What NOT to use - Cowboy Lump

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by alexhortdog95, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Not to derail this thread....

    Here is a vid on the gassification process (carbonizing the wood)

  2. smokinal

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

    All I gotta say is this thread is getting out of hand. I know there are purists out there that consider any kind of charcoal that's processed as bad, but I'm on a fixed income & I can get Blue bag for cheap. I would prefer to spend my money on a better cut of meat than expensive lump, and lump is expensive around here. I've seen earlier videos of Myron Mixon & The BBQ pit boys using briquettes & starting the fire with lighter fluid. OMG!!! If I could afford it I would definitely use lump, but I have to say that I bought a bag of Cowboy lump a few weeks back & I like the Blue bag better! We can get RO in 10 lb. bags for $8 and I do use that for steaks on the kettle because I like to sear them ( love those grill marks ). It does burn hotter & like I said if it was economically feasible I would use lump all the time.
  3. turn4fun

    turn4fun Fire Starter

    I tried Cowboy once a few years ago and will never use it again because it was all scrap lumber.    You wouldn't knowingly put adhesives, finishes or pressure treating chemicals in your fire, so why risk burning lump made from plywood, OSB, flooring scraps and 2x4's?  Yes, those were all clearly identifiable products that were in my bag. 
  4. FYI, all.  Still waiting on the check, LOL.

    I bought a bag of Cowboy and am going to go through it this weekend sometime to see what kind of stuff is in there.  I'll take pictures and post them on here.
  5. reardenreturns

    reardenreturns Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    I've been using B&B charcoal here in texas and have found it very good and long burning. I try to stick with it when I can get it.
  6. meatball

    meatball Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I just bought a bag of lump I had never seen before - called True Cue. It was $7.99 at Home Depot. I used it last night to grill a London broil and I was very impressed. Lit easily, burned nicely and gave a nice flavor to the meat. I'm not sure if this is a Home Depot brand or what, but seeing how Home Depot is a national chain maybe you can find it in Omaha. Had some nice big chunks in it and you could tell just by looking at it that it was pure hardwood. I'll try to post my experience next time I use it.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    My two cents (or less):

    Everybody knows I have two MES wattburners, but I also have a Weber "Q" for gas grilling.

    Then I have a little bitty charcoal grill I use on special occasions for Me & Mrs Bear.

    Being like Al, in the fact that I like to spend my money on better meat than better charcoal, I have always used the blue bag.

    Except right after I joined this forum, I heard all about "Lump-wood charcoal", so I figured I'd try it.

    I got some "Cowboy" brand, because it was the only thing Home Depot had.

    Got a load of those babies going real good, but it was a good thing I was paying attention.

    The fireworks was phenomenal !  I had hot sparking, glowing pieces flying all over the place, bouncing off my wood deck!

    I had sparking pieces bouncing off my chest, while I was carrying the little grill 30' from my deck, to keep from burning my deck & house down.

    I still have that whole bag, except for one chimney's worth, in case any one wants it------FREE to anyone who doesn't have anything flammable within 30' of their grill. 

    Never again,

  8. porked

    porked Smoking Fanatic

    I have to chime in here. I can understand Bear's concerns, you do have to be careful when playing with fire. However, if your smoker is in a safe area far enough away from any building I think you'll be okay. I have used Cowboy lump and have seen some sparks also. I normally light a chimney on my gas grill side burner and then dump it in the charcoal basket via minion method. Royal Oak lump is the best I've seen, it burns really well, has flavor, and extremely easy to use. It does not have much ash and creates fabulous coals in which to smoke with. Like alot of things, you get what you pay for. I am picturing Bear running down the steps of his deck with a lit grill and yelling out some choice words. That had to be a classic. LOL.
  9. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I'm with Porked, I'd pay money to see Bear running with his BBQ!!!

    I would also like to compliment the members that posted for handling this in an adult manner, every family has differences once in a while, but we're still family and we can resolve our differences calmly like adults, it's the camaraderie like this that makes this one of the greatest sites on the net.

    Thank you  SMF and all it's members for an enjoyable BBQ site.

