Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #EGGhead4Life.

In Atlanta? Come visit Big Green Egg headquarters, including our retail showroom, the History of the EGG Museum and Culinary Center!  3786 DeKalb Technology Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30340.

Lump Charcoal

SLMWindsSLMWinds Posts: 17
edited November 2011 in EggHead Forum

Is there any sort of consensus on what brand(s) or type(s) of lump charcoal are best for the egg? I'm certain this answer varies from person to person but I figured there may be some types that are recommended or not recommended. I'm new to lump charcoal so I've been using whatever is at the grocery store. Is the BGE type worthy of use for highest quality? If there aren't certain types that are agreed upon, throw out whatever works the best for you! I will certainly be trying many different types but I was hoping you guys with more experience can give me some good places to start my tests!


  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,708
    I use Royal Oak as my standard charcoal.  Walmart sells it seasonally for $6.47 for a 10 pound bag.  Wicked Good is the one I use for long low and slows since it is more dense and burns slower.  BGE lump is made by Royal Oak so there is no reason to spend the  premium price - just buy Royal Oak.  Many other brands of lump are also made by Royal Oak.  Be sure to get the USA made Royal Oak.

    A handy place for charcoal reviews is
    Large BGE
    Barry, Lancaster, PA
  • Thanks for the input! I'll certainly give Royal Oak a try. Are there any websites where you can order Royal Oak (or any other good kinds) of lump? I am getting "out of season" now, but grilling for me is a year round activity!
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,708
    Do you have any kitchen supply stores or BBQ stores in your area. They are usually a good source.

    You didn't say where you live.  If you add that info to your signature, you'll get some help from people living near you.  I know that a number  of markets sell Royal Oak under their own name.  Around here, it's just Walmart abd a couple of BBQ supply stores.  Lowes and Home Depot sometimes have Cowboy lump, but I don't like the stuff.
    Large BGE
    Barry, Lancaster, PA
  • I am with Shiff, Cowboy Charcoal is TERRIBLE.  Royal Oak is good, more importantly, it is the most consistent.  I also like the Publix Lump, if you have that grocery store in your area Go there. I write it.
  • Since September 14  have used 2 bags of BGE, 1 bag of Cowboy and now 2 bags of Royal Oak (Walmart) and  1 bag of Royal Oak Steakhouse.  
    As we all know BGE is good Lump, price is the reason I continue to look for another option.
    RO steakhouse was ok, it had a nice array of sizes but the fewest large pieces of all the Lump I have tried.  One thing that stood out about this Lump was the amount of sparks I got when lighting it.  Fireflies fly from this stuff.  
    Cowboy had some weird looking stuff in it.  I had to toss out a few lumps because I could not tell what they were. It also sparked more than others. Cowboy seemed to give us a flavor we did not care for.  Cant name it but there was something about it that tasted different.
    I finally found the RO walmart product and bought a couple bags.  The truth?  Best of the bunch to me.  On average I received more large Lump than any of the others.  Flavor has been very good.  It lights just fine without much sparking.  I cannot get over how much longer this and BGE last over the others.  Less ash, better flavor, bigger pieces and cheaper.  4.5 star for me.
  • bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,161

    I'm new here. I just got a BGE two weeks ago. I live in MN and there's not many who are selling BBQ products when it's going to be -20° in another few months. Anyone from the MN (Twin Cities) area who knows of a store stocking lump coal?


    Big Lake, Minnesota

    2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

  • I have used BGE lump, royal oak, and a bunch of others but my mind is made up and it's the best around. Ozark Oak is the only lump I buy. You can get it from your harps grocery stores or order it by the box. If you havent tried Ozark Oak, give it a shot and it will make your mind up too.
  • BigGuy I am also in Minnesota.  The dealer I got my BGE from stocks BGE Lump.  Walmart stocks Royal Oaks.  Byerly's carries Cowboy, Menard's Royal Oak steakhouse, Lowe's - cowboy.  To date these are the only Lump brands I have seen.  
  • Bigguy136 - Depending on where you are in the TC area...
    Kitchen Window - uptown
    Ace Hardware Stores like Settergrens or Kraemers True value
    Quetopia Barbecue supplies in Sundial Ctr, Mtka.
  • I'm with all those that said Cowboy brand is not even worth trying. I bought two 8 lbs. bags at a lowes just to try it. One bag had a huge chuck of concrete in it. Will never use it again even if is free!!!! Go with BGE or Royal Oak.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited November 2011
    any brand of charcoal will have a hit or miss bag over time.  cowboy lately is the very dense (south american sourced?) stuff we normally see in 'Wicked good', for example.  formerly it was sourced differently.  a bag used to comprise both maple and oak branches/logs, as well as milled lumber scrap.  people were often put off by the milled scrap, but it was never recycled stuff or prefinished, just scrap (knots and damaged pieces) culled from the production line.  lots of s4s stuff in it too (planed or milled dimensional lumber).  made up from stuff that wasn't 'finish' grade

