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Cowboy lump charcoal

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by rowdyrawhide, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. rowdyrawhide

    rowdyrawhide Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    I recently purchased some cowboy lump charcoal at Ace Hardware, it was a twenty pound bag, I have only used Royal Oak before. I can get the RO red bags at Walmart here locally, but awhile back a friend gave me some in a blue or purple bag and the chunks were huge compared to the red bag.  So I bought the Cowboy because it felt like there were bigger chunks in the bag.  Well I got ready to use it, opened it up started filling my smoker and chimney, and noticed there are some chunks of lumber in here; ie tongue and groove pieces and triangular cut pieces of lumber chunks.  I have never noticed this in the RO, also the RO looks like all burnt charcoal; the cowboy looks like the wood pieces were just rolled around with some other lump and basically coated with black dust. FWIW the lumber chunks looked like rough sanded oak, but hard to tell through all the black dust.  It also seemed to burn a little cooler than the RO red bag.  

    Is this common to find "lumber" chunks in other brands of lump charcoal? (these are the only two brands I have tried since switching over from briquettes)

    Any input here would be greatly appreciated.


  2. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

  3. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yep my suggestion is to steer clear of Cowboy. As Cliffcarter said your results are very common when buying Cowboy.
  4. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use to use it also but had the same problems. Just tried RO & so far im a fan!!
  5. warthog

    warthog Smoking Fanatic

  6. jaynik

    jaynik Smoking Fanatic

    I haven't had any problems with Cowboy.  I use it all the time.  I do like Royal Oak, but can't find it around here.
    arkansasbadboy likes this.
  7. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Yup---stay clear of Cowboy:

    I used it one time in a grill, and I had so much fireworks, I had to keep the lid closed to keep the sparks & flying embers from lighting the mulch under my deck!

  8. rw willy

    rw willy Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    If you think your charcoal is going to be made out of heart wood cut specifically for charcoal purposes you are fooling yourself.  The producers get scrap from the closest lumber yard.  Charcoal is made from wood.  If that is leftover flooring, so be it.  If the quality control of the process is lacking (fireworks) then thats another problem.  But as long as its wood, it won't matter if it comes from Bruce floors or not.  I have opened bags of various producers and been able to read the imprinted stamp of Bruce in the charcoal.  I opened a bag of cowboy and found something that looked like a limb torn from the trunk, right next to a piece of sawn right angle molded trim.  As for the dust, I think that is how the dealer handles it.  I used to buy from a liquor store.  But he throws the bags around and stacks them to the ceiling.  If you get the one from the bottom of the stack before the next shipment.  all dust.

    I hate finding rocks, paying for wieght not wood.

    Have a good smoke.
  9. coyote-1

    coyote-1 Smoking Fanatic

    I don't stay away from Cowboy. It is generally pretty good. You do occasionally get a rock or something, but I've also gotten rocks in RoyalOak.

    RoyalOak is definitely superior for smoking. But I find Cowboy's initial burn is hotter, so that's what I use for grilling - and it's what I use in the chimney to start a basket of RoyalOak.
    arkansasbadboy likes this.
  10. dave54

    dave54 Smoking Fanatic

    ACE had it sale for 12.50 and the manager was standing there while my buddy and I were talking about the problems with it . He over heard us talking about the problems with it and asked if he should pull the bags off the floor. I explained if people knew what to look for in it ,it shoildnt be a problem

      we ended up getting 2 bags for 10 each so for a deal like that I'm using it and havent had a problem nothing but charcoal and no rocks this time .

     Maybe cowboy charcoal "cowboyed" up and is working on the problem
    arkansasbadboy likes this.