  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    LOL---Bear wasn't laughing at the time. It's only a little grill--not much bigger than a Hibachi, but I had to go down the steps with my eyes closed because this was a lot more than a few sparks. Seemed more like a Mekong Delta Fire-fight!

    Luckily I always have my fireplace gloves nearby!

  11. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just be glad it wasn't Lazzari Bear. Lazzari makes Cowboy look like a dud firecracker..... lol. I have watched large pieces of Lazzari get lifted up because the ones below explode.
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The problem is, like every deck I ever built, I always put geofabric on the ground first, and then at least 3" of mulch.

    This keep the weeds from growing, but if flying sparks fall between the deck boards, and land in nice dry mulch, I might not even know it when I go in for the night, and then the fire spreads without any warning. When I used to smoke, I once dropped a cigarette in mulch, and it smoldered for at least an hour, before I knew it, and that didn't have deck boards over it yet.

  13. garyinmd

    garyinmd Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

  14. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    LOL, way back when I was an apprentice carpenter the County Building Inspector would descend my stairs with his eyes closed, said if he fell he wouldn't sign off the framing and I better not be around when he got back up, ...looks like your stairs passed too!
    Hey SQWIB, Nice video, I also checked out your site, with the wife's nephew in charge of the dump my source of wood is inexhaustible, I might look into trying that.

  15. You guys are hilarious, LOL!

    I actually have been looking around online for the best LOCAL place to get charcoal here in Omaha, because, quite frankly, folks here don't seem to care that much about BBQ [​IMG]

    At times, I feel like the Little Red Hen making her bread....LOL.

    Most folks around here are impatient so they use propane as their fuel source, which is why when I started smoking, I made lots of friends, LOL.  For that reason, the predominant lump around here is unfortunately Cowboy.  There's a place here called Menards (kinda like a local Lowe's) that sells Royal Oak Lump, but the bags don't look to be in the best condition.

    So I went on my online qwest, and happened across this site:


    I must say, after perusing them, I'm going to use them as a regular supplier.  They've got Ozark Oak Lump charcoal (rated by the Naked Whiz as "Highly Recommended") for quite cheap.  So I ordered two ten pound bags four about 20 bucks (which is how much I paid for the Fire King I found here locally when it's available).  They're on thee way.

    Once I get those here, I'll do my inspection of the Cowboy bag of lump I have left too.  Sounds more like it'd be better suited for use in fireworks charcoal :)
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
  16. rondar

    rondar Fire Starter

    Thanks for the info thats another reason I won`t use Cowboy,I`ve read reviews and didn`t find many good ones.I`ve used Royal Oak Lump not impressed with it at all it crackled and popped when it was burning in the charcoal chimney,and burned fast.What I use is Wicked Good Weekend Warrior Blend Lump.This stuff burns slow and you don`t need to use that much for long smokes.You my have to check the website for locations they don`t sell to the big retail stores.I get mine from a supplier here in Michigan,wickedgoodmichigan.
  17. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    Yield is about 30% using Ash, hopefully you can make your lump on a larger scale than me, I usually make a batch every time I have a fire in the yard.
  18. papad

    papad Smoke Blower

    I'm a little late to the party here, but maybe I can help. I'm over here in C.B., if you haven't checked yet, you should look at Sam's Club. They usually carry Frontier Brand, which I have been using the last couple of years and I really like it. Lately they have also been carrying Best of the West which I haven't tried yet, but my son bought two bags a couple of weeks ago and said he liked it . (Really BIG pieces of real trees rather than used lumber).

    These both come in 40 lb. bags for $14.95. I think that's a pretty decent price. Certainly worth checking out rather than ordering online and paying for shipping and having to wait for delivery.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
  19. Thanks for the info.  I haven't tried the Frontier Brand of charcoal yet.  I do see it at Sam's on a regular basis, however, but haven't tried to purchase any.  40 lbs is a looooot of charcoal, but I've read reviews on the Frontier and it was marked as Average/Below Average due to burn time and ash production.

    When I first got into this, I didn't know I'd be looking for the Holy Grail of Charcoal, LOL...
  20. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    LOL----"Cowboy" brand lump in my chimney starter:


    Just kidding, but not far from that.


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