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Royal Oak briquettes: Midas Touch or Fool's Gold? Opinions needed!

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    Royal Oak briquettes: Midas Touch or Fool's Gold? Opinions needed!

    Hey guys! Brand new here, and brand new owner of a Pit Barrel Cooker which I've taken for a maiden voyage cooking a pork shoulder, some ribs, a pastrami, some beer brats, and some corn on the cob. Everything but the pastrami turned out world-class (user error on that, I think). Pretty good for an overly ambitious first attempt by a guy who has no idea what he's doing.

    I'm on the hunt for the best value fuel for this bbq machine. I was in Walmart and picked up some bags of Royal Oak briquettes. In two versions. The patriotic red white and blue version comes in a two pack of 18 lb bags for $8.88... a total steal if it's any good. The other bag was $7.95 for a 16 lb bag of "All Natural". What's really confusing is that if you read carefully, both bags state that they are 100% all natural. So I'm wondering how these differ, and if you guys have any experience with both of these. I'm tempted to load up on the $8.88 double pack. But not if it sucks! My first cook used the brown bag Royal Oak All Natural Briquettes. It burned for about 8 hours and maintained temps from 250-275 until fuel ran low. Haven't tapped the patriotic Premium value size Click image for larger version

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ID:	849679 double bag yet, which also says 100% all natural.

    I actually emailed Royal Oak to find out the difference, as well as what differentiates a few other products they make, because I was so confused. Here is the response they sent me:

    "Thank you for contacting us. It is always exciting to be included in your grilling experience. Royal Oak specializes in manufacturing charcoal. There is not a difference between the All Natural Hardwood Briquets seen our website and the All Natural Hardwood Briquets seen in Walmart stores. Walmart is running a "Patriotic" promotional campaign with the product this summer. This is the reason for the red, white and blue bags. The Royal Oak Premium Ridge has been discontinued which is why it's no longer featured on our website. However, Royal Oak Chef's Select is currently on our website under Restaurant products as this is mainly sold to restaurant owners. https://www.royaloak.com/product-category/restaurant-products/."

    So what is your experience with these products? Any PBC owners care to comment on their performance vs other charcoal you like or prefer? Anyone used both and know if they perform the same?

    I really appreciate your experience and insight! If you think these suck, what do you prefer, especially for PBC cooking?

    #2
    Curious about the answer to this myself...

    Comment


      #3
      Welcome from Minnesota. I prefer KBB or B&B Briquettes in my PBC. Royal Oak Briquettes aren't seen much in my area.

      Comment


        #4
        Hi thornsbreak , welcome to the Pit. Congrats on being a new PBC owner. Over on the Pit Barrel Cooker channel, there is a sticky topic about using other brands of charcoal in the PBC besides the originally recommended Kingsford Original. There is some information there about using Royal Oak, both lump and briquettes.

        https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...nal-on-the-pbc

        I've done tons of cooks on my much-loved PBC, but never with Royal Oak briquettes, so I can't add anything.

        Enjoy coming to The Pit and enjoy that PBC too!

        Kathryn

        Comment


          #5
          Welcome from Virginia. I like Royal Oak lump but prefer KBB and B&B briquettes

          Comment


            #6
            No PBC here but I've used Royal Oak briquettes in my BKK, usually augment with RO charcoal for a longer burn.
            Can't complain about how they cook and how long they last but be prepared for your firebox to be the city dump.
            I've pulled out glass, nails, rocks, pieces of brick, wire, teeth, eye balls after a cook.
            They may be making these things at a local landfill.
            Your prices are the same as at our local Walmart, different packaging as well, which is why I use RO everything else is double or more the price at other stores.

            Comment


            • Razor
              Razor commented
              Editing a comment
              RO should dump in a few coins here and there and make an advertising campaign like Cracker Jack.

            • smokin fool
              smokin fool commented
              Editing a comment
              Razor 10-4 collect 10 coins and get a free bag of RO

            #7
            Been using Kingsford for 50 years----tried lump a several times but found it to be inconsistent----Royal oak is good also, but I prefer
            Kingsford-----old dogs resist new tricks!! keep cookin'

            Comment


              #8
              I prefer Kingsford over all others. It is very consistent and it burns well. The PBC is also designed to run with it.

              I am sure RO will work fine too, but I have always reached for Kingsford!

              Comment


                #9
                Welcome to The Pit. Sorry, but I have never used RO products.

                Comment


                  #10
                  Welcome to the Pit! I've only used 1 bag of RO briquettes on my kettle and worked fine. Different smell, not bad, and seemed to take longer to come up to temp. Need to try it again.

                  Comment


                    #11
                    The inventor of the PBC recommends KBB and after a few dozen prototypes while developing the cooker I figure he knows what he's talking about. Some here use the hotter/long burning version of Kingsford found in wholesale clubs for hotter temp for chicken. I just prop the lid open a bit with a twig for a higher temp.

                    Comment


                      #12
                      I have gone strictly to RO for my kettle and love it. But if PCB recommends KBB I would go with it as that dang thing is finicky to what it buns in it and RO burns hotter than KBB.

                      Comment


                        #13
                        I like Royal Oak briquettes in my kettle with the Slow 'N Sear, but find on my cooker, it lasts 5-6 hours on a load, versus 7-8 for Kingsford, 10 hours for B&B or 12+ for Weber briquettes. I just don't use Royal Oak for overnight cooks on my kettle, and other than that, find it to be a very good value.

                        Comment


                          #14
                          In my opinion, it's best to go with the recommended KBB, at least until you get the hang of how your PBC runs. Much like following a recipe to the letter the first time you try it. That way, you can follow the excellent lighting instructions and other advice found on here without introducing yet another variable.

                          Comment


                            #15
                            Can’t stand RO, strictly Kingsford, B&B man here

                            Comment

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