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Lump Charcoal West of Boston

emannths Jul 15, 2013 06:48 AM

I'm looking for some lump charcoal convenient to the Natick/Wellesley area. Preferably something like Royal Oak as opposed to Cowboy. Has anyone spotted any out here? I'd prefer to avoid the drive to Watertown (Arax) or Brookline since I'm not often there.

I checked in at the Framingham Walmart, but they didn't have RO. NE Spas on Rt 9 in Natick has Wicked Good for something like $23/20lb, which is more than I'd like to spend.

I gather that Restaurant Depot carries RO, but I don't have access.

TIA for any leads.

  1. j
    jeff Turton Jul 21, 2013 05:31 AM

    I've found the Weekend Warrior blend to be the closest to my favorite, Nature's Own.....which I can never find retail anymore. Cowboy is the worst and I have to say that the Whole Foods version has improved significantly in the last couple of years. I get that one in a pinch. Never tried Royal Oak

    1. j
      Jeff_the_Kid Jul 19, 2013 06:12 PM

      Royal Oak Lump is often available at "Wallyworld" (your local Walmart)

      1. j
        josephlapusata Jul 18, 2013 02:59 PM

        Trader Joe's sells it. I am not sure of the brand.

        1. opinionatedchef Jul 18, 2013 01:32 AM

          just fyi, Brookline ice and coal does deliver all over for a small fee. V. reliable product and service. They also have various bulk wood chips for smoking.

          1. r
            Ruprecht Jul 17, 2013 07:08 PM

            Marty's, in Newton, is fairly close to you area and has had 20lb bags of good lump the last two times I stopped by. Basque brand the first time and Parker the second.

            1. h
              HubFlyer Jul 15, 2013 07:17 PM

              West Sport in Sudbury http://grillsandfireplaces.com/ has Wicked Good Weekend Warrior blend.

              8 Replies
              1. re: HubFlyer
                Jenny Ondioline Jul 16, 2013 10:50 AM

                My current bag is Wicked Good Weekend Warrior from Ocean State Job Lots. Forget the price, but it was entirely reasonable.

                1. re: Jenny Ondioline
                  emannths Jul 17, 2013 01:16 PM

                  Sounds promising. Which location?

                  Edit: looks like several MA stores had it, at least during April/May. Time for me to get on the phone, I guess.

                  1. re: emannths
                    Jenny Ondioline Jul 17, 2013 02:02 PM

                    Specifically Waltham, but I'm sure it is (or at least was) at multiple outlets.

                    1. re: Jenny Ondioline
                      Ruprecht Jul 17, 2013 07:05 PM

                      Seriously? What's the price there? I have been searching for a consistent source for this stuff for years. It occasionally appears, like a Yeti, where I least expect it but never lasts long.

                      1. re: Ruprecht
                        emannths Jul 18, 2013 02:57 PM

                        Other boards report something like $12 for a 22lb bag (!).

                        If you're willing to pay full freight ($20+), NE Spas in Natick has it.

                        1. re: emannths
                          Jenny Ondioline Jul 18, 2013 04:05 PM

                          That sounds about like what I paid.

                          1. re: Jenny Ondioline
                            Ruprecht Jul 22, 2013 05:35 AM

                            Thanks for the tip, I picked up three bags yesterday for $10/per. This is an incredible price for this stuff, which is my favorite for smoking. One caveat: Job Lot does not take great care when handling the bags, many of which had holes in them. By the feel of them (I haven't opened mine yet) there is quite a bit of breakage inside, but at that price I'm willing to bet that there are enough intact big chunks left to still be a steal.

                            1. re: Ruprecht
                              emannths Jul 22, 2013 05:38 AM

                              Yep--same experience here. Plenty of bags for $10 at the Waltham location, several with big holes already in them. Choose carefully. Still a steal.

              2. i
                Isolda Jul 15, 2013 06:34 PM

                Whole Foods in Framingham (and everywhere else) sells their own natural charcoal. It is excellent, and way better than Cowboy, which I bought in a pinch once.

                1. j
                  jpeezey12 Jul 15, 2013 09:15 AM

                  Maybe too far for you, but got a big bag from Wegmans for $6.99. Have cooked with it nearly every day in July so far and burns hot and quick and clean.

                  (Edit: Just looked online and apparently it's Royal Oak with the Wegmans' name attached.)

                  1. Allstonian Jul 15, 2013 09:10 AM

                    Based on this from itaunas in a similar thread a few years back, you may have some luck at one of the Brazilian markets in Framingham, especially butcher shops: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6297...

                    1. StriperGuy Jul 15, 2013 08:51 AM

                      Restaurant Depot in Needham had Royal Oak on Friday. Whoops, sorry, saw the last line of your post. BBQ barn in Arlington, the Butcher in Coolidge Sq. Watertown, and Arax in Watertown are all locales with good charcoal.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: StriperGuy
                        phatchris Jul 15, 2013 05:43 PM

                        New Deal has bags of Royal Oak if you are ever looking for great fish & charcoal.

                      2. s
                        skippy66 Jul 15, 2013 06:59 AM

                        I saw it at BJs the other day. I don't recall the brand.

                        Also, try your local hardware store.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: skippy66
                          C. Hamster Jul 15, 2013 08:16 AM

                          I have a bag from BJ's and its pretty good. Bettter than Cowboy.

                          But the bag is so big that I am unable physically to pick it up!

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