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Cowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal (23288)

43% Positive Reviews
Rated #5 in Lump


Pros: Available ar HD & LWS

Cons: Concrete? Whole logs?

The first year it was ok, after that it went down hill, BAD!


Coming from gas grilling to charcoal, I was having a bear to get Kingsford to light and the sandy texture to my food was awful! Someone suggested lump to me and low and behold, HD had Cowboy. Compared to Kingsford, it was awesome!


I'm not sure what happened but after the first year of using it more concrete starts to show up, then full logs in the bag, flavor went down hill. Like it had pine in it. They seem to be a small operation, customer service is pretty much non-existent. They did refund me on my last couple bags, and I did try them one more time. Emergency situation, late on a Sunday and realize we were out. HD, is still open.


Soooooo . . . . the bag ended up across my lawn and I am done with them. I'll go to McD's next time I run out! Log, concrete and it wouldn't light.


I did some looking around and I found a great site for lump charcoal reviews:




Pros: Great flavor

Cons: Expensive

OK....bad reviews here on the lump coal by Cowboy. This is the basic stuff that has a variety of woods in it and even some from untreated lumber mills. This stuff is crap. The trick here is you need to buy the premium. That is the good stuff. Its a southern mesquite. But simply a great flavor.


Pros: Burns Hot and low ash output.

Cons: Inconsistant size of pieces, have found dimentional lumber in the bag

I have to agree with most of the reviews here that the quality of this charcoal has gone down hill since I started using it.  I found it very good at first with heat I could control easily, but not so much anymore. The size of the pieces in bag range from the size of a quarter to logs the size of my forearm.  I've even found what looked like a piece of 2x4 in there. The heat is not as consistent as it used to be.  I really prefer using lump to briquets so I hope Cowboy does some quality control soon.


Pros: Lights Easily, burns fast and hot

Cons: Foreign metal matter found in lump :-(

As I have started a thread on this particular matter, I will post that info into this review.


Thread in Question:


I had just made a coal basket, and performed some other modifications to my CharGriller SFB smoker.  I live in the Midwest (Omaha, NE), and quality lump charcoal is not easy to find around here.  I usually got Fire King from the local butcher, but they were all out.  So I ponied up some money and got a bag of Cowboy Lump.  The post below is my official review:


So, as others have seen on another post, I've just made a coal basket and some other mods to my CG smoker.  The unfortunate thing I have to deal with is that there's only one place around Omaha that sells any other brand of lump other than Cowboy - and they were out.


So I had to bite the bullet.


I got the lump, and was satisfied with the burn.  When my smoker had cooled, I went to go clean out the basket, and found this:






Yes, folks, that IS a piece of METAL!!!


Thankfully, I didn't have any meat on the smoker when this happened.  So I sent Cowboy an email about it, letting them know how upset I was:


Subject: COMPLAINT!!!
Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2011 21:14:51 -0500

To whom it may concern:
I purchased a bag of your Cowboy Lump Hardwood Charcoal about a month ago.  I got it from a local vendor here.  The bag was not damaged, and it was full of very large pieces of lump.
I reviewed your lump charcoal on a website that specializes in lump charcoal.  I saw that it was rated average at best, but I still decided to try the lump since the review was very old.
I did a burn on some of your lump today, and found a piece of METAL IN THE LUMP.
I am very concerned about this, and would like to know what you are doing to resolve this?  The review on the website I read was a couple of years old, but it seemed that they had the EXACT SAME ISSUE back in 2007 with your charcoal.
Very Irate and Angry,

Omaha Nebraska
P.S. - I will be sending you photos of the piece of metal I found in my bag of charcoal.  This is very VERY UNACCEPTABLE!!!


So then, I waited for a response.  A few days went by, and I got nothing.  So I sent this:


Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2011 11:05 AM
Subject: RE: COMPLAINT!!!


Dear CowboyCharcoal,
I still have as of yet to receive any kind of a correspondence from you about the foreign matter I found in the bag of Cowboy Charcoal.  I am awaiting a response to my inquiry.
Thank you.
Omaha, Nebraska


The next day, I got this back in return:


Subject: RE: COMPLAINT!!!
Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2011 07:45:46 -0500





We apologize for your poor experience with our product. Please know that no metal should ever be in a bag of our charcoal. This is something that we will immediately address with our production staff at our plant.


Please send me your address so we can send you a $20 rebate check for your troubles.


Once again, please accept our apology.





Stephen Heiman

Sales and Marketing Manager

Cowboy Charcoal, LLC.

P.O. Box 3770

Brentwood, TN 37024

(615) 661-6882


I'll let you all know if I get the twenty bucks.  All I'm going to do is spend it on some Fire King.  That piece of metal could have poisoned me and my family. 


I never received a check from this company.  Since then, my quest for the best lump to use has been completed as I found sells Ozark Oak.  I ordered two bags for about the price I paid for two bags of Fire King here in Omaha.  This past weekend was Easter, and I started an Overnight cook of Brisket for Easter dinner on Sunday, and was highly impressed and satisfied with the Ozark Oak, and will continue to order from Firecraft until I find somewhere more local....that sells Ozark Oak.


Pros: burns hot with little ash

Cons: short burn time and strange things in the bag

I have to agree with smokermark, there are quite a few better choices out there for lump.  The stuff burns very hot, but doesn't last and I used to find things in the bags that were definitely not wood.  Some of the items of wood looked like they had already been fabricated into flooring or furniture and I couldn't be sure that it wasn't finished at one time.  It is readily available in the large home improvement chains and elsewhere so easy to find and inexpensive, but you can find better.


Pros: Easy to start, decient-sized pieces

Cons: Medium length burn time, lots of sparks

I've used Cowboy lump charcoal at different times over the years. It's a pretty good value for shorter cooks/grilling. However, for longer cooks or smoking there's other options that are much better. The quality is fair to good but it does tend to pop and snap quite a little with moderate heat and ash.  It's a good value for the money for grill use. 


Pros: Low ash production, can be found for $3.00 or less at end of the season sales.

Cons: T&G processed wood pieces ,pops and sparks

I started using Cowboy brand about a year ago. I buy it at my local Ace Hardware . i have also tried Trader Joe's briquettes and i still come back to the Cowboy brand Lump. It dose well in my Bandera  but works even better in my UDS.  I can get a 10 hour burn from 5 lbs of this lump. Yes it Pops & spits sparks when you first lite it and until it realy gets going

Cowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal (23288)

Sold as each. 8.8 lb. All natural. Consumer rebate on every bag. Great for adding genuine flavor to all foods. 4 to 5 BBQ's per bag. Bagged . Manufacturer number: 23288. Buy Hardware Supplies SKU #: 8129520. Country of origin: United States. Distributed by Cowboy Charcoal.

Feature4 to 5 BBQ's per bag
Weight8.8 pounds
LabelCowboy Charcoal
List Price$7.49
ManufacturerCowboy Charcoal
Package Quantity1
Product GroupKitchen
Product Type NameTOOLS
PublisherCowboy Charcoal
StudioCowboy Charcoal
TitleCowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal (23288)
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC › Smokers & More › Fuel › Charcoal › Lump › Cowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal (23288)