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  • Post #91 - June 1st, 2011, 12:37 am
    Post #91 - June 1st, 2011, 12:37 am Post #91 - June 1st, 2011, 12:37 am
    In a pinch, I was able to find some lump mesquite at Cermack Produce on north kedzie. It was called "el mexicano" in quite a generic looking bag. I was not holding out much hope for it, but it really surprised me with it's quality. As was noted before people don't always wnat a mesquite flavor in their food and while i did smell it at first when lighting the chimney, it was very subtle. I smoked my turkey with hickory and i am not sure, but i don't think i tasted any mesquite in the final product. At least if it was there, the hickory smoke was strong enough to mask it.

    Here are some pictures of the coal (and what it smoked, just for fun!), There were actually lumps too large to fit in the chimney, which i take as a sign of quality. There were practically no crumpled or small chunks in the bag. Cost was $4.99 for about 7Lbs.

    Cermak Produce
    4234 N Kedzie Ave
    Chicago, Illinois 60618
    (773) 442-8135

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    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #92 - September 7th, 2014, 8:56 pm
    Post #92 - September 7th, 2014, 8:56 pm Post #92 - September 7th, 2014, 8:56 pm
    Alright, where's the good stuff these days now that it's 2014? we were just talking charcoal in the Smoked Meat Everyday thread so I thought I'd resurrect this thread.

    A1 for lump?

    https://a1countryfirewood.com
  • Post #93 - September 8th, 2014, 6:44 am
    Post #93 - September 8th, 2014, 6:44 am Post #93 - September 8th, 2014, 6:44 am


    We use A1's lump on our grill...they are hands down the best source in Chicago for Smoking/grilling. I've mentioned this in another thread (can't remember where now) - but these guys just know what they are selling, while most other places don't. The BBQ Wood Box side of the business is run by John Cunningham, a BBQ Guy, and he sources woods/charcoal specifically for BBQ'ing and Grilling. They supply wood for 84 restaurants and breweries now - anyone cooking with wood/charcoal should check them out. (again, no affiliation - just a very happy customer).
    I love comfortable food, and comfortable restaurants.
    http://pitbarbq.com
    http://thebudlong.com
    http://denveraf.com
  • Post #94 - June 19th, 2020, 7:04 am
    Post #94 - June 19th, 2020, 7:04 am Post #94 - June 19th, 2020, 7:04 am
    Royal Oak natural lump charcoal has replaced toilet paper, yeast, flour, hand sanitizer, and fresh ground burger meat as the disappearing, actually disappeared, pink rabbit of shopping. Notice I say natural lump, as the Royal Oak brand briquets, quick light etc are mostly available. I rather cut off a toe than use match-lite, quick-lite charcoal.

    Frontier seems available, its crap, and Fogo and a few "high" end types for outrageous sums, almost $40 for 20/lbs. Kingsford, widely available, ubiquitous, everywhere from the grocer to hardware store. We went to Home Depot yesterday, there were Hundreds of bags of Kingsford, in the outdoor section and at least three Giant end-caps.

    None of the small to big box hardware stores have it in stock, even Restaurant Depot is out of stock. Berger Brothers is out, no stock, hasn't seen Royal Oak lump in weeks.

    Kingsford Kingsford everywhere and not a drop to burn

    RDRO1.jpg RD, Pulaski 6.14.20
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #95 - June 19th, 2020, 7:53 am
    Post #95 - June 19th, 2020, 7:53 am Post #95 - June 19th, 2020, 7:53 am
    Found this yesterday. $7.?? can't remember exactly, for a 15# bag.
    charcoal3.jpg Back of bag
    charcoal2.jpg Front of bag

    charcoal1.jpg Lump Charcoal

    Now to find the wood, then on to lesson 1.
    The thing about quotes on the internet is you can not confirm their validity. -- Abraham Lincoln
  • Post #96 - June 20th, 2020, 2:54 am
    Post #96 - June 20th, 2020, 2:54 am Post #96 - June 20th, 2020, 2:54 am
    We have switched to Rockwood supplied by the BBQGUYS on-line.
    https://www.bbqguys.com/rockwood/all-na ... lbs-3-pack
    It’s the top rated by the Naked Whiz.
    http://www.nakedwhiz.com/lumprankpoll.htm
    We think it’s excellent.
    -Richard
  • Post #97 - June 20th, 2020, 6:14 am
    Post #97 - June 20th, 2020, 6:14 am Post #97 - June 20th, 2020, 6:14 am
    budrichard wrote:We have switched to Rockwood supplied by the BBQGUYS on-line.

    No doubt Rockwood is high quality lump charcoal. Couple of problems, at least from my perspective. Cost, $1.66/lb very pricey. Shipping, and handling in general, tends to break lump into overly small pieces.

    If I could buy Rockwood locally for under a buck a pound I'd pounce like a Ninja Turtle on a slice of pizza.

    I use 5 to 7 pounds of lump per session, at least for the way I've been cooking lately. Have 80/lbs of Royal Oak lump charcoal on hand, enough for ~maybe~ a month.

