I have. The briqs are huge and burn clean. Not a whole lot of ash compared to their size. The leftover ones that look like they can easily be reused sometimes tends to crumble into dust. I went through a bag when I first started cooking an my WSM last June, but have since moved to lump. JD is definitely my favorite lump.Just started using JD lump, really good stuff. Have you tried the JD briquettes?
If you're able to - buy a 1/2 beef at a time. Should avg in the $4 -$6 lb range but it's definitely worth it...You'll need a deep freezer thoughIf you think charcoal is expensive, what about the price of beef!? I’d rather toss a bag of coal than ruin a good piece of meat! I think some of it becomes what you get used to as much as the charcoal itself...without gravel of course!
I had the charcoal grate in the lower position, and the Royal Oak charcoal churned out a lot of ash, cutting off airflow below the charcoal basket. I’ll have to raise it up next time.I'm kinda new at charcoal, but I'm noticing BIG differences between brands, and lump vs. briqs, as I experiment with the variety. I think this is a good discussion. Takes forever to light, this one burns hot, short or long, that one is a dud...etc. I appreciate the dialog here.
Im trying out some Royal Oak original bricks in my GA, just to bake some potatoes and I’m finding I can’t load enough of them to get the little sucker hot enough to bake the Potatoes. Topping out at just over 300 degrees f at the grate. I had to finish them off in the microwave for a minute. I think it’s a combination of these bricks and the little cooker not being up to the task. I already know it’s great for burgers and dogs, but larger items that need to go longer and indirect, not so much.
Next time I know to use a full chimney in the performer with a bro-n-sear.
I try to opt for consistency over cost, lately the cost effective product seems to be K pro, I can get dbl. 18# bags at Costco for abut $15.00 and blue is $17.00 for dbl. 20’s after a handful of cooks, I’ve found the increased burn time and lower ash to be more than advertising hype. My last 18 hr. cook left me with maybe five or six pounds of useable coal for the kettle. So, there’s frugality there in the extended (secondary) use. I rarely use a full charge of new coal in the kettles but, always in the WSM. I guess the long and short of it is that I seem to like the K-pro quite a bit.I've seen this convo a lot here and on the Weber FB groups. A LOT. Too much, if you ask me. I know some people make a huge deal of it, but I can promise that 99.9999% of every person that ever has eaten BBQ or grilling made on charcoal has never said, "hmm, this tastes different. Husband must have used a cheap charcoal."
Light coals, burn coals, cook meat over and/or near coals, eat meat.... Repeat.
If you love the high priced charcoal and think it's more enjoyable to cook with that, then do it. If you prefer to find great deals on cheap charcoal, then do it. Ultimately, the goal is to cook awesome food and enjoy it. I tend to get many different kinds of charcoal and I even ****GASP**** mix them. I tend to get a majority of cheap charcoal and mix it with a little more expensive charcoal. Personally I've found that saving money on cheap charcoal and using it to buy better quality meat yields FAR better results than spending more money on charcoal. Just my 2 cents.
B&B Competition is my favorite but still not available at ACE where I live.In a WSM:
1) B&B Competition Orange bag
2) Royal Oak All Natural briq
3) Cowboy All Natural briq
And in the distance.....
4) Royal Oak briq
The kettle gets mostly leftovers from the WSM or new Royal Oak briqs. I use about 10 new briqs per session on the kettle.
I'm personally pretty much done with KBB. Their product is over priced and substandard in my opinion. Plus it is never an acceptable price; also just my opinion.
I just got an e-mail from B&B saying that Ace Hardware internet sales should have B&B products even if the local store doesn't have what you want. They admitted there is somewhat of a charcoal shortage but it's more of a distribution problem than a production problem.