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Meat-Up in Memphis

T-Shirts & More T-Shirts & More
Order men's and women's T-Shirts, Sweatshirts, Aprons, Mugs, Caps, Tote Bags, Flasks, and more, all imprinted with the Pitmaster Club logo. There's even a spiral bound journal where you can make notes on your cooks.

Cool Embroidered Shirt Cool Embroidered Shirt
This beautifully embroidered shirt is the same one Meathead wears in public and on TV. It's wash and wear and doesn't need ironing (really!), but it is a soft cottonlike feel. Choice of four colors and both men's and women's.

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BBQ Stars


Some Of Our Favorite
Tools And Toys

These are not ads. These are products we love and highly recommend. Click here to read more about our medals and what they mean.



Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts

Digital Thermometers Are Your Most Valuable Tool And Here's A Great Buy!

maverick PT55 thermometer

A good digital thermometer keeps you from serving dry overcooked food or dangerously undercooked food. They are much faster and much more accurate than dial thermometers. YOU NEED ONE!

Click here for more info on the Maverick PT-55 Waterproof Instant-Read Thermometer Review shown above. It may be the best value in a thermometer out there

If you have a Weber Kettle, you need the Slow 'N' Sear

slow n sear

The Slow 'N' Sear turns your grill into a first class smoker and also creates an extremely hot sear zone you can use to create steakhouse steaks.

Click here for our article on this breakthrough tool

Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet's Dual Tube Burners

the good one grill

The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King's proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Click here to read our complete review

The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One

the good one grill

The Good-One Open Range is a charcoal grill with an offset smoke chamber attached. It is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. The grill sits low in front and doubles as a firebox for the smoke chamber which is spliced on above and behind so it can work like a horizontal offset smoker only better. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.

Click here to read our complete review

Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

Griddle And Deep Fryer All In One

The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, and home fries. Or pancakes, fajitas, grilled cheese, you name it. Why stink up the house deep frying and spatter all over? Do your fried chicken and calamari outside. Blackstone's Rangetop Combo With Deep Fryer does it all. Plus it has a built in cutting board, garbage bag holder, and paper towel holder. An additional work table on the left side provides plenty of counter space.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

The Pit Barrel Cooker May Be Too Easy

The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers in the hardware stores because temperature control is so much easier. Best of all, it is only 9 delivered to your door!

Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them

The Swiss Army Knife Of Thermometers


The smart folks at ThermoWorks have finally done it: The Swiss Army Knife of thermometers, two in one. Start with the industry standard food thermometer, the Thermapen MK4, (Platinum Medal winner) truly instant (2 to 3 seconds) precise (+ or – 0.7°F). Then they built in an infrared thermometer ideal for measuring the temps of pizza stones, griddles, and frying pans (also great for finding leaks around doors and windows in your house).

Click here to read our test results and comprehensive review and why it won our Platinum Medal.

Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater


Char-Broil's Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you're off to the party! Char-Broil's TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted

NK-22-Ck Grill

Their NK22CK-C Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It's hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the NK22CK-C a viable alternative.

Click here for more about what makes this grill special


G&F Suede Welder's Gloves

Heat Resistant Gloves With Extra Long Sleeves Hold The Hot Stuff

If you're using oven mitts at the grill, it's time to trade up. Say hello to these suede welder's gloves. They're heat resistant enough to handle hot grill grates, and flexible enough to handle tongs. The extra long sleeves even let you reach deep into the firebox to move hot logs without getting burned. Our Fave.

Click here to read our detailed review

Click here to order from Amazon

GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone

grill grates

GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, keep small foods from committing suicide, kill hotspots, are easier to clean, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily removed and moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke to whatever is above. Every gas grill needs them.

Click here for more about what makes these grates so special

kareubequ bbq smoker

Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.

Click here for our review of this superb smoker

Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker

masterbuilt gas smoker

The First Propane Smoker With A Thermostat Makes This Baby Foolproof

Set ThermoTemp's dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin'.

