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Can quality lump be THAT different?

245

Comments

  • bgebrentbgebrent Posts: 16,979
    Got  120# en route from firecraft.  Rockwood is my go to.
    Sandy Springs & Dawsonville Ga
  • bhedges1987bhedges1987 Posts: 3,201
    I really didn't notice when I first began cooking.  Now I notice since.

    Kansas City, Missouri
    Large Egg
    Mini Egg

    "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us" - Gandalf


  • DoubleEggerDoubleEgger Posts: 12,909
    bgebrent said:
    Got  120# en route from firecraft.  Rockwood is my go to.
    Get an ACE rewards card. They send me coupons all the time. $10 off of $50 was the last one. Basically the coupons are $5 off a bag. 
  • johnnypjohnnyp Posts: 3,131
    For burgers and dogs....doesn't matter.

    for low and slow, baking, pizza, chicken, seafood.  All the difference in the world 
    XL & MM BGE, 36" Blackstone - Newport News, VA
  • 4Runner4Runner Posts: 2,948
    Chubbs said:
    SmyrnaGA said:
    I'm a cowboy.  On a Green Egg I ride...

    Smokiest lump I have ever used.  Can't do cowboy. Not even in a pinch anymore. And I am not a lump snob. Never even tried Rockwood. I roll with Fogo. I can get 18lbs for $12 and it is good stuff. Hope to get some Rockwood from @4Runner at some point 
    Come on by @Chubbs
    Joe - I'm a reformed gasser-holic aka 4Runner Columbia, SC Wonderful BGE Resource Site: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/ceramicfaq.htm and http://www.nibblemethis.com/  and http://playingwithfireandsmoke.blogspot.com/2006/02/recipes.html
    What am I drinking now?   Woodford....neat
  • TheophanTheophan Posts: 2,297
    My only beef with the smokey "charcoal" is that it's not charcoal......it's charred wood right in the stage before it becomes charcoal....  You're paying for water and wood which is a lot cheaper than carbon....
    I've never seen Rockwood in my area, so I've never tried it, and I obviously have to admit that maybe if I tried it, I'd love it the way so many people do who rave about it on this forum.  But I don't think money is really the issue, here, but what kind of flavor people enjoy, and I think maybe people just have different personal preferences about what they enjoy.

    What I want, for example, in grilling/smoking is food that tastes like it was cooked over a wood fire.  I started with BGE lump, mistakenly having supposed BGE wouldn't put its name on anything but the finest charcoal, but I've loved it all these years because of the mild flavor and fragrance of a wood fire.  The whole reason I got into the Big Green Egg was that I was tired of food that looked grilled but tasted broiled.

    Many years ago I cooked in a Weber kettle over briquettes, and I realized that as I became more and more careful to eliminate "off" flavors (like charcoal lighter, poor quality briquettes with a lot of petroleum products in them, and carefully trimming meat so there wasn't a lot of fat dripping down and burning back up again into the meat), the less my charcoal grilled food tasted charcoal grilled.  It still looked grilled, but it tasted a lot like I'd broiled it inside.  I wound up deciding if that was the case, a gas grill would be easier than messing with charcoal, ashes, etc., and for several years I used a Weber gas grill, and I liked how easy it was, but again, it was all fine but nothing really tasted great to me.  And I was thinking about trying the Big Green Egg but they were so expensive I just wasn't sure if they were worth it or not, and procrastinating... and then my wife went ahead and bought me one for Christmas, and when I started cooking in my first BGE on BGE lump, I got that wood fire fragrance and flavor that I was looking for, and I LOVED it.  A spatchcock chicken with no wood chips on BGE lump has a very mild smokiness that I really love.  I don't usually want chicken very smoky, but if there's NO smokiness there, I'm going to wonder how it's different than if I'd cooked it in the oven inside!

    Again, if I ever see Rockwood, I'll try it, and maybe I'll love it, but the things that people say about what they love about it sound to me more than a little like, "I love it because there's never any hint of the fragrance or flavor of a wood fire -- it's completely neutral," which makes me think of cooking on a gas grill!  Gas is completely neutral... and that's NOT what I want!
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,362
    My only beef with the smokey "charcoal" is that it's not charcoal......it's charred wood right in the stage before it becomes charcoal.  The bulk density is higher, the ash content is higher, the moisture content is higher, thus the carbon & BTU's per # are lower.  You're paying for water and wood which is a lot cheaper than carbon.

