Ridge Charcoal @ Lowes

Brian Thomas

TVWBB Super Fan
Hey everyone.

I was in Lowes yesterday and noticed that they now have their own brand of charcoal called Ridge. The bag looks VERY similar to the royal oak that they carried up to a few months ago, and it's brick red in color. So I'm 99% positive this made by Royal Oak.

Has anyone tried this stuff yet?

Thanks!
 

timothy

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Yep it's made by RO same as the Embers (at HD) which has a ridge also.
I never tried the Lowes brand, but never had an issue using RO " Ridge "

Tim
 
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KE Quist

TVWBB Fan
If it is the same as Embers, I did not have a good experience with it. I bought some bags of the Embers at HD last year during one of the sales. I used it in my Performer, for both hot and fast, and as a snake for low and slow.

I'm sorry to say, but I do not like it. I had the sense that it was not burning as hot as KBB for burgers and such, and had kind of weird smell to it. For the snake cooks, I couldn't get it to stay lit, and burned incompletely when it was lit. It also produced a TON of ash.

I really tried to like, and kind of forced my way through 2 bags of it, but I just couldn't do it anymore, and went back to KBB.

It certainly could have been a bad couple of bags, but I have read similar results from other people. If I remember right, I think Bob Correll tried some of the Embers as well, and had the same results.

Your mileage may vary of course.
 

Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
It certainly could have been a bad couple of bags, but I have read similar results from other people. If I remember right, I think Bob Correll tried some of the Embers as well, and had the same results.
That is correct, I only got through one half bag of the two.
It ruined a tri tip for me with a creosote taste.
I'd like to do something ecologically sound to get rid of the rest of it, burning it isn't an option.
 

timothy

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Yea, it just shows you that RO quality varies from state to state or year to year.
I've used the Embers from HD over the years when it's on sale ( no problems).

Like KE Quist I bought some last year and it wasn't the same, not as bad as Mr Correll's but definitely not what I was used to.

Tim
 

MartinB

TVWBB Pro
I used a dozen + bags of embers from HD on sale at $3.

It definitely has more charcoal smell while heating up and getting lit well. Clothes reek just from lighting , etc.

But i let mine get going good, and everything cooked fine.

All charcoal makes a lot of ash....thats how they slow down the burn rate. The differences arent enormous, they are subtle.

Not my preferred for sure, but i wouldnt brand it unuseable garbage either. Harry Soo comes to mind. "Its always the pitmaster, never the pit". You cant necessarilly treat all fuel the same, if its not. Consistent burn is also critical with charcoal, temperature fluctuations, high rate of ignition of new coals. In high oxygen environment ..makes gross food. I got horrible results when a probe too close to meat kicked blower on high...30 min of white smoke....using weber charcoal.
 
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Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Harry Soo comes to mind. "Its always the pitmaster, never the pit". You cant necessarilly treat all fuel the same, if its not.
I'm certainly no Harry Soo, but think I know my way around my pits pretty well.
Plus, I've used just about every type and brand of charcoal available to me, and the Embers I used was simply terrible.
Other seasoned members here had the same opinion, one said he tried to give his unused bags to a local scout troop, they refused it.
Probably why it was on clearance, no repeat buyers. This is not to say they didn't turn out some better quality stuff under the same brand name.
 

MartinB

TVWBB Pro
Theres people that dont eat meat and will tell you the smell of cooking meat is "nauseating".
It is.....to them.....because they want it to be.

Biases and expectations frequently affect peoples opinions .

You can find internet people saying exact same thing about KBB....or even WSMs.....or all briquettes....

Bias goes both ways too....a ridiculous percentage of users/buyers will claim to be happy with purchases ....even when their purchase choice is poor and really inferior.

Objective truth...is usually somewhere in middle.
 
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Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Theres people that dont eat meat and will tell you the smell of cooking meat is "nauseating".
It is.....to them.....because they want it to be.

Biases and expectations frequently affect peoples opinions .

