Well, you asked for it. Here, Smoky answers the most commonly asked questions. He is direct, honest and offers an insight into the time proven techniques to preparing great barbecue that is unavailable elsewhere. If you are unable to locate the exact answer you are seeking, feel free to contact him directly and ask!
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FAQ Subject: I need to get my hands on quality Charcoal
First of all, let me commend you on such a fine site. Highly informative and packed with great tips and recipes! My question has to do with locating charcoal. I know your opinion of Kingsford. I did not know, until recently, that you put Royal Oak in the same category. My problem is this; being from Colorado where hardwood does not abound, Kingsford and store brands are the only kinds of charcoal I can get my hands on. I read a post from your site where you recommended Kroger store brand because it was made by Hickory Specialties. I phoned this company to locate a distributor near my hometown and they informed me they no longer made charcoal. I have looked in every store, home improvement center, mall, quick shop, and grocer I can find. If I thought that the local beauty salon carried something, I'd look there too. But, alas, no quality charcoal is to be found in my area. I even looked into having split hickory bundles shipped directly to me as an alternative, but they wanted scarcely less than my mortgage payment for about a cigar box full. So, can you give me some insight as to how to lay my hands on some quality charcoal? Would much appreciate any advice.
Royal Oak bought out the Hickory Specialties charcoal operation.
Oddly, they are now producing an excellent lump charcoal. If you cannot find it in local stores, check with Sysco a national supplier to restaurants. They usually have it or can get it.
There is a small company called "Cowboy Charcoal" that makes an excellent product but is hard to find.
I recently bough some large size bags of charcoal at Sam's Club to check it out. It is not so bad. The bag is made of plastic and has a resealable top.