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Just Bought a Bag of Royal Oak

It’s Sunday. I know I shouldn’t run out of lump, but I did. I have a couple of rib-eyes I wanted to grill so since everywhere that good lump is sold is closed, I had to buy a bag of Royal Oak. The bag looks good on the outside, but when I opened it, look what I got. Shame on you Royal Oak.

Green Eggin' in South Carolina
Go Gamecocks!!!
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Comments

  • TEXASBGE2018TEXASBGE2018 Posts: 3,349
    edited November 21
    Odd I've bought dozens of bags of royal oak over the years and never had a bad bag. Sure i will occasionally get a rock or 2, no big deal. Guess I've just been lucky so far. I've mostly switched to B&B as it's a texas brand and available everywhere around here. Also, no complaints. Sure it's not super neutral in the smoke  it puts off but it doesn't bother me as I'm not putting my food on until the charcoal is ready.

     Don't get me wrong I love Rockwood  and similar products  but it's not available close to me and I'm not going to buy 5-6 bags at a cost of $150 when I could get 10-12 bags of a product that meets my needs for the same amount. If im by a store that carries it then, I usually run inside and grab a bag but it's not my every day go to charcoal.


    Rockwall, Tx    LBGE, Minimax, 22" Blackstone, Pizza Party Bollore. Cast Iron Hoarder.

  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 8,582
    Even KJ big blocks or Fogo can end up like that if mishandled in the supply/retail chain.

    I avoid bags that rattle when shaken gently, also stay away from bags with too much empty space on top, it's sign of too many shattered pieces settling to the bottom.
    canuckland
  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 8,582
    edited November 21
    Just took a closer look at the picture…too many uniformly small pieces to be the result of mishandling? My bad. No wonder OP is unhappy.
    canuckland
  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 8,582
    They’re also great for filling gaps between big pieces.
    canuckland
  • That looks like my last bag of rock wood. Last as in last I used and last I’ll order. The box was dinged up so I’ll blame it on shipping but I don’t see the hype that everybody has for it. I’ve had much better luck with kamado Joe big block. 
  • FATC1TYFATC1TY Posts: 877
    Some folks just don’t have the nuance for good wood. 
    -FATC1TY
    Grillin' and Brewing in Atlanta
    LBGE
    MiniMax
  • We have been egging since 2016 and have used Royal Oak almost exclusively because of availability.  3 out of 5 bags that I get look like this.  Can't tell you how many times I couldn't get temp up due to too many small chips.  This year made two changes: 1) bought a Big Ash Basket and 2) Switched to Rockwood.  For the latter I have to drive to Ace and pay a premium but first bag I opened had a variety of chunk sizes including very large.  I've had too many bags of Royal Oak with tiny pieces that you couldn't give it to me.  YMMV but this is my experience.
  • Opening that bag would have surprised and disappointed me some, but I’ve burned too many bags of Royal Oak to know that is not a normal bag I receive.  So it would not deter me from buying more.  I might change retail stores to avoid the mishandling for a while.  To date, the only brand of lump I bought and swore “never again” is Cowboy.  When pieces of plastic strapping and fiberglass insulation tumbled out of the bag I bought some years ago, that was it for me.
    Flint, Michigan
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 11,235
    When you buy enough bags of the same brand of lump you will be able to pick through a few bags and know which bags are good and which bags have been mishandled or slipped through the quality check. 
    Just save this bag and add a couple shakes to the top of your larger lump bags.
    Life is to short to get wound up over a $12 bag of lump.
    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • Langner91Langner91 Posts: 658
    I would be mad.  But, I gotta ask, do you always open your bags that way?  I am sitting here very anxious that you ripped it open that way. 

    I am in the "painstakingly careful to get the string to unzip in one pull" camp.  So, seeing that bag chewed open makes me freak a little.  ;)

    Sorry it happened to you! 
    Clinton, Iowa
  • womauswomaus Posts: 207
    Hell, makes me wonder if it's not the combination of a few bags of trailings.

    But that's my questioning side....always gets me in trouble.
  • Fred19FlintstoneFred19Flintstone Posts: 8,111
    edited November 22
    I though he opened the bag of lump like Eli Wallach opened the bags of gold in The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.



