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Lump Charcoal

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    Lump Charcoal

    I live in Southeast Indiana. I am having a hard time finding decent lump charcoal. Everything I buy is busted up so bad it's all in small pieces and doesn't burn as well. Any info or ideas? I cook on a BGE.

    #2
    Do you have a Lowe's nearby? They carry Kamado Joe lump charcoal. It's expensive but it's seriously good.

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      #3
      A lot of people swear by FOGO lump charcoal. My understanding is that it has to be ordered online.

      Comment


      • Mosca
        Mosca commented
        Editing a comment
        I’ve gotten FOGO where there are lumps the size of volleyballs. No problem, I just break them down into baseballs.

      #4
      I cook on a BGE, too. I use Royal Oak which has been pretty good as to size from Home Depot or Walmart. Recently I found 35# bags of Royal Oak at Walmart which seems to have larger chunks. If you can’t find anything good in your area, you might have to purchase online. I hear Fogo has huge pieces.

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        #5
        B&B is good lump IMO. Check your local Ace Hardware. As you probably know Fogo can be ordered on line.

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          #6
          There is a post here on how to make your own, I did it last week and my results were good, my next batch will not be cooked as long. I always wanted to make my own and I did when I went to three stores and none was available.

          Comment


          • Argoboy
            Argoboy commented
            Editing a comment
            I cooked some St. Louis cut pork ribs today on the Primo using the 3-2-1 method, I used my own charcoal and it seems to light and burn faster than store made stuff. The cooked turned out some good ribs as usual.

          #7
          Fogo is the best. Which one to buy depends on what your cooking and what your cooking on.
          i but both premium and super premium which is large.
          There is another one I'm about to try. Can't remember what's it's called but I think it's under the super premium in there list.

          Fast Fast shipping if you get a large bag of 2 smaller bags.

          Comment


            #8
            I've bought FOGO from SnSGrills.com a coupla times and it came it great shape.

            Comment


              #9
              I've been getting mine from Ace. They have a few good options plus Cowboy.

              Comment


              • smokin fool
                smokin fool commented
                Editing a comment
                Attjack That is funny.
                One of the things you can't pick up reading a typed a message is sarcasm....
                Charcoal brands are like car brands on this site, either love em or hate em.
                At $10 a bag gave it a shot and liked it over Royal Oak I usually buy.
                Other brands up here cost you a major organ donation so this was a pleasant surprise.

              • Attjack
                Attjack commented
                Editing a comment
                I used a lot if cowboy in the past. I've found a lot of rocks in it and huge pieces and tons of dust and little pieces. I've also found it inconsistent. Sometimes it's pretty good other times not. I have also used worse lump. IIRC it's manufactured in different areas one if them being Mexico. Perhaps yours comes from the better manufacturer?

              • Oak Smoke
                Oak Smoke commented
                Editing a comment
                My local ace carries several brands. I can call them on Monday and they will have the KJ big block I use by Thursday. It comes in on their regular delivery truck so there's no shipping charges. The manager said they have some brands in the warehouse that he doesn't keep in his store. Mine is one of them.

              #10
              I’m in Northwest Indiana and have found that going to Indy suburbs (about an hour) and hitting up the Ace Hardwares they have an “ok” selection. Some of the Lowe’s have KJ too, but I’ve pretty much resorted to ordering most of it online since it breaks even once I take into account my time and fuel.

              Comment


                #11
                I am a huge fan of B&B charcoal. Both hickory or oak lump is great as well as the briquettes. Ace never seems to have it in stock so I order it online at the Ace hardware website and they deliver to your nearest store for free and then I go pick it up. B&B has nice large chunks. I Use the Briquettes more though as I live in a high fire risk area and lump charcoal sparks much more.

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                  #12
                  I am currently using Jealous Devil XL (because that is all they had available at my local Ace Hardware a couple of weeks ago) and it's every bit as good as Kamado Joe XL Big Block. FOGO is pretty decent too and David Parrish will have it delivered it to your front door for $39.99 for 2 - 17.6 lbs. bags. I have yet to try the BGE brand lump as I can't get myself to spend $28+ on one medium sized bag.

                  Comment


                  • BBQPaddy
                    BBQPaddy commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I agree. I bought BGE brand one time and didn't think it was worth the price even though it was good. It's charcoal, not lumps of gold!

