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Not impressed with FOGO Lump Charcoal at all

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    Not impressed with FOGO Lump Charcoal at all

    I recently picked up a 20 pound bag of FOGO lump at our local ACE hardware store. I paid $25 for a 20 pound bag and have used it twice and came away disappointed both times. I've been told that FOGO is one of the best lump charcoal brands out there. When I opened the bag I was impressed with the size and consistency of the lumps, it was on-par with Kamado Joe lump. I just used it tonight to cook filet mignon. OMG the sparks! The sparks coming out of the chimney were ridiculous. It was like my chimney was filled with a bunch of sparklers. Both times I used it it had a slightly off-putting odor to it that translated to the meat. Heck, I prefer the smell of Cowboy lump. I definitely won't be purchasing another bag. Kamado Joe lump was excellent when I used it and for the same price. Lowe's usually has it, so...

    If you watch the happy hour about charcoal cooking, the owner of B&B says sparky charcoal especially lump has been sitting too long. I have used about a bag of FOGO I got direct and haven’t had sparking issues. Also haven’t noticed anything off smelling, but that’s also the only lump I’ve ever used, so don’t have a lot to compare with. Always used just ole KBB until the past year and have been branching out a bit.


    • JCBBQ
      JCBBQ commented
      Editing a comment
      Huh. That’s interesting. I’ve had sparky lump in the past. I just thought it was particular to that brand.

      JeffJ I’d give it another bag before writing it off. I’ve used both Fogos Yellow and Black bags. I agree it’s expensive but I thought it was always good.

    • Ahumadora
      Ahumadora commented
      Editing a comment
      I would say sparking lump charcoal comes from other non hardwoods mixed in.. I used to get that in Argentina sometimes and that charcoal had just arrived in from the North of Argentina.

    My only lump experiences to date include Cowboy, Royal Oak and B&B. The bag of Cowboy and the bag of Royal Oak sparked much more than the B&B. I no longer recall which, but either the Cowboy or the Royal Oak had pieces of items such as window moulding and trim scrap that had been converted to charcoal - leaving me less than impressed. The B&B lump, which I've burned 4-5 bags of now, is less consistent on size, but has been all natural chunks of wood or sticks so far.

    Lately I've been getting more really big hunks of wood - small logs really - in the last few bags of B&B. Some of the hunks have been up to 3 to 4 inches in diameter, and 12 to 15 inches long! It works, but I sure wouldn't be able to use it in the SNS in either my kettle or kamado. It was part of the reason I decided to mostly use the lump when in kamado mode or grilling on the kettle, and just go back to briquettes when using the SNS. I can easily nestle those big chunks down in the bed of coals in the bottom of the grill or kamado, but they won't work in the SNS.

    The only really sparky lump I tried was the Royal Oak, from Lowes.


      I love Fogo. Which bag was it? Gold or Black? I find the black bag does spark and has a bit of an odor until it gets going. I generally use the gold bag with bigger chunks and less sparking.

      According to their website the black bag is for hot and fast and the gold low and slow.


      • JeffJ
        JeffJ commented
        Editing a comment
        The bag is black

      • Old Glory
        Old Glory commented
        Editing a comment
        JeffJ yup the black bag is sparky and does have a bit of an odor. Try the gold bag huge chunks and burns very well.

      I'm happy with B&B. I'm paying about $17 for a 20 pound bag from my local Ace.


        I've always been very happy with FOGO. It's the only charcoal we sell, and it spends very little time in our warehouse. Benefits of online sales is you can churn stock more quickly.


          I buy my Fogo from David Parrish and never have a problem with sparking or offputting odors


            When I've tried it mine was also from Dave and I didn't notice too many sparks or any off-putting odors. I'm guessing ACE doesn't have quite the churn of product, at least yet.


              I've gone through two of the FOGO black bags and the charcoal from both bags sparked like crazy (both with a chimney start for 325-350 cooking and Weber wax cubes nestled in the pile for 225/250 cooking). I did appreciate the FOGO lump sizes within the bag and the quality feel (density) of the charcoal, but have never bought FOGO black bag again because of the popping sparks.

              I'm currently using a 40-lb bag of Jealous Devil charcoal and love it. Consistent sizes that I feel are perfect for my cooking needs and zero sparks. Quality stuff.

              For reference, I have pivoted to using only lump charcoal in my PK360 because of the minimal ash left behind from one cook to the next.

              Edit: I sourced both FOGO black bags from BBQGuys.com since I had a gift card to "burn"
              Last edited by Onez; April 2, 2021, 09:35 AM.


                I say, find something you like and use it often. Doesn't have to be what I like.


                  I can live with the sparking. It’s the slightly off putting odor that really turned me off. For the price it should produce more pleasing flavor than Kingford Professional. It’s the opposite.


                  • ecowper
                    ecowper commented
                    Editing a comment
                    That's very odd ..... I use Fogo Black Bag consistently in my Hasty-Bake and never have an issue with it.

                  • Mosca
                    Mosca commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I'm not invalidating your result by saying that FOGO (brown bag) is the one lump charcoal I've used that has no smell at all. I'm not sure why we have different results. I'm using it in a BGE.

                  I've used Fogo a lot over the years. If you get an old bag is gonna have sparks. I order from Fogo. I get two bags delivered very fast with free shipping.


                    I just used Fogo (black bag) for the first time about two weeks ago. Ordered directly from Fogo online. Definitely had a bunch of sparks when firing it up (used a propane torch to get it going that I also bought from them), but I didn't notice any odor.


                      Interestin info, filed away fer potential future use...

                      Me? I got no dog in this here fight; I only burn briqs or sticks, at present.


                        The last time I purchased an expensive bag of lump charcoal it was Kamado Joe. That stuff was fantastic. I'll use that going forward. I don't use lump very often. Like Mr Bones I'm usually burning briqs or sticks.



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