    So, just throwing out numbers, if 20#'s is $16/bag rather than $20/bag, but there's only really only 80% charcoal in the bag vs. 100% charcoal......then they're the same price per # of charcoal.  It's really hard to market that, but it's true.
    Kinda like buying pre-brined chicken, you are paying for the added water.  
    Delta B.C. - Move over coffee, this is job for alcohol!
  • WeberWhoWeberWho Posts: 6,592
    Theophan said:
    My only beef with the smokey "charcoal" is that it's not charcoal......it's charred wood right in the stage before it becomes charcoal....  You're paying for water and wood which is a lot cheaper than carbon....
    Again, if I ever see Rockwood, I'll try it, and maybe I'll love it, but the things that people say about what they love about it sound to me more than a little like, "I love it because there's never any hint of the fragrance or flavor of a wood fire -- it's completely neutral," which makes me think of cooking on a gas grill!  Gas is completely neutral... and that's NOT what I want!
    The reason why I like neutral lump is that you can add your own flavor of smoke you want to a certain meal. If you start with a heavier smoke from the lump and now looking to add a smoke flavor to a dish you start to bury the flavor of the meat from the smoke. Especially with poultry, fish, etc. I think your average lump is good for beef and certain pork as it takes much more smoke for flavor. The downside is that every meal has the same smoke profile. It sounds kind of funny wanting neutral lump but it's more less for smoking for flavor  

  • stompboxstompbox Posts: 725
    johnnyp said:
    For burgers and dogs....doesn't matter.

    for low and slow, baking, pizza, chicken, seafood.  All the difference in the world 
    I agree with everything you said here, except low and slow.  Most add smoking wood to L&S cooks anyway so I tend to use Royal Choke for L&S cooks.  I don't see much difference. 

    100% agree with chicken, pizza and baking though.
  • cssmd27cssmd27 Posts: 286
    Chubbs said:
     I roll with Fogo. I can get 18lbs for $12 and it is good stuff. Hope to get some Rockwood from @4Runner at some point 
    How do you get Fogo for that price?  I like it, but when I bought it online, it was considerably north of the $1/lb.

    Another vote for Rockwood.  It's a bit more than all the cheap stuff, but the value is there.  And, it's nowhere close to the cost (at least, MY cost) for Fogo.
    Dallas (University Park), Texas
  • TheophanTheophan Posts: 2,297
    WeberWho said:
    ... If you start with a heavier smoke from the lump and now looking to add a smoke flavor to a dish you start to bury the flavor of the meat from the smoke. Especially with poultry, fish, etc. ... The downside is that every meal has the same smoke profile.
    Again, I can't compare BGE/RO to Rockwood because I've never seen Rockwood or been able to buy any in my area.  Maybe I'll love it if I get to try it one day.

    But for my own taste, anyway, the smoke from my BGE lump is mild enough that I love what it does to fish and poultry, and wouldn't want less.  I don't want heavy smoke with those, and never add wood, but I love what the BGE lump does with them.  It's a very mild smoky fragrance and flavor that just makes me think of cooking over a wood fire outdoors.

    And no, every meal doesn't have the same smoke profile because I don't always cook chicken.  :)  I really love ribs, and pork butt, and I do everything I can to make as much MORE smoke as possible when I'm cooking them -- I like them as smoky as I can get them, so it's a hugely different smoke profile.  Same with brisket -- I love brisket smoky!

    And things I grill, like steaks, etc., don't really get much of a smoky flavor anyway -- the really hot fire isn't very smoky at all, and the main flavors are the meat itself, the char, and whatever seasonings.  I don't like to think that I couldn't tell the difference between a great steak cooked on a BGE and one cooked on a gas grill, but I'm not 100% positive I could.  It's mostly the sear and the meat, not much smoke at all.  I've wondered about maybe adding some wood during the low-and-slow part of a reverse sear for a really thick steak, and see if I can taste the smoke, but I'm thinking the sear might still be the main thing I'd taste, not the smoke.
  • bluebird66bluebird66 Posts: 2,129
    Yes!!
    Large Egg with adjustable rig, Kick Ash Basket and various Weber's
    Floyd Va

  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 3,228
    @Theophan    Where in the country are you?  We added some dealers recently.
  • TheophanTheophan Posts: 2,297
    @Theophan    Where in the country are you?  We added some dealers recently.
    I live a bit SW of Winston-Salem, NC.  I'd be happy to try Rockwood if there's some in my area.
  • ZmokinZmokin Posts: 1,937
    lousubcap said:
    All branded lumps have their own parameters unless sourced from the same supplier (Royal Oak makes many private branded lumps including BGE).
    You definitely noticed a major difference with Rockwood and that being the smoke profile.  It is very smoke neutral enabling you to have much more control of the smokiness.  Another quite neutral lump is Wicked Good weekend warrior.
    You have a great approach, give the various types a go (unless totally panned here) and then decide how to proceed.  
    Lump threads here can accelerate to a higher agitation level than religion or politics.  FWIW-
    Thanks, I live in a communist land where Rockwood is unavailable due to the import labelling laws of the land.  However, I've heard Wicked Good is available so I will have to try that next bag I buy.
    Large BGE in a Sole' Gourmet Table
    Using the Black Cast Iron grill, Plate Setter,
     and a BBQ Guru temp controller.

