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Kingsford Briquettes vs. Royal Oak Ridge Briquettes: Burn Temperature, Time, and Ash Comparison

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by noboundaries, May 24, 2017.

  1. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I picked up 8 bags yesterday, wanted 18. Went to two different Lowes. A LOT of the bags were torn and taped. I suspect this $4 sale is an old stock sale to make room for this coming season's shipment. I've got to go to my grocer this morning, which is right next to a Lowes. If the same torn up bags are there, I'll ask if they'll cut the $4 price in half for me to take the ripped bags off their hands.

    BTW, I'm 16 hours into a 9.56 lb pork butt smoke using RO Ridge. It should finish up in the next 30 minutes to an hour. I loaded my WSM charcoal basket about 2-3 inches over the top of the basket, dimple in the middle, then added 8 hot ROR briquettes. Hickory and cherry chunks. There was about an inch of used charcoal in the bottom of the basket before I loaded the new on top.

    Set the vents to a chamber temp of 250F overnight, top vent full open, two bottom vents cracked only 1/16". Rock solid 248-252F until 8.5 hours, then chamber temp slowly dropped over a couple hours to my Guru catch temp of 230F. At 12 hours the IT of the meat was 178F. Chamber temp stayed at 230F until 14.5 hours total. Then I knocked the ash off the charcoal and fully opened the bottom vents. Charcoal basket was still at least 1/2 full with hot briquettes. I did not add any more briquettes.

    Chamber temp climbed over about an hour to 309F, dropped when I checked the IT of the meat, then climbed back to 300F. Now dropping very slowly, but I'll easily be able to finish this smoke without adding an more briquettes like I did above on earlier posts. The trick was overloading the charcoal basket.

    I've figured out that the deep RO Ridges allow more airflow through the charcoal load. The ridges in ROR are MUCH more pronounced than the shallow ridges on KBB. So in a sense, ROR kind of works like lump, but is more controllable.

    Still learning and having fun! Pic of the butt to follow if I remember.

    Here we go, Q-view time. Hmmm, I need to adjust the time stamp on my camera. That should read 10:36 AM.

    004.JPG
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
    yankee2bbq likes this.
  2. stokensmoke

    stokensmoke Smoke Blower

    It's probably in here somewhere but I haven't seen it yet so I'll just throw it out there. I'm a huge RO fan -use it in my UDS, WSM and Weber kettle. So I stopped at walmart this weekend and they have the new Royal Oak all natural briquettes. Hoping to try them out this weekend if the weather cooperates. Anyone try them yet?
     
  3. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Interesting. They look like "Ridge," so obviously they are using the same stamp. I'll have to pick up a bag and do another side by side test. The ash will tell the difference. ROR contains 10-15% limestone, and you can feel the weight of the ash, but it also helps it retain heat. Like a little heat sink in each briquette. The ash of the above stuff should be lighter. Will be interesting to see how long it lasts once lit.
     
  4. stokensmoke

    stokensmoke Smoke Blower

    Price wasn't bad either -$7.48. Regular RO is $6.48.
     
  5. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I went by my local Walmart yesterday to pick up a bag of the RO All Natural briquettes. Not a bag in sight. In fact, there was not a single bag of Royal Oak anything anywhere. They are definitely stocking up KBB for the Memorial Day sale, though. Unwrapped pallets of 2x15.4 lb bags of KBB were EVERYWHERE!

    My local Lowes started the RO Ridge sale with 40 bags according to the website. They had 14 left as of this morning, the day after the sale. They sold 26. My first day there, I made a new smoking buddy who uses a UDS. I believe he bought 10 bags. I bought 16 total, 8 the first day, 8 the next, and I had to do a lot of product moving to find the second 8. That's all 26 bags sold. He and I bought everything they sold.

    Of the 14 bags left, 8-10 were in really bad shape. I was going to talk to the manager to see if they'd offload them to me for a $1 a bag for the worst ones, $2 a bag for the moderately torn up bags. If I see a hole in a bag, I always ask for a discount at the cashier. 25% seems to be the standard adjustment. Might still go back and take the torn up bags off their hands, just have to be in the mood, and find a place to put them.
     
    yankee2bbq likes this.
  6. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My local Lowes has apparently 133 bags (15.6#) of RO Ridge in stock at $5.99.
    Isle 133, Bay 14............ Road Trip!!
     
  7. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    $5.99 is their regular price. If you have the stock on hand to wait until Memorial Day, they'll probably go on sale for $4 a bag again. Home Depot has "Embers" at $4.97 / 15.4 lb bag all the time. It's the exact same stuff as RO Ridge, just bagged and labeled for Home Depot.
     
  8. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That info regarding HD's Embers is great news. I'm always at home depot. Thanks for the info.
     
  9. yankee2bbq

    yankee2bbq Smoking Fanatic

    I second that. noboundaries knows his stuff when it comes to charcoal, that is why I call him “charcoal nerd”.
     
