HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >


Where to buy good quality charcoal?

  • 35
  • Share

Hi. Does anyone know where I could buy good quality charcoal, I mean the real stuff in the GTA? I'm looking for a good source that sells different types of north american and possibly asian originated charcoal. I doubt I'll get many responses but any suggestions and ideas would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
  1. Call Ontario Gas Barbeques--seriously. Huge selection of charcoal 'cues, fuel, accessories.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Kagemusha

      I'll third OGB, they have a large selection.

    2. Canadian Tire sells charcoal. You can sprinkle garlic powder on it if you want garlic charcoal, or chili powder for a mexican flair.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Fat Swine

        Can Tire usually does not have charcoal at this time of year.

        1. re: Fat Swine

          Crappy Tire's charcoal "selection" now is limited to busted bags swaddled in packing tape. I did find the big Lowe's in Brampton carried large bags of Canadian lump charcoal at discount prices--about half the Crappy Tire price by weight. Not the greatest but OK.

        2. Agreed with Kagemusha - Ontario Gas Barbecues in Concord - www.bbqs.com. But be warned that their winter selection is not so good. Only about four lump charcoal brands to choose from. In season they carry many more.

          They also carry a variety of woods for smoking - hickory, alder, mesquite, apple, cherry and grape vine were all avaible last time I was in (early December).

          2 Replies
          1. re: aveivy

            Thanks for the suggestion. Just wondering, do they list the charcoal they sell on their website cuz I didn't see any there.

            1. re: uberathlete

              Not that I've ever seen.

              If you go, they'll probably have Big Green Egg, Basques Hardwood (from PQ) and one or two others. They tried real hard to talk me into briquettes (last longer, more consistent burn), and they carry a couple of brands (all natural, they stressed).

              I'm a little hardcore, so I stuck with lump charcoal. Between BGE's brand and Basques, I think I prefer Basques. So far, fewer impurities (i.e. rocks) and it does seem to burn nicely. I've had a load last >14 hours in a BGE, keeping a very stable temperature of 225F.

          2. Ont Gas BBQ is the place. Try Basque Charcoal out of PQ, uses Maple wood and makes great BBQ. There's also a few local stores around Dundas and Ossington that carry it.

            2 Replies
            1. re: bbqD

              Buster Rhino sells Quebec maple lump charcoal. I have seen it at Rona as well, but more seasonal there.

              Buster Rhino's
              2001 Thickson Rd S, Whitby, ON L1N, CA

              1. re: bbqD

                I've seen this in Home Hardware during the winter.

                Other than that, like most others, OGB.


              2. In addition to Ontario Gas Barbecues, another year round supplier for bbq goods is Sobie's. I tend to go there as it's much closer than OGB in Concord. After introducing new staff at Sobie's, they were a wee iffy, but I'm happy to report that my last visit was up to snuff. Here's a sample of their charcoal offerings:

                14 Replies
                1. re: Googs

                  I'd say more that a "Wee iffy." They downright p'ed me off. I vowed never to go back.

                  Should I give them a second chance??


                  1. re: Davwud

                    Well for now the count is two negative and one positive experience since the change. On the good day (my last trip there) one of the old boys was in. He was able to give guidance to the newbie. It isn't as easy as it looks, but I think with adequate training they'll be okay. In other words, yes give it another shot. If your experience is different please hop back in your car and head off to Concord and please, please, please post here.

                    1. re: Googs

                      Are the Sobie's family still involved?? I got the very distinct impression the last time that they weren't.

                      Just to give you a nutshell idea of my last trip. I was salvaging a Webber gas grill. Someone got a new one, I got the old one. It needed a new burner, regulator and flavourizer bars. I went to Sobie's naturally and the guy there was trying to talk me into a $1K grill. I need like $100 worth of parts to fix the old thing. He was getting down right mad with me. It was truly weird.