    at any rate, f you buy enough charcoal over time, you'll have rocks and chunks of the retort in it.  it's a natural product.  if i stopped buying those makers who shipped bags with rocks in it every now and then, i'd be back on a gas grill.

    you can cook over any of it, and it all will go all night on a full load without making too much ash.  the rating of it all seems a little fetishistic, frankly.  i don't equate light with bad and heavy with good, because the really heavy/dense stuff can take a while to get going.  if i want a fast fire, the lighter stuff like cowboy is perfect.

    to each his own, but i think most users can cook over any charcoal they are handed.  might have a preference, but it's all carbon, it all burns, and it's all good enough for me.  a buck a pound seems to be the running total, unless you buy BGE, which is about 2 bucks a pound here. 

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • To add to what stike said...I see differences in the lump but not much in the results. I like large chunks but have never had a fire run out or not reach temp due to the quality of the lump or size of pieces.
    I grill therefore I am.....not hungy.
  • bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,161

    I checked at Walmart in Elk River and they said they only carry charcoal. I will check at Monticallo Walmart. If I go to a smaller store like Ace, will I pay a lot more or large store/ small store, same price? What would be a good price for Royal Oak?

    Thanks for helping get a newbie off right.

    Big Lake, Minnesota

    2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

  • I got a bag of BGE lump when I bought my egg and it worked just fine but I didn't like the price.  So I tried Cowboy which was cheaper than the BGE stuff.  Size wise it didn't differ too much but I didn't like the flavor it imparted, not sure how to describe it but it was just kind of not right.  I found out our local Walmart carries Royal Oak year around.  So far I've been pleased with it, no weird taste, and it seems to start easier so I'll be sticking with it.
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,708

    I checked at Walmart in Elk River and they said they only carry charcoal. I will check at Monticallo Walmart. If I go to a smaller store like Ace, will I pay a lot more or large store/ small store, same price? What would be a good price for Royal Oak?

    Did you mean they only carry charcoal briquets?  Around here both Walmarts carry Royal Oak charcoal in season.  The usual charge is $6.47 for a 10 pound bag (be sure to get only USA made Royal Oak).  Speak to the manager of your store and ask if he'll carry it.

    There is also a restaurant supply store (Clark's) that sells Royal Oak in 18.8 pound bags for about the same price/pound.  One BBQ supply store (Meadow Creek) sells it in 20 pound bags also for about the same price/pound.
    Large BGE
    Barry, Lancaster, PA
  • bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,161

    Yes, briquets, sorry.

    Went to the local Ace. They had one bag of Frontier 10 LB for $8.50. I will keep shopping but it keeps me going.


    Big Lake, Minnesota

    2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

  • I personally like Malio's, long , HOT, burn's
    BGE'er since 1996 Large BGE 1996, Small BGE 1996, Mini BGE 1997
  • anyone got any comments on the wicked weekend warrior?  i got a bag of it i am burning through right now, and would like to know what some other people think of it
  • Johnzm, I have used wicked weekend warrior and I like the burn time cause it was dense with good smoke flavor. When I can't get (wicked) I use RO from my local Walmart or BGE lump.
  • Ckeck out this site for lump charcoal reviews.
  • i use royal oak from walmart,   i buy four bags at a time.. they always have a skid or two


    XL   Walled Lake, MI

  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 7,674

    If you have a Krogers in your area, they have their own branded label of lump, same stuff as Royal Oak or BGE Lump, just in a different bag.

    At the Plano Eggfest,w e were given Ozark Oak to use and I thought it was pretty good. Had a decent burn and if you are looking for lump without a heavy smoke, this would be a good one.

    Unless you are from Texas, and maybe only Dallas, there's a Dallas Cowboy Mesquite Lump that I have been using and I really like, but its heavy on the smoke. Pretty cheap. But I've heard people comment they won't use it just because of the Cowboys.




    Rowlett, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings


Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.