Lump charcoal source?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by daniels, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. Who would have lump charcoal this time of year in the Des Moines area?

    So far I found two 10# bags of Frontier at one Lowes.  One bag was ripped open so I didn't buy it but I bought the other.  According to the review I read it's an average product.  At $7.49 for the 10# bag I would expect something better than average since I can get a 20# bag of blue Kingsford briquettes for just a little more than that price.

    Anyway, can you recommend any sources?
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Walmart sells RO lump around here all year long.
  3. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    We now get RO lump at Walmart year round.  Used to have to stock up before winter.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  4. make your own its very easy just need a 30 gallon steel drum and a 55 gallon steel drum. fill the 30 with hardwoods and put it upside down in the 55 and build a fire around and on top of the 30, make sure the 55 has enough air holes in the sides along the bottom.(theres posts all over with methods that are similar) a little practice and youll never buy lump again
  5. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Go back and jump on the lump at lowes. I just bought a bag and it was ripped and taped. I got it for three dollars.... Sold as damaged goods... just tell them its damaged.....

  6. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    wally world here has the RO, just seen a pallet of it today
  7. I have a Wal-Mart next door so I called them.  They're out of Royal Oak and won't be getting more in for several weeks.

    I called another Lowes and they have about 20 bags of Frontier so maybe I'll head over there for some more.

    Thanks all!
  8. smokininidaho

    smokininidaho Smoke Blower

    Stay away from the Frontier lump made in Mexico, I had a bad experience with it. Lots of small pieces and dust ( that ticked me off) and if that wasn't bad enough it had a pretty bad smell almost like tar burning at one point. Ruined my day. Maybe I just got a bad bag but I won't buy it again.
  9. I found this place in Ankeny. It is inside of a landscaping business building so it makes it hard to find. They sell two kinds of lump charcoal, I personally have not tried any of it. This little store is pretty good as it has a bunch of different kinds of wood chunks, and more sauces and rubs that you can think of. I live in WDM and make a trip up there atleast once a month.

    good luck

  10. I went to and read some more reviews.  I'm taking the Frontier back.  It's from Mexico and doesn't sound that good.

    Last night I found another Wal-Mart that has US made Royal Oak in stock which is in the Highly Recommended category and a buck cheaper than the Mexican made Frontier.

    How much charcoal do you guys keep stockpiled?  I usually have a full 20# bag of Kingsford in the blue bag in reserve for when the open bag gets emptied but that's for regular grilling.  Will I go through a little more or a lot more charcoal for each cook when smoking?  (When the weather cooperates I'm ready for the maiden voyage of my new smoker so I don't have a good idea as to how much charcoal an average cook will take.)
  11. smokininidaho

    smokininidaho Smoke Blower

          Hands down get the Royal Oak made in USA, I'm the guy that got the bad bag of Frontier (made in Mexico). If you like using briquetes you can get Stubbs all natural hardwood briquetes, natural hardwood with 5% vegetable binder, that's what I use when I have to use briquetes or as a starter in my chimney for the lump. I've also used it for smoking alone and the food came out great, no chemical smell, actually a very nice sweet wood smell to it. It does leave more ash than lump but burns longer and hotter than kingsford and definately less ash than kingsford. Lowes carries it and is a bit more expensive than kingsford but worth it IMO.
  12. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    OK.  I lied.

    Went to Wally a couple days ago and no RO lump. They had it a couple weeks ago.  They are converting from Christmas to spring, so I am sure it will be there soon.  Off to Home Depot I go?

    Still a ton of Kingsford Blue on hand from the last sale, so I can smoke either way?

    Good luck and good smoking.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  13. berninga87

    berninga87 Smoking Fanatic

    Had to share this since we were on the subject. I went to lowes today to pick up some of the stubbs charcoal that was recommended to me, and they had a little area for returned items in a corner. In that corner were a couple of random home improvement materials, and five bags of frontier charcoal, also none on the shelf with the others. It must not be a very good product!
  14. Do you have a restaurant supply house in your area?  The one near me has lump in stock all year, since steak houses don't  shut down during the winter.  When I first started buying from them, their price was about $8 for a 20-pound bag. Unfortunately it  has gone up so much that it's cheaper to buy from Wal-Mart.
  15. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead


  16. Yep.  I sure  miss  the days when I could  walk out with a 20-pound bag of Nature-Glo for 8 bucks and change.  Now, it's cheaper just to buy Royal Oak at Wal-Mart.
  17. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    I still buy from Chefsmart. Thankfully my UDS doesn't need much. When they first hiked up the price I picked up a few bags of Cowboy from Lowes but got tired of the concrete chunks and partially charred pieces of moulding inside the bag.
  18. crewcab4x4

    crewcab4x4 Smoking Fanatic

    If you have a menards around your area they carry the RO lump year round to. Its the only lump I use. The cowboy and frontier are a waste of time.

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