appear to bump.
    I noticed that with some other threads ... how does that happen, when, why ...

    Washington, IL  >  Queen Creek, AZ ... Two large eggs and an adopted Mini Max

  • RRPRRP Posts: 23,608
    mods let it sink. I thought all in all it was informative OTOH some may feel it was knocking BGE brand of lump made by RO.
    Re-gasketing America one yard at a time.
  • johnkitchensjohnkitchens Posts: 5,226
    @RRP that is exactly why I think it got sunk. 

    Louisville, GA - 2 Large BGE's
  • jcasparyjcaspary Posts: 1,479
    Same thing happens when people start talking about other brands of grills.
    XL BGE, LG BGE, and a hunger to grill everything in sight!!!
    Joe- Strongsville, OH
  • TerrebanditTerrebandit Posts: 1,750
    I tried to reply to sticharcoal about the CA shipping issue but it got sent out for "approval". I think that's why this thread got hosed, because his company makes/sells the stuff.
    Dave - Austin, TX
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