  10. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Y2BBQ, Charcoal Nerd is now in my signature!
     
    yankee2bbq likes this.
  11. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It has been a while since I used KBB in my Kettle. I still have one unopened 20 lb bag of the previous formula. I've been using Ridge in my Kettle because I like the heat I get from one small chimney. I'm using a LOT less charcoal in the Kettle with the Ridge.

    I needed to get an adobo marinated tri tip on the grill today before we get a couple days of rain, starting this afternoon. I put half a small chimney of KBB, then filled the chimney with RO Lump. Just wanted a short 4 min/side hot sear then an indirect heat finish for 40-50 minutes until IT was 135F. Used 4 small chunks of cherry wood.

    That KBB/RO Lump combo in the small chimney was NOT the way to go. Should have used all KBB. Barely got a sear at 8 minutes a side. Fired up another 3/4 small chimney of KBB until it stopped smoking. Once I moved the meat off the sear for indirect cooking/smoking, I added the new KBB to the one basket under the flip-grate's access.

    Still, with the adjust on the fly, the meat turned out FANTASTIC! I'll post the recipe and pics in a new thread.
     
  12. yankee2bbq

    yankee2bbq Smoking Fanatic

    Funny you posted the above. I did the same in the past, awhile ago, with the same results. Keep it either, KBB or royal oak.
     
  13. browneyesvictim

    browneyesvictim Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I went by my local Walmart yesterday to pick up a bag of the RO All Natural briquettes. Not a bag in sight. In fact, there was not a single bag of Royal Oak anything anywhere. They are definitely stocking up KBB for the Memorial Day sale, though. Unwrapped pallets of 2x15.4 lb bags of KBB were EVERYWHERE!

    Same here. But... I did find a new Walmart Ridge Label I hadn't seen before. Its not listed in their online store either. I bought a bag yesterday. It looks like RO Ridge but is packaged for Walmart. It is sale priced like the others. (Edit: Pics added)
    20180521_183058.jpg
    20180521_183152.jpg
    20180521_183318.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
  14. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I went by Walmart last week and saw a bag called "Expert Grill" with the RO Ridge symbol on it. 16 lb bag for $4.92, or just under 31 cents a pound. Obviously it is their store brand for RO Ridge. Might just be a California thing. Their store brand could be called something else in other locations.
     
  15. browneyesvictim

    browneyesvictim Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Yes. Those are the ones.
     
  16. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Those "Expert Grill" briquettes were actually why I went by Walmart last week. When I pull up my local store online, the picture they have indicates the briquettes are "60% larger." They obviously had started with a couple pallets of the stuff and were down to about 20 bags when I got there. There was nothing on the store bags indicating 60% larger. I felt the briquettes through the bag and could tell they were regular sized.

    Now I have another source for Ridge when it is not on sale at Lowes.

    Ooops. I guess I didn't need to post the picture below. Erik has us covered with his post above.

    New Larger Ridge Charcoal.JPG
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
  17. krj

    krj Smoke Blower

    I went and picked up 10 bags of ROR during the $4.00 Lowe’s sale. I’ve been using KBB for all my past smokes in my WSM 22”, and have been pretty pleased using the Soo’d donut method with like a half a chimney started. I got about 10 goods hours out heat my last cook before I had to add more to funding so my butts. All this weekend the WSM will be rolling, I have a 24lb whole brisket, 2 pork butts, and a dozen chicken thighs I’m gonna do over the next three days. I think I’m going to try the dimple method with this ROR, only lighting 8-10 coals and going from there. Hoping to see some steady temps and long cool time.
     
  18. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I think you're gonna be happy with it . I think it burns hotter than KBB , so just FYI .
     
  19. mojavejoe

    mojavejoe Newbie

    Based in part on this thread, I recently switched from Kingsford Pro Comp briquettes to Royal Oak Ridge. I am a convert.

    I’ve found the ROR burns cleaner and provides a more consistent, more controllable temperature in my WSM 22. The ROR lasts significantly longer and requires less time to settle in.

    One thing I did notice is that the ROR didn’t like the minion method - at least not for me. For long smokes, I dump 3/4 lit chimney of RO lump on top of a full ring of ROR briquettes. I’m getting a more consistent, long burn.

    I’m currently 8 hours into a pork butt smoke and the ROR/wsm combo is running 250* solid.

    Very happy with the change.
     
  20. krj

    krj Smoke Blower

    I'm exhausted, but soooooo pleased with ROR. I was spiky on temps on Saturday during my 17.5 hour brisket cook. I'll chalk this up to the inexpeirience with ROR which definitely burns hotter. Sunday's pork butts when miles better. Temperatures were steady during my 9.5 hr cook, I was still tired from the day before, so I foil wrapped the butts instead of cooking unfoiled. Both the brisket and pork was delicious, and I'm glad I bought 10 bags of ROR. Plan on grabbing some more if I can find another sale.