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Royal Oak Canada is super sparky

SpanishJoeSpanishJoe Posts: 28
edited 11:03AM in EggHead Forum
I bought about 4 18-lb bags of Royal Oak StarGrill Lump, for export to Canada (the blue bag)for $12 each at Canadian Tire (it's like Target) and I'm having a lot of problems with sparkiness (um.. I'm not sure that's an adjective). This stuff is snap , crackle pop all over my steaks and chops, and it's driving me nuts. It's good for low-and-slow, though... The origin of the lump says "Made in USA". Heat's OK, smell is fine, but the sparking has been pretty crazy. Anybody else in Canada having the same problems?

IMHO, here in Ottawa, Basques and Maple Leaf are the absolute best I can get my hands on. I can get the former for about ~$21/20 lbs, and the latter for $20/10lb bag at Rona... anybody found it for cheaper in the Ottawa area? Is there a better time of year to stock up?

Final question - what causes sparkiness? Can it be reduced?



  • BrayonBrayon Posts: 24
    Hey Joe,

    I had the same "super sparky" issue couple years ago, but that time it was Maple Leaf which gave me such issue. I wonder if storage condition might generate such issue rather than the nature of the charcoal itself. Royal Oak and Maple Leaf are my 2 typical brands and I see more differences on the sparking from bag to bag rather than brand to brand.

    Whiz, what's your high words on the issue?
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817

    It does produce more spark than Maple Leaf or Basques. Weekend Warrior is good too if you can get it. I get my Maple Leaf at Nella Knives for $12.00 per 8Kg. Have to buy six bags to get the price. I don't know if they are up you're way or not.



    Caledon, ON


  • mikeb6109mikeb6109 Posts: 2,067
    same problem here....but hell you got to remember the price for it also?? i use royal for all my regular cooks to save money but then i use the good stuff for all my low temp and very high searing . for that i use wicked good and it has been good to me and my buddies!but it is a more expensive lump. not many places carries it though here in canada. i stock it but i am in N-B.
  • Chef CharlesChef Charles Posts: 870
    I am a fellow egger in Ottawa and I use Maple Leaf all the time. I think the price at Rona is about $15 for an 8kg bag (about 18 lbs). I have not tried the Basques brand as of yet. Over my first 3 months with the LGBE, I have had no problems finding lump yet stocking up may be a good idea before winter sets in, especially since the stash at Rona is in the seasonal section. However, the dealer where I bought the egg tells me that lump is available all year round and they sell the Basques brand along with the BGE brand.


    Charles is a mischevious feline who always has something cooking

    Twin lbge's .. grew up in the sun parlor of Canada but now egging in the nation's capital

  • RivermuteRivermute Posts: 35
    Just bought a bunch of the blue bag Royal Oak in Walmart the other day.. I noticed the sparks as well. I am a little on the paranoid side when it comes to open fire of any kind so am not sure if I would use the Royal Oak for long unattended burns. The big issue I have with the sparking is the fact that it coats food in dust and charcoal..

    Going to try the Natures Own(?) Mesquite charcoal from mexico. A bit more expensive but I don't mind forking out for quality.. If I can't solve the problem I am going to make my own. I have 200 acres of mixed forest and tons of maple and oak.

    I live in Muskoka Ontario btw.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817

    The sparking will subside after the lump is burning. A&P is carrying Duraflame which seems to be made of hardwood flooring off cuts.



    Caledon, ON


  • SpanishJoeSpanishJoe Posts: 28
    True, but due to the design of the egg, the sparking only stops when all the lump has lit and burned down a little, which could take quite a long time at 650, waiting, waiting, open it up, sparks all over the place as the air hits it, swearing, waiting... if you need to burn half your lump waiting, then the 1/2 price isn't much of a deal :blink:

    I'm going to do what was suggested before and just use the royal oak for the long long long cooks. Or maybe just skip it and use the basques stuff. It's loon quality! WHAT DOES THAT MEAN??? I laugh every time I see that bag...

    Oh, and Rivermute, if you decide to make your own charcoal, let me know how that goes... heck, I have a camp near Whitefish Falls (Lang Lake/Espanola area), so if you're making batches, I'll buy some off you! :woohoo:

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817

    How are you lighting the lump? I use a mapp torch,, light in three places, close the dome and I'm good in fifteen minutes. I haven't used Royal Oak this year so I might be wrong. I'll pick up a bag on the way home and try it.
    I had some stuff from Argentina that sparked and spat all the way through the cook but never with US Royal Oak. I've heard that their South American stuff was bad.
    Maybe the blue bag was made in USA.



    Caledon, ON


  • FV-EggerFV-Egger Posts: 31
    I use the RO that is bought from Canadian Tire in the blue bags. I do find that it sparks much more when lighting with my MAPP torch than the Maple Leaf that I get at Home Hardware, but once its lit, I get the occasional pop or spark, but not very much. Maybe its just a bag-to-bag type thing.
  • SpanishJoeSpanishJoe Posts: 28
    I use a weed burner, same as the mapp torch, but the sparking should end after the lump is lit. It doesn't. I mean, much less than with the weed burner, but yeah, it keeps a spittin' and a poppin' for quite some time. Not so much to make it unuseable, mind you, but I don't like pickin' specks off of pork chops if I can help it.

  • SpanishJoeSpanishJoe Posts: 28
    Could be - I'be only used one and a half bags so far. Maybe it's humidity, with all the rain we've been getting lately. Who knows? It's still a good product, but I think I'm going to switch brands for the high-temp sears.
  • grEGGorgrEGGor Posts: 109
    I like Maple Leaf better - but have tried the Royal Oak stuff in a pinch. I didn't notice that it was sparky, just not as nice as Maple Leaf - small pieces etc.
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