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lump at the big box stores

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Say I have gone to the lump charcoal database site-very informative. Almost overwhelming. What I was wondering is of the big stores Walmart, Menards, Home Depot, and Lowes what store carries your preferred lump? I live equal distance from these stores I have a bag of Royal Oak Steakhouse lump-rated highly but predominately small pieces. I am now ready for my first smoke in my Horizon and I know that in a full 12 hour smoke I will go through some serious lump. I'd like high heat, low ash, and large pieces (wouldn't we all). Just would like some of you wood smokers opinions. Much appreciated.

post #2 of 17
Walmart carries Royal Oak.

The local stores carry "Best Choice" Lump, which is Royal oak that is bagged with their Associated Wholesale Grocery label, and I can get that cheaper than at Walmart.

I am still working through the original charcoal company lump that I bought on a year end clearance at Costco last year.

Buy it cheap when you find it...the stuff stores forever!
post #3 of 17
When I used my ecb for cooking, I tried many different varieties of lump before I found RO at Wal-Mart. In my humble opinion, stock up on RO. The bag you got has small pieces but that's not normal with their lump. It's usually a good mix of pieces.
post #4 of 17
I didn't know "best choice" was made by RO. Now I know why I like it so much! I always buy best choice at the grocery store cause it's about half the price of the name brands and is just as good. Thanks for the info Engineer. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #5 of 17
I use either Walmart RO, Menards RO or GFS brand which is made by RO.
post #6 of 17
Hey Rivet...

I found that out from the naked whiz charcoal database when I started on the quest for the perfect ribs...

I love the stuff, in fact it is my charcoal of choice when I'm not working through my stockpile. Occasionally some stores around here will have it on sale, and I jump on it too. It is always cheaper than Royal oak at walmart as an added bonus!
post #7 of 17
Hey great site. Thanks Engineer! Got it bookmarked for future reference. I appreciate your link.

Happy smokes to you!
post #8 of 17
Hiya Doug,

I'll agree with the others on the "bang-for-the-buck" value of RO lump....but, will also offer a recommendation that you give a couple other brands a shot.

One is available at Hawgeyes in Ankeny....the "Wicked Good" lump charcoal...rated as some of the best available by Naked Whiz. I know it is pricey by comparison at about a buck a pound, but, IMHO it burns longer and gives better flavor than RO.

The other is "Seven Oaks" brand...available at the grill and fireplace store on 86th st. in DSM. It's cheaper than the Wicked Good...and yet again, IMHO...better than the RO for longevity and flavor.

I guess I missed what kind of Horizon smoker you acquired...if it's anything close to what Smokebuzz has, it could literally burn splits of wood....just using lump or briquettes to start them, or to augment the splits for more heat if needed.

post #9 of 17
All bags of Royal Oak are not the same. The red bag with "Made in USA" on it is the good stuff. Burns really hot and very little ash. I use GFS lump now which is the same as RO only it comes in 20 lb bags and is cheaper. If you can find it try some Frontier Brand. It is made from brazilian hardwoods and burns a loooooong time. It is a little harder to get started in the chimney but it gives your food a wonderful smokey flavor that is different than anything else I've tried. They used to carry it at Meijers but now all they have here is Frontier brikets.
Good luck and good smokes.

post #10 of 17
Hawgeyes also carries the Seven Oak, i like it the best, next to Nautral Glo by OiK.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

thanks for the input

I appreciate all the replies. The other day I grabbed a bag of the red RO lump at Walmart. Used it for a smoked and really liked it. So today I go to a more conveniently located Walmart-you know what's coming...they didn't have it. Well, I'll find it again and with your help I know of many other types to try. Thanks again.

post #12 of 17
I only have 4 stores here and have checked 3 of them: Wal-Mart has no lump, Home Depot has Cowboy Lump and Smith's has Kingsford Lump. Haven't checked the Albertson's yet. :)
post #13 of 17
Don't waste your time with the Cowboy lump, it has a realy short burn time... you will be adding more almost every hour. I bought it the first time I ever fired up my smoker.... I made it through, but I had to really keep an eye on the temps.
post #14 of 17
Thanks - I bought a bag of the Cowboy stuff so I'll keep an eye on it.
post #15 of 17
Our WalMart doesn't carry lump. I've seen Kinsford lump at Sam's, but that was a couple years ago.

Local grocery stores have their own store brands. Since Kroger is so close to my house, I usually grab a bag of their stuff. FWIW, a buddy of mine said he heard the Kroger lump was made by Royal Oak. $5.99 for a 10lb. bag is cheapest stuff in town (except when Kroger runs a sale at $5.41).
post #16 of 17
Kroger lump is indeed made by RO.
post #17 of 17


the RO steakhouse, green bag lump at menards is great. like 4.58 for 8 lbs. If you can do better in mid Michigan, I need to knowicon_smile.gif
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