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BGE Lump Charcoal

Was wondering if you guys have had issue with BGE lump charcoal , by that I mean about 60-65% being small pieces (2-4” range)?
I’ve not bought any in about a year and a half due to this happening, but today I bought another bag just to see if it had changed. It had not. Or me it’s back to the Uncle Henry or B&P Lump, the latter being a local to Birmingham, sold at Academy for around $15.
I’ve  attached a photo of my purchase today.

thanks
G

Comments

  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,658
    Often small pieces are the result of rough handling after leaving the factory. Quality lump is brittle. The bag with the most small pieces I ever have gotten was a Rockwood bag. Nothing but small and some medium pieces. The second Rockwood bag I got at the same time was full of large and medium pieces.  Clearly someone had dropped the first bag.  
    Southeast Florida - LBGE
    In cooking, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’  Dare to think for yourself.
     
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 4,205
    Don't get too hung up on chunk size, as it's not a true indication of quality of the charcoal.  In fact, big chunks *can* be a negative quality, as it usually means the presence of wood fiber.

    If you're running a Kick Ash Basket or another replacement fire grate, the chunk size is going to mean nothing in the grand scheme of things.  BTU/# is BTU/#.....doesn't matter how big or small the chunk is.  Law of conservation of energy says the only way charcoal can burn faster is with a subsequent higher temp--so as long as you are metering the O2, there's no way a smaller piece can burn faster.

    Here's a long guest blog post I wrote for a website.....lots of info on chunk size:

    https://www.pizza-porta.com/blog/2019/8/18/guest-blog-charcoal-rockwood-charcoal
  • johnnypjohnnyp Posts: 3,779
    As stated above, lump size really isn’t an indication of quality.  

    Personally, I’m partial to Rockwood.  You can check out lump reviews for yourself here, if you’d like. http://www.nakedwhiz.com/lumpindexpage.htm?bag
    XL & MM BGE, 36" Blackstone - Newport News, VA
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 4,205
    Best analogy I can make is Lay's potato chips.  Super brittle.  Yeah, everybody wants a bag that's full of intact full chips, but there's no way to get them even bagged, much less hundreds of miles to the store without them breaking.  Some bags are better than others, and you're always going to have that crushed layer at the bottom.  But in the end, the makeup of those chips is the same whether it's a perfect bag or crushed......nothing really changes except appearance and appeal.

    It's not the manufacturer's fault (other than maybe not keeping on the distributor, store, and consumer to handle their product like eggs.)  Not trying to make excuses here, but it's something we struggle at.......trying to educate folks who are coming over from briquettes.  Lump is not a manufactured compressed product with binders, it's an all-natural & brittle product.  I ask folks that write or call in the last time they complained to FritoLay, Post, or General Mills about all the crushed cereal and chips they throw away every week--that's usually the "ah-ha" moment when they realize that's the reality of this product as well.
  • GregCGregC Posts: 89
    Guys thanks for the replies.
    JohnnyP thanks for the link.
    Stlcharcoal I understand you explanation but was asking if others had run into the same thing. It’s interesting that the Uncle Henry and B&P have much larger pieces in each bag consistently than BGE. Not sure if it’s the way it’s shipped or what.
  • BGE charcoal is good but pricey.  You were the victim of ill-handling of the bag by someone along the way before you opened it.  BGE does not have a sestemic issue with small size pieces.
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 4,205
    GregC said:
    Guys thanks for the replies.
    JohnnyP thanks for the link.
    Stlcharcoal I understand you explanation but was asking if others had run into the same thing. It’s interesting that the Uncle Henry and B&P have much larger pieces in each bag consistently than BGE. Not sure if it’s the way it’s shipped or what.
    My point was that you're going to run into that from time to time with any properly carbonized charcoal.  I don't know where BGE falls into that, but it's probably not anything that they are doing at the plant (i.e. they are not breaking down the charcoal before putting it in the bags.)  It's more than likely in transit, which can vary depending where you fall into the supply chain / distribution.

    I've never heard of the two other brands you mentioned, but I would try to break them apart by hand or drop the big chunks on the ground to see if they shatter.  If not, they're not charcoal yet--they are charred wood and full of wood fiber (that's what's holding them together.)  If they do break easily, then you are lucky because there are a lot of gentle hands moving it from the plant to the store, and everywhere in between.  But 95% of the time, I would say it's underkilning over good luck.  
  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 7,139
    edited October 2019
    agree with @stlcharcoal about how brittle properly carbonised lump are vs. underkilned ones.

    what's puzzling to me is how the legendary Japanese bichotan charcoal can sound like metal, don't appear brittle nor 'woody' as in typical underkilned South American lump ... look at the footage at the 3:40 mark ...
    https://youtu.be/DopSp5ofyi0
    canuckland
  • wardowardo Posts: 395
    I've experimented with a number of lump charcoals so far.  I've found bge lump to be the most consistent with the size of the pieces of lump, the flavor and how it performs.  Other brands definitely will have larger pieces in their bags, but they also typically have a good amount of tiny garbage pieces.
    NC - LBGE
  • Jupiter JimJupiter Jim Posts: 3,350
    Best analogy I can make is Lay's potato chips.  Super brittle.  Yeah, everybody wants a bag that's full of intact full chips, but there's no way to get them even bagged, much less hundreds of miles to the store without them breaking.  Some bags are better than others, and you're always going to have that crushed layer at the bottom.  But in the end, the makeup of those chips is the same whether it's a perfect bag or crushed......nothing really changes except appearance and appeal.

