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Charcoal Quality

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    Charcoal Quality

    Good day, all.

    I have a question about types of charcoal briquets. I buy Royal Oak classic, the orange bags, because they are about $8.00/ 15lb bag, and everything else costs $15 - $20 for the same amount.

    Would I get better performance with Kingsford, or another brand? There's not a lot of options in Canada...

    I guess it's just that I've been struggling lately. My kettle can't seem to keep coals going. If I do a 12 hour cook on my offset, it uses up pretty much two 15lb bags.

    Let me know what your thoughts are, thanks!

    Weber has the best charcoal IMO. However, it looks like they have discontinued it. It was $20 for a 20lb bag. B&B is pretty good too and that is about $14 for a 17.6lb bag. KBB and Kingsford Professional burn pretty much the exact same way in my experiences, but one is more expensive than the other. Kingsford 100% hardwood is something I'm going to try next and it's about $13 for a 12lb bag.

    Though the 100% hardwood briquettes are more expensive, they burn a lot longer and cleaner. I haven't done a study, but they might be about the same cost as you don't have to use as much. B&B is hard to find right now. Someone else posted in a recent thread that they were told by B&B that sales are through the roof and they're having a hard time keeping up with demand.


      I've found keeping the kettle going in cold weather a challenge, and I'm definitely going through more briquettes compared to usage in warm weather. Can you get coconut shell briquettes in Canada? They burn hotter and I've had better luck with them in cold weather. Can't seem to find them where I live, though.


      • UncleSpike
        UncleSpike commented
        Editing a comment
        9lbs. $63.00. That's not happening...

      • KabBBQ
        KabBBQ commented
        Editing a comment
        When the fuel costs more than the food, that's not a winning strategy.

      Like mentioned above I am a fan of B&B and also Jealous Devil. Not sure of availability in Canada.
      However Napoleon has a Coconut Shell Briquet offering that you surely have access to. Here in the US I buy it off Amazon. It is a bit pricey but well worth it. Per pound for Coconut it can’t be beat. Second best choice for me by pound is Blazing Coconut Husk Briquets.
      I am sure if you used a couple of Coconut briqs along with your Royal Oak briqs you would get the results you desire.
      It burns hot, lasts along time, a bit less ash with a neutral smoke profile.
      Their are a couple youtube videos on the Napoleon offering.

      Napoleon Coconut 26lbs cost $34.99
      Blazing Coconut 20lbs $29.95
      Last edited by tiewunon; January 13, 2021, 04:23 PM.


        Any hardwood briquette is the bomb. I'll get almost double the burn times over a standard briquette regardless of brand. For basic grilling the hardwood briquette can be overkill, unless you are grilling for hours on end.


        • UncleSpike
          UncleSpike commented
          Editing a comment
          I'll go on the hunt for that next.

        I feel your pain, even up here in the big smoke charcoal can be hard to find at times because its so seasonal.
        If you want to try what I call up scale charcoals
        Dickenson's BBQ in Toronto has:
        Jealous Devil and Fogo for $39.99 a bag
        Weber briquettes for $19.99 a bag
        Said free shipping on orders over $99.00
        BBQ Galore in Etobicoke has:
        Jealous Devil for $38.99
        Blues Hog $39.99
        Weber briquettes $19.99
        Again free shipping on orders over $100
        Both have websites you can check out.


        • UncleSpike
          UncleSpike commented
          Editing a comment
          I found a Barbeques Galore in Calgary. I'll swing by there next time I'm in the area.

        • UncleSpike
          UncleSpike commented
          Editing a comment
          I bought a bag of Weber briquets. They had lots of it, and he didn't know anything about it being discontinued. I also go a bag of their house brand hickory Buffalo lump charcoal, and I splurged and bought 20 lbs of coconut charcoal briquets. Will see how these burn overnight on a long slow cook.

        • smokin fool
          smokin fool commented
          Editing a comment
          Our Walmart had Royal Oak yesterday, I almost fainted when I saw it....
          A whole 6 bags, probably all they'll bring in for the season.
          Canadian Tire is curbside pick up only, last time all they had was Kingsford briquettes.
          Drag I'll never smoke over those again.
          Glad you found what you were looking for.

        I've tested Weber (discontinued), B&B, Kingsford Original (blue bag or KBB) and Royal Oak briquettes in my kettle with the SNS. The shortest burn times I had were using Royal Oak. I like it, but have to refuel the kettle every 5-6 hours. I never had issues maintaining temperatures, but then - I am in Alabama. While we have some cold days in winter, most of my smoking is above 40F outside.

        As far as the usage on your offset - I have a small offset, and if I use it for a long smoke, I will definitely burn through 30 to 40 pounds of charcoal when doing brisket or Boston butts. So your usage on that cooker sounds typical for charcoal as the main fuel source on a small offset.


          For a long time now, I've been thinking that more fillers in charcoal is bad. Of course more fillers (KBB) means the briqs hold together better. Again, on the other hand, if you have

          If you don’t have to worry about ash buildup in your particular setup then buy whatever you like or is on sale, they end up very close in cost/(hours cooking).

          the denser your fuel the more you can cram into the coal basket for a longer cook time as long as there is some space for airflow. B&B Char logs are the longest burning I’ve used and nice big pieces that burn slow (not the best for direct heat grilling)


            KBB is my go to in most cases. If not I use BB. I have tried Royal Oak but have had the same results as jfmorris


              I tried KBB for the first time last week, there is a petroleum funk that came off the bag I used.
              No odor/taste came across in the food.
              No such funk from Royal Oak.
              But RO is a junk yard on clean up nuts bolts nails wire broken glass fingers.
              Last edited by smokin fool; January 14, 2021, 07:31 AM.


              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                Yeah - I think Royal Oak just uses scrap wood from who knows where to make their charcoal. I've had rocks, no fingers or broken glass yet! I don't buy it unless its the only thing on sale, and only use it for short cooks if I do.

                I too do not care for the odor KBB puts off when first lit, but have never had any issues with the food I made using it. And I do a lot of low and slow cooks where it is igniting gradually or I am dumping it in during the cook on the offset.
                Last edited by jfmorris; January 14, 2021, 09:11 AM.

              • smokin fool
                smokin fool commented
                Editing a comment
                I smoked a sirloin roast and a pork tenderloin today using Kingsford briquettes and have to say I'm finished with them today.
                I mentioned above the funk that comes off them while burning, well today it came across in the meat I cooked.
                Usually I cook with charcoal and a few briquettes, today was a cook using only briquettes and it was not great.
                I'll take the junk in RO over the funk off Kingsford.

              The last bag I bought was Royal Oak and there was some non charcoal bits inside as well. I now make my own and I have been pleased with it so far. Lump charcoal is a seasonal thing around here.



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