You can find internet people saying exact same thing about KBB....or even WSMs.....or all briquettes....
Not sure what that has to do with some of us coming to the same, but separate, conclusions about Embers.
Wish you lived closer, I'd give you 1.5 bags to get your more expert opinion. :p
 

MartinB

TVWBB Pro
Not sure what that has to do with some of us coming to the same, but separate, conclusions about Embers.
Wish you lived closer, I'd give you 1.5 bags to get your more expert opinion. :p

Well, look back at the scout troop anecdote....
Scouts use charcoal....yep.

But scouts dont grill
Scouts dont smoke

Those of us that went thru scouting , know scouts cook in dutch ovens mostly
Sealed pots. X coals below, y coals on top, gives z oven temp.

The example...was basically nonsense. Not saying it didnt happen.
 
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Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
For me it only worked decent for grilling if a lot of it was fully lit, and it took a good while for it to get fully lit. (possibly the troop's opinion using it with a DO?)
For low and slow bbq it put out nasty acrid smoke.
My little non-scientific test burn from last year:
I can only say how it worked for me, if you want to question my results, or abilities, then so be it.
Time for me to move on.
 

J Grotz

TVWBB Pro
Harry Soo comes to mind. "Its always the pitmaster, never the pit". You cant necessarilly treat all fuel the same, if its not.
Part of being a pitmaster is choosing a good fuel. Pitmaster Harry Soo chooses to use Jealous Devil, not Embers.

My experience is in line with Bob and KE. If anyone in SoCal wants 1.5 bags of embers for free, click the start conversation button.
 

MartinB

TVWBB Pro
For me it only worked decent for grilling if a lot of it was fully lit, and it took a good while for it to get fully lit. (possibly the troop's opinion using it with a DO?)
For low and slow bbq it put out nasty acrid smoke.
My little non-scientific test burn from last year:
I can only say how it worked for me, if you want to question my results, or abilities, then so be it.
Time for me to move on.
Never questioned your opinion
Only gave a little different one of my own

Scouts light coals for dutch ovens in chimneys, using newspaper. Yes, they are burning quite well typically before using
..its kind of a requirement.
I went thru 12 bags of embers, never had a lighting problem that didnt have with others too. Yeah, chimneys go out sometimes...with all brands coals....but once lit well, not usually. Humid newspaper, wind...yeah problems. Even using propane torch....sometimes chimneys still go out.
 

KE Quist

TVWBB Fan
Theres people that dont eat meat and will tell you the smell of cooking meat is "nauseating".
It is.....to them.....because they want it to be.

Biases and expectations frequently affect peoples opinions .

You can find internet people saying exact same thing about KBB....or even WSMs.....or all briquettes....

Bias goes both ways too....a ridiculous percentage of users/buyers will claim to be happy with purchases ....even when their purchase choice is poor and really inferior.

Objective truth...is usually somewhere in middle.
Well, I guess in that case, I LOVED the Embers charcoal, and it worked really, really well for me.
 

MartinB

TVWBB Pro
Part of being a pitmaster is choosing a good fuel. Pitmaster Harry Soo chooses to use Jealous Devil, not Embers.

My experience is in line with Bob and KE. If anyone in SoCal wants 1.5 bags of embers for free, click the start conversation button.
And he used to use plain old kingsford, won most of his contests on that.
You can find lump devotees on here that tell you how horrible that is too, in their experience. I would differ, but i would also tell you that less smoke is better, and only bury wood at bottom, and forget the minion method...spread coals evenly out on top using ATC. Opinions are like a$$holes.

No one ever said embers was the bees knees. Universally, i would say most agreed it was smellier when lit cold than other common brands, and do make a good amount ash. After that, experiences ranged widely. Maybe some got bad batch, maybe some got xtra good batch, maybe usage technique made difference, or even biases come into play. There is a ridiculous bias towards more $$$ always being better, and cheaper being crap.

From my perpective, 12 bags, it wasnt great. But it certainly didnt ruin any of my meat, and i like light smoke, and i didnt throw any out. Would i buy it at regular prices? No.
 
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timothy

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Jeez, I'm sorry I mentioned it was the same as Embers, maybe it isn't, maybe Lowes has a better deal with RO then HD.

Tim
 

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