    Flint, Michigan
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 4,436
    edited November 22
    womaus said:
    Hell, makes me wonder if it's not the combination of a few bags of trailings.

    But that's my questioning side....always gets me in trouble.
    When you say "trailings", do you means the pieces that fall through the grating / screening?  Most manufacturers screen somewhere between 1/2" to 1".  Then that product is called "charcoal fines".

    The fines are not discarded, and are worth plenty of money.  They have a lot of uses too--whether it be screening to smaller sizes for industrial use, hammer pressing them into powder for briquettes or pellets, agricultural soil amendments, animal feed supplements, etc.  We sell the fines for all kinds of industries.....even to the US Army's Pine Bluff Arsenal for use in munitions.

    No fiscal reason to bag those fines in lump bags when you can easily use or sell them in other channels of the company.

    Trust me, it's a supply chain issue.  I've personally witnessed employees of a big box store tossing charcoal bags of the top rack to the bottom to avoid having to close the aisle for the forklift to lower a new pallet.  They treat them like a bag of kitty litter, dog food, etc.  
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 28,314
    those small pieces are gold if you use the little 10 inch mini bge
    fukahwee maine

    you can lead a fish to water but you can not make him drink it
  • HansmHansm Posts: 105
    Bummer ... I gave up on Royal Oak years ago for the same reason. I had the same issue with Cowboy. Had a lot of chips from both fall through the Weber grill into the ash bucket. Had actual stones in the Cowboy bag. I order direct from FOGO, never any issues.
    LG BGE,  Weber Genesis gas, Weber 22" Kettle, Weber Smokey Joe
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 8,338
    After meeting @stlcharcoal , and see the passion he has for his lump, ( that didn't come out right) I would look @ nothing else other than Rockwood IF you can get it......That being said, pulverized pieces are fine with me 
    Visalia, Ca

    LGBE- Pit's by Klose Trailer -Stumps XL Stretch - Custom Santa Maria-Modified HD Offset Smoker Reverse Flow- FatStack Smoker FS120 coming soon FatStack 500- Blackstone 36 Blackstone 22 - Custom Cold Smoke House and a lonely Brinkman Vertical Smoker
  • My local Westlake Ace Hardware keeps Rockwood on the shelf for $28.99/bag.  And you can redeem Ace Rewards coupons for a discount.

    Napoleon Prestige 500 built in++Blackstone 36"++Weber 26" kettle

  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 14,828
    edited November 23
    My walmart store sells a lot of fines (RO). My Home Depot sells good sized RO lump. Pick up a bag and flip it over. The sounds they make make it obvious whether you're getting fines or real lump.

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 4,436
    My walmart store sells a lot of fines (RO). My Home Depot sells good sized RO lump. Pick up a bag and flip it over. The sounds they make make it obvious whether you're getting fines or real lump.
    My point exactly......two locations near each other, probably coming from the same distribution and/or plant.  It's handling in warehouses, stacking in trucks, and racking at the store locations.

    I was at a plant once where the pallets were stacked FOUR high in their warehouse.  You would not want anything off the bottom pallet.

    At our warehouse for national distribution, we never stack higher than two pallets since that's how they ship in the trucks.  At the local delivery  warehouse for St. Louis, we go three high since it's a smaller warehouse, but the bottom pallets are labeled for restaurants, caters, and others wanting the smaller chunks (in any case, the breakage is still negligible since the mileage on these are minimal).

    The agitation is what really beats this stuff up.  You can bubble wrap the hell out of a bag of lays potato chips, but its still going to break down if it's shipped 1000+ miles.  Every bump in the road does some damage to brittle products.

    There was a manufacturer that was boxing charcoal for a while--but it didn't solve any problems.  In fact, it allowed the charcoal to bounce around more.  At least with the multiwall bags, it can hopefully "nest" and spread the PSI with minimal breakage.  
  • JohnInCarolinaJohnInCarolina Posts: 21,601

    The agitation is what really beats this stuff up.  You can bubble wrap the hell out of a bag of lays potato chips, but its still going to break down if it's shipped 1000+ miles.  Every bump in the road does some damage to brittle products.

