I have used Royal Oak, Cowboy and Wicked Good over the last year and here is what I have noticed. No off putting odor and does not effect food taste.
3 Royal Oak 20lb red bags from Restaurant Depot - Foreign debris (rocks and insulation), pieces that are obviously scrap wood (1x2 and 1x1 pieces of wood) Charcoal pieces are very light and burn very fast. Lots of dust and chips which are not useable. No off putting odor and does not effect food taste.
2 Cowboy 20lb bags from Lowes made in Mexico - Mostly medium sized chunks. All pieces are shaped like branches/chunks of wood, not 1x2's or 1x1 pieces of scrap wood. Wood is denser and burns longer than Royal Oak. 1-2 large chunks that have to be broken up to be useable. Unusable pieces and dust is minimal.
4 Wicked Good Weekend Warrior 20lb bags - Mostly medium sized chunks. All pieces are shaped like branches/ chunks of wood and not processed pieces of scrap wood. Charcoal is the most dense out of the 3 charcoals and burns the longest. 2-4 large chunks that need to be broken up to be useable. Very little unusable pieces and dust. Strong odor which goes away quickly and does not effect taste on food.
From my experience between the 3 charcoals. Wicked Good > Cowboy > Royal Oak. Once i go through my cache of charcoal, I will be trying out the Kamado Joe lump. KJ source for lump is supposedly the same as Wicked Good.
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