    Medium BGE in custom modified off-road nest.
    Black Cast Iron grill, Plate Setter, and a Party-Q temp controller.

    Location: somewhere West of the Mason-Dixon Line
  • buzd504buzd504 Posts: 2,600
    I've been trying the Basque Sugar Maple lately, and it's quite nice.  Now that I'm out of Ozark Oak (one bag left that I'm not opening for now), it's Rockwood and Sugar Maple for me.  I heart Firecraft.
    NOLA
  • I actually just eat the rockwood.  Don't bother with food anymore.
    I only use flavor neutral foods so it does not mess up my lump. 
    1- LGBE
    1- KBQ C-60 (The Dishwasher)
    I- Blackstone 36" Griddle
    1- Sweet-A$$ Roccbox Pizza Oven
    1-Very Understanding and Forgiving Wife
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 3,228
    edited April 2016
    Theophan said:
    @Theophan    Where in the country are you?  We added some dealers recently.
    I live a bit SW of Winston-Salem, NC.  I'd be happy to try Rockwood if there's some in my area.

    Any Ace Hardware in NC can order it, just stop by and have them look up SKU 8400772.  They'll have it in a few days with the rest of their weekly restock order.
  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 10,815
    @chubbs I'd have known, I'd left a bag with Robin last week. You coming to the blast next week?  I'll bring a bag for you. 
    I can hook you up @chubbs .....can hook up one night this week if you like.
    Columbia, South Carolina with a Medium, MiniMax & a 17" Blackstone

    “Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.”
  • Jupiter JimJupiter Jim Posts: 3,188
    @chubbs I'd have known, I'd left a bag with Robin last week. You coming to the blast next week?  I'll bring a bag for you. 
    I can hook you up @chubbs .....can hook up one night this week if you like.
    I'm looking to get some at the butt blast if ya can.

    I'm only hungry when I'm awake!

    Okeechobee FL. Winter

    West Jefferson NC Summer

  • TheophanTheophan Posts: 2,297

    Any Ace Hardware in NC can order it, just stop by and have them look up SKU 8400772.  They'll have it in a few days with the rest of their weekly restock order.
    I heard Ace carried it, looked at a nearby Ace, they didn't have it, but I didn't ask.  It's a few more weeks before I can eat meat again (long story), and I hardly ever grill during my vegan times, but I'll definitely ask and see if I can get some Rockwood.

    Thanks for letting me know!
  • bgebrentbgebrent Posts: 16,979
    Theophan said:

    Any Ace Hardware in NC can order it, just stop by and have them look up SKU 8400772.  They'll have it in a few days with the rest of their weekly restock order.
    I heard Ace carried it, looked at a nearby Ace, they didn't have it, but I didn't ask.  It's a few more weeks before I can eat meat again (long story), and I hardly ever grill during my vegan times, but I'll definitely ask and see if I can get some Rockwood.

    Thanks for letting me know!
    Firecraft.com will happily deliver Rockwood to you brother.  Got 120# today despite being surrounded by ACE hardware stores that carry it.  I use both.  Firecraft will send free shipping if you order more than $10 (5 bags) for less than ACE.  It's great lump.
    Sandy Springs & Dawsonville Ga
  • DieselkWDieselkW Posts: 869
    @stlcharcoal has too much integrity to hawk his product here, so I will say for anyone buying Rockwood by delivery - do not blame the product for handling damage. The guys as Firecraft do what they can to reasonably protect the two bags per box, but they pay for the shipping if you spend $100 so they can only do so much. The two bags fit tightly so the box is properly sized, but UPS "HATES" 40 lb. boxes and it will get dropped several times between them and you.

    1. You get what you pay for, most of the time.
    2. Why pay for improperly processed wood that is full of moisture?

    The worst thing about buying lump is finding heavy items inside that are not useful. Like pieces of the inside of the kiln. Rocks. Things with weight when you're buying by the pound are especially annoying.