    Reminds me of an assignment we had in my high school physics class.  We each had to design a container that could transport a single Pringles chip through the mail from a local post office to the school.  The grade was based on how light the container was, assuming the chip survived without breaking.

    I just thought I would share that, in case any of you weren't already convinced that I'm a geek.    
    "A generation of the unteachable is hanging upon us like a necklace of corpses." - George Orwell 

    "I've made a note never to piss you two off." - Stike

    Ruining the forum, one post at a time.  

    Living large in the 919
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 4,436

    The agitation is what really beats this stuff up.  You can bubble wrap the hell out of a bag of lays potato chips, but its still going to break down if it's shipped 1000+ miles.  Every bump in the road does some damage to brittle products.

    Reminds me of an assignment we had in my high school physics class.  We each had to design a container that could transport a single Pringles chip through the mail from a local post office to the school.  The grade was based on how light the container was, assuming the chip survived without breaking.

    I just thought I would share that, in case any of you weren't already convinced that I'm a geek.    
    Ha!  Love projects like that.  Probably couldn't get away with it, but the best packing material would have been more Pringles.....the subject one being in the middle.
  • JohnInCarolinaJohnInCarolina Posts: 21,601

    The agitation is what really beats this stuff up.  You can bubble wrap the hell out of a bag of lays potato chips, but its still going to break down if it's shipped 1000+ miles.  Every bump in the road does some damage to brittle products.

    Reminds me of an assignment we had in my high school physics class.  We each had to design a container that could transport a single Pringles chip through the mail from a local post office to the school.  The grade was based on how light the container was, assuming the chip survived without breaking.

    I just thought I would share that, in case any of you weren't already convinced that I'm a geek.    
    Ha!  Love projects like that.  Probably couldn't get away with it, but the best packing material would have been more Pringles.....the subject one being in the middle.
    I ended up taking a block of styrofoam and splitting it in two.  Then I carved a cradle into one side that was chip-shaped, and a space on the other side for it to fit.  I tested it by hitting it with a golf club (driver) that I had in my front lawn.  It seemed to work.  

    Then I took it to the post office, where the postal worker promptly pressed down pretty hard with the stamp tool she had.  I thought for sure I was screwed.  Somehow the chip survived and I ended up having the lightest design in the class.  
    "A generation of the unteachable is hanging upon us like a necklace of corpses." - George Orwell 

    "I've made a note never to piss you two off." - Stike

    Ruining the forum, one post at a time.  

    Living large in the 919
  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,778
    One thing to always remember is that quality lump is brittle.  Crappy lump is as tough as wood.  
    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.
     
  • RyanStlRyanStl Posts: 473

    Just one note about "big chunk charcoal".....lot of times it's not charcoal yet, that's why it's still big.  It's been held together with wood fiber, and wood fiber contains water, thus less BTUs.  So those brands that are selling their big chunks for more money are double dipping because they spent less time in the kiln--less carbon in the bag, more water & wood fiber.  If you can't break it apart by hand, it's not charcoal--it's charred wood.  Properly kilned charcoal is brittle, breaks apart by hand, makes a glass or metallic sound, etc.

    It's always good to get your perspective and insight with this subject.  I was at Sam's the other week and didn't have time to get to an Ace for Rockwood. Don't know the brand,but it had a lot of big chunks. It ended up smoking food I wasn't trying to get a smoke flavor on.  Your explanation makes sense.
  • YnoYno Posts: 424
    I opened a bag of Rockwood and found a bass boat.
    XL BGE in San Jose, CA. Also a Pit Barrel Cooker, a Cal Flame P4 gasser, and lots of toys including the first ever Flame Boss 300 in the wild. And a new Flame Boss 500.
  • IkeIke Posts: 188
    Just don't park it in your front yard, HOA and such...
    Owensboro, KY.  First Eggin' 4/12/08.  Large, small, 22" Blackstone and lotsa goodies.
  • BotchBotch Posts: 12,034
    ____________________________________________
    "When do we get to use the guns?”
            
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