                      1. re: Davwud

                        Life's short. That's why I go to OGB for parts. Saves time for better things an extra saved buck can't buy.

                        1. re: Davwud

                          He gave you the hard-sell upsell? No salesperson would ever try that one on me and still expect to speak in a baritone. Were I you I wouldn't go back.

                          1. re: Davwud

                            Sobie's was sold a couple of years ago. It went from being a very high service, no pressure, reliable place to being (under the new owners) an extremely high pressure, sales oriented, almost sleazy place to shop. Their prices have always been high, and still are, but they used to offer product knowledge, good advice, and reasonable value overall. Today, they don't.

                            I still get stuff there, since they have various kinds of wood and accessories for which I would otherwise need to travel much further, but I would never buy an expensive new product there or trust them for a repair.

                            1. re: embee

                              You hit the nail right on the head.


                              Googs, if I go back, I'll let you know how it went.

                              1. re: glenp

                                FYI - few people (including retailers) are aware that charcoal is exempt from PST. It is an "exempt non-food item".
                                Neither Loblaws nor Can. Tire charge PST on charcoal but many do including Sobies and Longo's!

                                1. re: glenp

                                  WEll, they haven't registered their domain name and the URL to their website is no longer valid. Shoudl probably get on that.

                                  1. re: grandgourmand

                                    Their website is fine ( www.sobies.com ). I hope their new management is also - no personal experience as yet.

                                    1. re: embee

                                      When I click it, it goes to some networking site. this message is at the top right:
                                      "sobies.com expired on 02/04/2009 and is pending renewal or deletion"

                                      1. re: grandgourmand

                                        www.sobies.com loads into my browser and then reloads when I refresh it. However, a whois search showed no such domain and the IP address for sobies.com resolved to www.appsitehosting.com


                                        1. re: embee

                                          Loads fine for me too.


                                          1. re: embee

                                            Sounds like both of you may have a hijacker. Be careful.

                          2. I've been using nothing but Maple Leaf charcoal in my Big Green Egg for about a year with great results. Rona has it in stock all year round, $16.50 for an 8kg bag.

                            The charcoal obsessives at The Naked Whiz rate Maple Leaf as one of the best: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/lump.htm

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: jan.vroen

                              Good tip, thanks.

                              1. re: grandgourmand

                                Just to confirm that my long term local Home Hardware at Sunnybrook Plaza (Bayview & Eglinton) has 3 or more varieties year round including Maple Leaf and Big Green Egg. I usually buy Maple Leaf. I had forgotten about this source and had just got off the phone with Rona at Sheppard/Bayview who apparently do not have any in stock and do not carry it year round.

                                1. re: thebrewer

                                  Thanks. I like the Maple Leaf brand.

                                  1. re: grandgourmand

                                    Whenever I am cross border shopping I pickup as many bags of Wegmans Lump Charcoal that can fit in my car. 10lb bag for $4.99 USD....have not found it as cheap in Canada as of yet. www.wegmans.com

                                    1. re: ebay3392

                                      I gorged on Kingsford lump charcoal at Food Basics 2 years ago. It was $.33/lb, which is a lot less than Wegman's, though only on for a week.

                                      The only problem with these specials is the the indifferent quality of the wood. It is from Georgia (don't know Wegman's specifically, but it will be from a large southern producer), It is labelled hardwood, but does not have the maple or fruitwood scent of better coals.

                                      And that is why I don't miss the Food Basics special, although I would buy in if they do it again.

                                      1. re: jayt90

                                        Wow...I would have done the same...probably filled the SUV and cruised my regoin for FB's....never seen it that cheap....was that end of season? (going to read those flyers more thorough now)

                                        1. re: ebay3392

                                          No, it was early season, but Food Basics was sold to Metro after that. If the new management is smart, they will bring in Quebec maple charcoal.

                                      2. re: ebay3392

                                        Lowe's in Brampton has run Royal Oak lump 8kg bags for about 9 bucks.