                  #13
                  BJ wholesale has (or had) Kamado Joe lump for $20. Last few bags were lowered to $16 so they were pushing it out. Picked up a few bags there, it is good stuff. Before that j was ordering Fogo, or going to get it from the importer (importer is local for me) or picking up bags as needed at a meat supplier conveniently located next to a brewery (remember when breweries had taprooms that were open???).

                  a friend used to work at a higher end BBQ place in North Carolina that sold a lot of BGE cookers. Apparently Royal Oak makes the BGE lump. BGE picks out the larger lumps and bags it as a premium brand, the rest is Royal Oak.

                  BJ wholesale always has this “western” brand lump. I have used it, but stopped. Found rocks in it. Also lump with tongue and groove joinery milled. Not to mention other pieces that were clearly lumber at one point. Not that this is awful, it could have been oak flooring or planks. Or it could have been pine. Or for all I know old shipping pallets. Also the “western” lump had A LOT of shake. Sometimes up to 1/3 of the bag was shake. So yea, quit buying that.

                  Comment


                    #14
                    I would go with either FOGO or B&B Charcoal. You can usually find them at most stores. I would go to the links I tagged and try to find a dealer near you. You can usually find someone that carries it.

                    Ace usually carried B&B. And some of them will carry FOGO as well.

                    Comment


                      #15
                      I've come to the conclusion that "the best" lump charcoal is somewhat of a crap shoot, with the possible exception of Fogo. Let's deal with Fogo first. If large chunks is the goal they are the repeatable champs IMO. If anything, they are sometimes too big and need to be cleaved for my use. Given the low amount of too small for good use sized stuff they are good to great value even at their upper end price point.

                      But, despite the value judgement above, I've searched the locally available, to me, stuff hoping to find a lower cost alternative that can be consistently good. I'm one of those nuts that dumps and sorts each bag, separating decent size chunks in a sealed tub for "pit run" use, the smaller chunks that mostly won't fall thru the starter chimney into another bin for starter use, and then a set aside for the ultra large chunks for long cook use. The dust and very small nuggets get dumped on the yard debris burn pile. I've posted several commentaries over time here on Western, Royal Oak, B&B, Jealous Devil, Goldens, and probably a couple others I don't recall right off. Of those listed the Royal Oak was the worst. When you get 6 or so pounds of dust or near dust from a 20# bag that really sucks, and that's not just one bag, it was a trend. The Western wasn't far behind, but only had two bags of that. Both were purchased at Wally World so there might be a handling issue that increases the damage in shipment and stocking/storage at the supplier level. The B&B as well as the Golden's were what I would consider average supply. No really good/big sized chunks but roughly an equal amount of decent, smaller than your fist size for pit run, and a near equal amount of starter chips/chunkettes (by weight) with a pound or two of dust. The Jealous Devil was somewhat better than the "average" guys but I was really disappointed in the high proportion of dust, a couple pounds from a 35# bag. At it's premium price that becomes a larger negative as a comparative. That could be attributed to shipping as it's not available locally but Fogo doesn't seem to suffer as much from similar handling.

                      Now a kicker. Early in the season I bought a couple bags of Best of the West Masters Selection at Sam's. Relatively inexpensive so my expectations were that it might be in the B&B category at best. Surprise! There were a fair number of fist size and slightly larger pieces and a good percentage of pit run with only about 3# out of 20 starter chips and a shy half cup of dust. The dust amount was a shocker for it's low, low volume. As a value judgement this stuff is a huge winner. Burn quality is similar to other Mexico sourced lump, some popping from the starter chimney, but mostly calm in the pit. If there's a negative to be noted it's that there is maybe more round branch pieces than some would like, some with bark still intact. As a practical matter it doesn't seem to be a negative to me, but to each their own. The other "issue", at least in my locale, is availability. Sam's had it early in the season, but not since (though we only go there about once per month) and this is the year of Covid impact so not sure what "normal" is.

                      Out of all these the one that mystifies me the most is Royal Oak. Lot's of folks say they like it. My experience makes me classify it as junk. Thus a cautionary note about internet evaluations. Tough to know who's value judgements match your own without a bunch qualifying info.

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                      Last edited by Uncle Bob; August 8, 2020, 09:44 AM.

                      Comment


                      • Joetee
                        Joetee commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Good right up. I haven't used all that you have but I have used quite a bit of different ones.
                        I still find that Fogo is still the best I've used.
                        I'm about to try another one of there's. Not the eucalyptus one but the other one.

                      • BBQPaddy
                        BBQPaddy commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Awesome comment. Thank you. Sorry to take so long in getting back to you. I found Best of the West one time at Sams and haven't been able to find it since. I was quite satisfied with it too. I've never seen FOGO around here.

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