Click here to read our detailed review

Professional Steakhouse Knife Set

masterbuilt gas smoker

Our founder, Meathead, wanted the same steak knives used by steakhouses such as Peter Luger, Smith & Wollensky, Morton's, Kobe Club, Palm, and many others. So he located the manufacturer and had them stamp our name on some. They boast pointed, temper-ground, serrated, high-carbon stainless-steel, half-tang blades with excellent cutting edge ability. The beefy hardwood handle provides a comfortable grip secured by three hefty rivets. He has machine washed his more than 100 times. They have never rusted and they stay shiny without polishing. Please note that we do not make, sell, or distribute these knives, they just engrave them with our name.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

PK 360 grill

Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?

The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it's easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado. Beautifully designed and completely portable. Meathead says it is his preferrred grill.

Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

Click here to order it direct from PK and get a special deal for AmazingRibs.com readers only

Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

fireboard bbq thermometer

With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.

Click here to read our detailed review

Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

Green Mountain Davey Crockett Grill

Green Mountain's portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order



Meat-Up in Memphis 2020

Join us in Memphis for our Meat-Up! Click here for details. (https://amazingribs.com/memphis2020)
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Upgrading to better lump charcoal?

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  • Top | #1

    Upgrading to better lump charcoal?

    I didn't want to hijack the thread started by Michael_in_TX , but the comment SmokeyGator made about Fogo got me thinking. 90% of the lump I've used has been Cowboy from Costco, and the other 10% Royal Oak from Walmart. I still use briquettes sometimes, too, but I've come to prefer lump (at first I typed "lump has grown on me" but that sounds like a whole different thread for a whole different forum).

    Anyhow... I'm now considering the upgrade to get more consistent sizing, less powder, and fewer rocks. I checked it out, and there's a BBQ Galore a mile from me that has Fogo Premium ($1.14/lb) and Fogo Super Premium ($1.70/lb). They also have their store brand ($1.35/lb). And then they have Big Green Egg lump, but they don't list the price of that online.

    Compared to less than $0.75/lb for Cowboy, there's definitely a step up in price. But it won't break the bank for a bag or 2 to try it. Anyone have thoughts on the pros/cons of any of the varieties listed? What would you try first? What should I expect?

  • Top | #2
    I'm lookin forward to both th answers ya receive, an yer results...not experienced with lump, much; only some partial bags that come with CL cooker purchases...

    But, learnin is what my brain does best, so, let's roll!


    • Top | #3
      Bad lump is bad news. I have not used a lot of high end lump but I do appreciate the decent stuff. I don't buy cowboy any more.


      • Top | #4
        I don’t use a lot of lump, but when I do I use Jealous Devil. It does all the right things right. Not as much mess in the bag, the size is ok, no huge chunks, lights fast & low ash. Have used Cowboy, no more. Ditto on Royal Oak. The JD is about 33 a bag, but you can get two 20’s for approx 54 dinero on Zon.

        PS. Harry Soo likes the stuff too.
        Last edited by FireMan; June 10th, 2019, 07:38 AM.


        • Top | #5
          I've used B&B Lump from Walmart once in my WSCGC in kamado mode. I had a tough time keeping the temps solid (certainly compared to Weber or KBB briquettes) , but figured it was just my learning curve. The quality of the lump, though, was really nice. Not too much powder and no scary stuff at the bottom of the bag. My local Walmart started carrying B&B lump last year.



          • Attjack
            Attjack commented
            Editing a comment
            I got a bag of B&B recently and really liked the quality.

        • Top | #6
          I've used Royal Oak, a couple of brands that I can't even remember the name of, Western, B&B and Kamado Joe big lump.
          Of that group I'd put RO at the bottom. Too much powder. I've heard good things about B&B and found it at Walmart for $12 for a 20 pound bag. I picked up 2 bags and am not impressed after a couple of cooks. It's not bad by any stretch, it just doesn't separate itself from the others. The Kamado Joe big lump did impress. Very much so. The problem is it's $25 for a 20 pound bag. From what I've read FOGO is the Rolls Royce of lump charcoal.