    It's not the manufacturer's fault (other than maybe not keeping on the distributor, store, and consumer to handle their product like eggs.)  Not trying to make excuses here, but it's something we struggle at.......trying to educate folks who are coming over from briquettes.  Lump is not a manufactured compressed product with binders, it's an all-natural & brittle product.  I ask folks that write or call in the last time they complained to FritoLay, Post, or General Mills about all the crushed cereal and chips they throw away every week--that's usually the "ah-ha" moment when they realize that's the reality of this product as well.
    Spot on my friend! It's Lump and it all burns regardless of size and becomes ashes..... 

    I'm only hungry when I'm awake!

    Okeechobee FL. Winter

    West Jefferson NC Summer

  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 4,205
    agree with @stlcharcoal about how brittle properly carbonised lump are vs. underkilned ones.

    what's puzzling to me is how the legendary Japanese bichotan charcoal can sound like metal, don't appear brittle nor 'woody' as in typical underkilned South American lump ... look at the footage at the 3:40 mark ...
    https://youtu.be/DopSp5ofyi0
    Binchotan is kind of different a process as I understand it.  They start with limbs which have a much tighter grain, and then they kiln process is much longer.  There is a lot less tars & liquors in the limbs so you don't see the grain like you do in the trunks.  I've heard it can take up to a month to make binchotan.  It's still brittle, but since it's not mass produced and it's collected, sorted, packed, etc by hand or hand tools, it stays in better shape.  That's why it's so expensive.   Longer to make, lower volume & yields, and handmade.
  • NorthPilot06NorthPilot06 Posts: 1,181
    agree with @stlcharcoal about how brittle properly carbonised lump are vs. underkilned ones.

    what's puzzling to me is how the legendary Japanese bichotan charcoal can sound like metal, don't appear brittle nor 'woody' as in typical underkilned South American lump ... look at the footage at the 3:40 mark ...
    https://youtu.be/DopSp5ofyi0
    Binchotan is kind of different a process as I understand it.  They start with limbs which have a much tighter grain, and then they kiln process is much longer.  There is a lot less tars & liquors in the limbs so you don't see the grain like you do in the trunks.  I've heard it can take up to a month to make binchotan.  It's still brittle, but since it's not mass produced and it's collected, sorted, packed, etc by hand or hand tools, it stays in better shape.  That's why it's so expensive.   Longer to make, lower volume & yields, and handmade.
    Ah yes, artisan lump  =)
    DFW - 1 LGBE & Happy to Adopt More...
  • BGE lump is compatible to the 30# bags of Royal Oak.  Both have larger pieces, but RO is 50% cheaper!

    BGE XL++Flameboss 300 WiFi++Blackstone 36"++Weber 26" kettle

  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 15,718
    Rockwood. 

    That is all.

    You are welcome.
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • Jcl5150Jcl5150 Posts: 176
    It’s not the size of the chunks.  It’s how you use them.
  • alaskanassasinalaskanassasin Posts: 3,026
    Cool video, it is nuts that those guys were sorting with out dust masks on.
     
    South of Columbus, Ohio.
  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 7,139
    Cool video, it is nuts that those guys were sorting with out dust masks on.
     
    Not necessarily a bad thing, built-in carbon filter 😂
    canuckland
  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 9,657
    Was that at a RO plant?

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


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 6,449
    edited February 7
    Was that at a RO plant?
    Yes, same plant


    Visalia, Ca
  • frazzdaddyfrazzdaddy Posts: 1,699
    edited February 7
    "The best lump charcoal in the world" ok then, that settles it.
    Xl bge ,LG bge, two 4' crusher cone fire pits. Weber Genisis gasser and 
    Two rusty Weber kettles. 

    Two Rivers Farm
    Moncure N.C.
  • Hank Hill is crying in a corner somewhere after reading this thread.
  • Smokey_MattSmokey_Matt Posts: 6
    What type of charcoal do you like best with the BGE? I am just finishing the BGE lump charcoal that I purchased when I got my large BGE. Since Royal Oak makes the BGE lump is there any reason not to get it? Which do you prefer between Royal Oak and Rockwood, is one better for long cooks? 
    Thanks!
  • StillH2OEggerStillH2OEgger Posts: 2,748
    I always thought the two bags of BGE charcoal were slightly better than the Royal Oak I tried (both red and green bag), but the difference was negligible and you will have variations anyway so I'm sure it's the same stuff. I think even those who use Royal Oak religiously would admit Rockwood is the better lump, but it's up to you to decide whether that difference is worth spending a little more money for (or possibly double). For me, Rockwood is worth it. It's also super easy to get as long as you have an Ace Hardware within a reasonable distance. My recommendation is to try both and determine for yourself.
    Stillwater, MN
  • CornholioCornholio Posts: 793
    edited May 20
    I live a quarter mile from a Home Depot so I pick up Royal Oak a little more often these days out of convenience and price. I prefer Rockwood, I lived closer to an ACE at my last house and would just order it for pickup. The ACE I went to also carried BGE (RO) lump but I never bought any (I’ve bought it elsewhere when I was a newer egg owner). So for me: RW>RO>BGE 
  • cdnewmancdnewman Posts: 71
    I generally have 1-2 bags of royal oak and 1 bag of rockwood. I use rockwood for anything low and slow. Royal Oak for everything else. Once I get >350 temp I’m not sure I notice the difference and RO is a consistent burn. For longer cooks, I like the predictability, mild flavor and relatively low ash of rockwood.
  • Smokey_MattSmokey_Matt Posts: 6
    Thank you for the input! Will pick up a back of Rockwood and get some RO for the quick cooks. Appreciate your feedback
  • llrickmanllrickman Posts: 641
    Ive found BGE lump is very inconsistent and overpriced, used to use Ozark Oak exclusivley but its no longer available. Recently started with B and B and so far its been great 
    2 LBGE
    Digi Q
    green Thermapen
    AR

    Albuquerque, NM
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