Originally Posted by Dave Russell
I'm really wanting to try the big RO chef's select briquettes you can buy in the 40 lb bags from DoitBest.com sometime in the near future.
I knew someone who used to get Royal Oak "Chef's Select" 40# bags from a Sysco Food Distrbutor through a local restaurant. I got to burn some with him on a pig roast once, his pit rotisserie equipment. The briquettes were super sized and seemed to be better quality than basic RO.
I didn't get to use it in a smoker, it was a pit, so I never did get to learn how well it could be controlled. My personal observations are mostly based on grilling usage - I consider RO to burn hot and fast, little ash perhaps from burning so hot and fast?
The RO Chef's Select larger stuff seemed to burn hot and fast but longer due to size. The guy got the 40# bags for like 8.00, guess it pays to be on the in with the right commercial food suppliers, I haven't found an in at that price yet.
About the basic comparison listed before: Your test was good intel for a basic, grilling application, burn. But I'm tempted to buy some various brands and do a UDS controlled temp burn test. All of the qualities you listed for each brand of charcoal could be different in a low and slow controlled burn.
I'm cloning a couple more flat-top, single cook level UDS already in the works. Once I get all my parts together I'll need to eventually season 3 "new" UDS. All will be built to same specifications making for a pretty controlled test. I guess between now and then I best get to finding a variety of charcoal to test.
At least the wife already knows I been itching to try some lump in the UDS.