          • Top | #7
            I use Rockwood or B&B lump. Good lump is light weight, 2 pounds is a fair sized pile. I'm paying about a dollar a pound for good lump. If it cost me 2 or 3 dollars for a long cook I'm good with it. There is a noticeable difference when you use well carbonized, decent sized lump compared to the cheap stuff. If I see Fogo super premium in a store I will try it.


            • Top | #8
              Keep trying different brands, I went through all sorts before I settled on Dragon's Breath. It has good heat and works quite well. Still has some rocks, but buying the expensive stuff doesn't always work. I tired one (don't remember the brand) and found half a brick in it.


              • Top | #9
                I guess that I'm the outlier, but I've had good success with Royal Oak XL (the large lump RO sold at WallyWorld). To be transparent, I also got a Kick Ash Basket. It might be the basket, it might be the RO XL. I tried Cowboy Charcoal and IMHO, I agree with all said about it on this thread. Try The NakedWhiz.com for some good reviews . Good Luck!
                The OmegaDog
                Last edited by OmegaDog12; June 10th, 2019, 09:23 AM. Reason: Additional info


                • Top | #10
                  I am a big fan of the Kamado Joe Big Block XL. Some of the chunks are huge and most are medium size or above. All the Cowboy I have used has always had way to much dust and shards in it and not enough usable pieces.

                  Whenever there is a Kamado Joe roadshow at Costco I pick up a couple bags. I think it is $20 for a 40 lb bag? Something fairly reasonable like that anyway. Here is a schedule of the roadshows: https://www.costco.com/kamado-joe-schedule.html so you can see when there is one in your area.

                  I don't use a lot of lump charcoal but I do like having some around for the times I want to use it.


                  • Top | #11
                    I'm with Mr. Bones. After all my years of smoking and grilling I have little experience with lump, so am waiting for your results. My experience is that it does burn hotter and is less conform in size. Other than that nothing.


                    • Top | #12
                      I used to use Royal Oak almost all the time because it was inexpensive and most of the bags were OK. Now that I've started using B&B I won't go back. B7B has way less ash, burns hotter and has better sized pieces. It takes longer to light, but that's rarely an issue for me. I also love the Kamado Joe lump and Rockwood, but they're both too expensive for every-day use.


                      • Top | #13
                        Big green egg buys their lump from royal oak. The larger chunks go to BGE, everything else is royal oak.

                        As for Fogo, both the premium and super premium are from the same place. El Salvador. The super premium are the larger chunks, the premium is everything else. You will still get dust and tiny pieces, there is no way to completely avoid that. But you get less of it than other brands and (so far) no rocks. And no chunks that look suspiciously like scrap lumber, complete with router cuts for tongue and groove joinery. Frontier lump. I’m looking at you.

                        Anyhow the super premium will have LARGE chunks. So fewer lumps per bag, but they burn hot (larger chunks means more airflow) and they burn a long time. But the regular premium is good stuff too. I get either, depending on what is in a 17 pound or greater bag. Lately that is the super premium, the place I go to only stocks the smaller bags of fogo premium.

                        The difference you will notice (besides monster size chunks) is a long burn time. Less refilling of the firebox. More cooks per bag. No rocks. That sort of thing.


                        • radshop
                          radshop commented
                          Editing a comment
                          That's some astute and funny analysis there - thanks!

                      • Top | #14
                        This is great info. I worked all day and scrambled to get to the grocery and back to cook dinner for some friends coming over, so I never made it the ONE WHOLE MILE to the BBQ Galore. Maybe tomorrow - hope springs eternal. I did check online and found that Walmart around here does not stock the B&B that a lot of folks like.


                        • Top | #15
                          I get Blues Hog lump from big poppas for $27 a bag. Buy $75 worth and shipping is usually free. Nice mix and not too much dust.