Which Lump Do You Use?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by meandmytwodogs, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. I've been using Cowboy Brand lump charcoal for several years now and have had pretty good success with it. The more I read though I see a lot of guys saying it is too ashy. I agree that it does put off quite a bit of ash and I even have to be careful how quick I open up my smoker so as not to create a vacuum that spreads the ash around in my cooking area. There are several other brands of lump available around Omaha but am not sure which one to try. WHAT'S YOUR FAVE?
  2. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I use Royal Oak lump. It has it's problems (popping and cracking all of the time), but is fairly inexpensive. I get it at wally world in the 10 lb bag for about $5. My only complaint (outside the popping which can cause ash on your food) is that I constantly find rocks in my firebox. I'm not worried about a hazard, I just don't like paying a premium for rocks...unless they can get them to burn.

    I've also tried Cowboy lump, which I don't like at all. It burns up to quickly, and I've found foreign objects like insulation in the bag.

    I'm assuming you have seen this, but the I'll mention it for those who haven't. The Naked Whiz has a very good database of lump ratings on his site. Check it out:
  3. packplantpath

    packplantpath Smoking Fanatic

    I think you will find lots of Royal Oak users here. I am another. Good stuff. I've also used bbq galores brand and big green egg when I want to get reamed. Both are good, but pricey. At one time, big green egg was made by royal oak, though not sure if still true.
  4. capt dan

    capt dan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I use royal Oak also for the charbroil silver. It is affordable and has a pretty low ash rating. That is real important for the long cooks( 10-14 hrs.) I have found a rock or two in each bag, but I have a gravel drive, and I just toss em out into the drive.

    I don't have alot of other options around my area, cowboy, kingsford, or briquettes.
  5. k5yac

    k5yac Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

  6. gt2003

    gt2003 Meat Mopper

    I normally use the Ozark Oak simply because I have a Harps grocery store 100 yds or less from the house. I did pick up a bag of the Kingsford Charwood for my latest smoke. It did crackle and pop quite a bit when 1st lit. However, I usually only add 3-5 pieces at a time during a smoke so it wasn't a huge problem. Both have been quite acceptable for everything I have done.

    I did buy a bag at Lowes, don't remember the brand, and it burned up really quickly. I haven't bought any there since.
  7. teeotee

    teeotee Smoking Fanatic

    So you got the new smoker home huh [​IMG].

    I've tried cowboy brand from lowes and that was a mistake.

    Like quite a few people i've been using Royal Oak from Wally World. The price is good and it seems to last fairly well. Using my basket i can get 3 hours at 230 to 250 out of half a bag in my cgsp. I'm yet to find any rocks tho and not too much problem with snapping and crackling.

    Have found a bbq store not far from here (50 miles) that sells some other brands i may try out soon. Till then i'm sticking with the royal.

    Enjoy the new smoker
  8. desertlites

    desertlites Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    my last few smokes I have used cowboy brand, it's all I can find around here-I really not that impressed with it, in fact I don't like it at all. The next time I go into town I will stop by the mex. store I bought my pork belly from, I noticed they carried a couple diff brands.
  9. peculiarmike

    peculiarmike Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you can find it, Ozark Oak is the deal.
    In Omaha you should be able to get Best Choice Lump which is Associated Wholesale Grocers (Kansas City, KS) own brand.
    Best Choice is Royal Oak packaged in a generic bag and cheaper, about $4 for 10 lbs.
    Kingsford is the pits. Pops, sparks, raises h#**
  10. peculiarmike

    peculiarmike Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    See if they carry Mexican mesquite lump. That is, without doubt, the HOTTEST burning lump charcoal going. I just got 50 bags (3 kilo bags).
  11. jet_deck

    jet_deck Fire Starter

    Here in South Texas we have at least 2 brands of Mexican, 100% Mesquite Lump. It does raise cain until it gets lit, since it is hot and cheap, i ignore that problem. I pay $13.00 with tax for a 30# bag, If i drive to Laredo or McAllen, i would pay only $8.00 for 30#.
  12. peculiarmike

    peculiarmike Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yep. Once it settles down it gets with the program! Excellent for searing a SmokyOkie brisket, just need long sleeves or no hair on your arm. [​IMG]
  13. Thanks everyone for the great feedback. I really appreciate the support! I know I've seen the Royal Oak around town so will probably go with that unless I see the Ozark.
    The only natural gas around my smoker will be coming from me!
  14. dono

    dono Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    I use Canadian Maple leaf lump eh [​IMG]
  15. I found a deal on 20 lb bags of bge and lezzeri mesquite for 3.00 a bag bought 40 bags each. Had to drive 5 hrs. By the time i added gas for the truck I had $ 5.13 each. This is in western Ny just checked today with them and they still have some.
  16. jackgt

    jackgt Newbie

    I'm new here but I'm surprised at the lack of love for the Cowboy brand. I've been smoking for about 2 years and after trying a few different brands including BGE, Royal Oak, BBQ Galore, Harry's/Whole Foods, and Cowboy, I've settled on Cowboy as my favorite. I find it has very uniform pieces of scrap hardwood, lights easy and burn time is fine. I have noticed that it can get very hot; I've blown out two temp gauges on my BGE with it (that'll learn me not to leave the vents open too long).

    Second for me would be Royal Oak, but Wally World doesn't sell it year round. I can get Cowboy from Lowe's or Bass Pro Shop any time.

    I am not a big fan of BGE or BBQ Galore brands. They both spark too much for me and take too long for that "new charcoal" taste/smell to burn off. The Whole Foods brand is good but comes in small bags and isn't a good value.
  17. kratzx4

    kratzx4 Smoking Fanatic

  18. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    As an aside... I have used a fair number of different lumps. Cowboy seems to be then 'lightest" - I mean literally. The chunks feel MUCH lighter than most brands..leading me to believe they 'cook" theirs out too much maybe, and it's close to ash when ya get it.

    Maybe I should ball mill some ;{)
  19. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    So you're saying a 5lb bag of Cowboy is lighter than a 5lb Royal? [​IMG]
  20. I too have had great results with the Cowboy brand. But truthfully it has been so many years since I've tried anything else that I can't make a fair comparison to the other lumps anymore. I do remember that some of the brands I'd tried in the past did spark a lot and that was what landed me with Cowboy brand. No sparking or crackling. I've found a few pieces of foreign matter before but it was never enough to piss me off. I am going to give the Royal Oak a shot I think but I have a question. On the link that everyone has shown me for comparisons, it shows 4 different Royal Oak varieties and all of them have different ratings and all of them have the exact same branding on the bag. How are you sure which one you are getting? I assume that a "High burn time" means a long burn time. Thanks for the help.

    "I'm just and old chunk of coal, but I'm gonna be a diamond some day!"

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