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Jul 10, 2008 07:23 AM

Cowboy Lump Charcoal/favorite lump brand?

This thread is relevant to my interests.

Any additional thoughts on either Cowboy? Or better yet, what lump charcoal do you prefer?

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  1. When I was back on the East coast I used Humphrey Lump Charcoal ( It burned hot, tasty and even. Made of oak, I think -- and the mix of pieces was even and there wasn't too much small stuff. Now that I'm in Seattle -- I can't find it here, but, even worse, I can't have a grill because my apt. won't allow it!!!! I think Humphrey is one of the better voted by the Big Green Egg people too... I can't remember the site now though.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mateo21

      Humphreys is awesome stuff, it's getting real hard to find though. I live in Philly, BTW. We usually go with Cowboy or the WF 365 brand when we can't find Humphreys

      1. re: LaurCar

        I prefer Cowboy, by just a bit, but find that the WF 365 is more accessable and almost as good.

        I had an emergency and was forced to by Big Green Egg brand.

        My recommendation is "Don't". Very inconsistent size and WAY too expensive.

        It was poor planning on my part, else I would not have deviated from my main two brands.

        1. re: Monch

          Whole foods charcoal is made and packaged by Cowboy. IIR Martha Stewart charcoal is as well.

      1. re: chipman

        That's a great compendium of reviews. I have used the BGE and agree it's too expensive, though I'd suffer the cost if I didn't have other options. It's basically re-badged Royal Oak, IIRC. I can get that at Restaurant Depot- think it was $6.99/20-lb bag the last I checked (think BGE wanted $13 or so).

        I'm not a huge fan of Cowboy- it's been a while, but I remember it tending to burn up pretty quickly.

        If you can get it, the Rancher briquettes (ground lump w/ yucca starch binder) are really great stuff. HD had big stock as a loss leader for grills, etc last summer. A lot of folks stocked up, as did I, when they went on closeout for $2.50/20-lb bag. I've heard that some stores have it, but it's $8/bag now.

        1. re: chipman

          Yes. thanks that was in the original thread and I have used the site extensively since 2002 when I bought my first real smoker. I need to try the Royal Oak.

        2. I've used Cowboy, Royal Oak, new Braunfels, and "Western Beef" brand (small supermarket chain in NYC/Long Island.)

          Royal Oak has been my favorite, both for grilling or fueling my smoker, though the last bag I got has been very sparky. I noticed that it's imported from South America- not sure when that started. Western Beef is a close second, though last I looked for it they only had briquettes. Cowboy is OK, but the pieces tend to be very small and make a mess. New Braunfels was ok, but it's mesquite whch burns too hot for my smoker, IMO.

          1. I had purchased a few bags of Cowboy and when I opened one all I found was obvious scrap wood. I won't even burn that in my cooker. If you read the naked whiz Cowboy charcoal is made from left over flooring scraps. They do deny that any of it is pre-varnished but they also deny using plywood use which is comical if you look at the photos on the naked whiz. Insulation has also been found in their bags. My health is worth more to me than to even risk cooking on that stuff.
            I have used the BGE which has been the best I've tried so far solely due to the large size of the pieces. However it's just royal oak pakaged for BGE but they seem to get the premium pieces. It's more than 2x ($17 for 20#) the regular Royal Oak ($4 for 10#) at wally world.


            1. I use Royal Oak also from wally world as a matter of fact its the only thing I will buy from wally world. Make sure you look for the made in the USA they have 2 different south American varieties that are nowhere near as good...