Originally Posted by Haveuseen1?
I have only ever burned Royal Oak in my Kamado Joe, because I can get it year round, and it is pretty affordable. 17.6 pounds for 11.00 (.625/lb). I usually buy about 5-6 bags at a time. I nearly always find 1-2 rocks, or 1-2 pcs of insulation in the bags. My theory on smaller unusable pcs in the bag is due to retail handling. I figure the majority of it is stocked by younger minimum wage high school students. I dont expect them to be gentle, and the bags dont say "fragile" anywhere.
I am not sure there is a perfect charcoal out there, and everyone has an opinion. I do like the way Royal Oak performs, but to be fair, I havent compared it to anything else when it comes to cooking.
If Royal Oak is the only lump you have used for cooking you should give Wicked Good Weekend Warrior Blend a try. I have never gotten any rocks or insulation in the bags, the pieces are bigger than Royal Oak, and there are no scrap wood pieces turned to lump. It also burns almost twice as long which gives you longer cook times. The downside is that it is expensive on the front end ($20 for 20lbs) but you compare the number of cooks you do with Wicked Good to the number of cooks you get with Royal Oak and the money evens out.
I am trying Cowboy for the first time, as I have heard it has changed for the better. It it gets up to par with Royal Oak or better for $9 for 20lbs it will be worth it for me.
After I run out of my 4 bags of Weekend Warrior I will have to try out other lumps such as Kamado Joe and Lazari.