    Rockwood might seem like burning dollar bills, but see #1 above.

    Oh, and when you buy that bargain lump, watch how it sparks and spits and pops. I'm not sure, but I think that's water vapor escaping the pores.

    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. 



  • TheophanTheophan Posts: 2,297
    bgebrent said:
    Firecraft.com will happily deliver Rockwood to you brother.  Got 120# today despite being surrounded by ACE hardware stores that carry it.  I use both.  Firecraft will send free shipping if you order more than $10 (5 bags) for less than ACE.  It's great lump.
    I've just recently heard about Firecraft, but I'm a little nervous about having it shipped for the reason someone else mentioned above.  I figure at a local supplier, it's probably shipped in bulk, and people are moving pallets around, not manually carrying heavy boxes, and maybe dropping them, shattering delicate lump into smaller pieces.  If I can get it at Ace, I'm going to try it there, first, and if I decide to keep buying it, I might look into Firecraft and see what the deal is there.

    Thanks!
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 3,228
    DieselkW said:

    The worst thing about buying lump is finding heavy items inside that are not useful. Like pieces of the inside of the kiln. Rocks. Things with weight when you're buying by the pound are especially annoying.
    ...And please understand that ANY lump charcoal manufacturer can only do so much to mitigate this.  Anything that ever gets hammered, shot, nailed, wounded around, etc with a trees in its lifetime can end up in the bag.  That's nails, staples, bullets, arrowhead, barb wire, and more.  The trees grows around the item, that piece is too knotty and gets rejected by the mill, thus it ends up at the charcoal plant.  Anything in at the plant can end up in the bag as well--rocks, metal banding for holding the wood slabs together, and unfortunately the occasional piece of concrete or refractory from a kiln.  A magnet can help catch the exposed metal, but stuff that's incased is tough.  Plus rock or concrete covered in char-dust looks just like a chunk of charcoal--only way to find these is float them in a water bath (then you're paying for water that it soaks up.)  In the end, you get 20.4-20.6 lbs of charcoal in our bags.  The extra 0.4-0.6# is usually our gift to you, but sometimes it gets used up (and then some) by a foreign object......after a dozen bags, you're always going to come out ahead unless you have really bad luck.

    Theophan said:

    Any Ace Hardware in NC can order it, just stop by and have them look up SKU 8400772.  They'll have it in a few days with the rest of their weekly restock order.
    I heard Ace carried it, looked at a nearby Ace, they didn't have it, but I didn't ask.  It's a few more weeks before I can eat meat again (long story), and I hardly ever grill during my vegan times, but I'll definitely ask and see if I can get some Rockwood.

    Ace has a huge online catalog for its stores.  It looks like Amazon because the store managers scroll through the items, rate them, put them in the "cart".  Due to size of the store, profitability, demographics, region, etc it's up to them what they have on the shelves at the store.  Any store that starts stocking our product usually keeps it on the shelves because it sells, has customers asking for it, and rarely gets a complaint (and it does, we rectify it immediately.)
  • TN2TXTN2TX Posts: 285
    @Chubbs where are you getting fogo at that price? It's currently listed in Amazon for $35 for 18 lb bag. 
    Dallas, TX
  • ckali7ckali7 Posts: 103
    lousubcap said:
    All branded lumps have their own parameters unless sourced from the same supplier (Royal Oak makes many private branded lumps including BGE).
    You definitely noticed a major difference with Rockwood and that being the smoke profile.  It is very smoke neutral enabling you to have much more control of the smokiness.  Another quite neutral lump is Wicked Good weekend warrior.
    You have a great approach, give the various types a go (unless totally panned here) and then decide how to proceed.  
    Lump threads here can accelerate to a higher agitation level than religion or politics.  FWIW-
    I tried some WGWW last night and found it to be even more neutral than RW (IMO). It also had better lump profile than the bag of RW I recently purchased locally. However that could have been a direct result of local handling. 
  • SmokyBearSmokyBear Posts: 371
    How are you guys adding wood for grilling temps?  Doesn't the wood combust?
    Mini BGE, KJ Classic - Black, Cookshack SM025, Weber Gasser (mostly for Kamado storage!)
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 17,607
    @ckali7 -  WGWW is a great lump, I used it for quite a while til they had quality sourcing issues a few years ago.  Then found Rockwood.  But to their credit, WG fixed the quality issues.  Being lazy, and with Firecraft delivery I am now on Rockwood but if that source dries up, I will drive the 25 miles (one-way) to reload with WGWW.  
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
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