    Kingsford Kingsford everywhere and not a drop to burn.
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #98 - June 20th, 2020, 11:37 am
    Post #98 - June 20th, 2020, 11:37 am Post #98 - June 20th, 2020, 11:37 am
    G Wiv wrote:
    budrichard wrote:We have switched to Rockwood supplied by the BBQGUYS on-line.

    No doubt Rockwood is high quality lump charcoal. Couple of problems, at least from my perspective. Cost, $1.66/lb very pricey. Shipping, and handling in general, tends to break lump into overly small pieces.

    If I could buy Rockwood locally for under a buck a pound I'd pounce like a Ninja Turtle on a slice of pizza.

    I use 5 to 7 pounds of lump per session, at least for the way I've been cooking lately. Have 80/lbs of Royal Oak lump charcoal on hand, enough for ~maybe~ a month.

    Kingsford Kingsford everywhere and not a drop to burn.

    A local (Salem Oregon) Ace hardware store is suppose to have the Rockwood in stock at $27/20# bag. Of course this is the same store that was suppose to have 9 of the Weber 22" grills in stock and hadn't had any since 2014 and hadn't bothered to fix their inventory. So who knows what they have.

    But a local MalWort is suppose to have the Royal oak in stock at $17/30#, so I'll check there today. Thanks for the advice.
    G Wiv, count me a fan!
    The thing about quotes on the internet is you can not confirm their validity. -- Abraham Lincoln
  • Post #99 - June 20th, 2020, 12:28 pm
    Post #99 - June 20th, 2020, 12:28 pm Post #99 - June 20th, 2020, 12:28 pm
    Anyone know if A1 Country Firewood (linked upthread) is open? They are where I've gotten 30 or 40 lb bags of lump charcoal in recent seasons. Usually lasts me the summer (although I don't grill or smoke as much as I should). Large pieces and reasonable pricing from what I can recall.

    I just called and got their machine, but since it's an all outdoor operation, one might think they are still operating.
  • Post #100 - June 20th, 2020, 1:06 pm
    Post #100 - June 20th, 2020, 1:06 pm Post #100 - June 20th, 2020, 1:06 pm
    Did you see note on their Yelp page?

    A-1 Country Firewood wrote:Due to COVID-19 we will close a hour earlier 5pm Tues-Sat thru April 15th then revisit as needed - If you would like to remain in vehicle and have order ready on arrival please phone Brian ph# 708-845-9413 with order and credit card info-Thank you and Stay Safe
  • Post #101 - June 20th, 2020, 1:23 pm
    Post #101 - June 20th, 2020, 1:23 pm Post #101 - June 20th, 2020, 1:23 pm
    Darren72 wrote:Did you see note on their Yelp page?

    A-1 Country Firewood wrote:Due to COVID-19 we will close a hour earlier 5pm Tues-Sat thru April 15th then revisit as needed - If you would like to remain in vehicle and have order ready on arrival please phone Brian ph# 708-845-9413 with order and credit card info-Thank you and Stay Safe


    Ah, that's helpful. I didn't expect to see updates on Yelp that didn't appear on their own website. Live and learn.
  • Post #102 - June 20th, 2020, 2:11 pm
    Post #102 - June 20th, 2020, 2:11 pm Post #102 - June 20th, 2020, 2:11 pm
    Hey GWiv,

    Not sure exactly your locale, but have you tried GFS?

    I have had better than average luck getting lump at my local outlet, and whether its labelled GFS or Gordon Select or whatever, it doesnt matter. It's all made by Royal Oak.

    Using the heart of Chicago as a guide (60601) the two closest from your postings might be:


    Chicago-Brickyard
    6431 West Fullerton Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60707
    773-622-8162

    Evanston
    2424 Oakton St
    Evanston, IL 60202
    847-864-0266

    Worth a phone call at least.
    Bill-Aurora
  • Post #103 - June 20th, 2020, 2:31 pm
    Post #103 - June 20th, 2020, 2:31 pm Post #103 - June 20th, 2020, 2:31 pm
    gastro gnome wrote:Anyone know if A1 Country Firewood (linked upthread) is open? They are where I've gotten 30 or 40 lb bags of lump charcoal in recent seasons. Usually lasts me the summer (although I don't grill or smoke as much as I should). Large pieces and reasonable pricing from what I can recall.

    I just called and got their machine, but since it's an all outdoor operation, one might think they are still operating.


    I was there today at about 11:30 a.m. to pick up some firewood and, yes, they were open.
  • Post #104 - June 20th, 2020, 4:25 pm
    Post #104 - June 20th, 2020, 4:25 pm Post #104 - June 20th, 2020, 4:25 pm
    Willkat98 wrote:Not sure exactly your locale, but have you tried GFS?

    Willkat98, good idea, thanks!

    Also, thanks to gastro gnome. I totally forgot about both A1 Country Firewood and Chicago Firewood. Odd since I've dealt with both before.

    I spoke to both places on the phone. A1 Country Firewood has a house brand of oak lump charcoal in stock for $25 for 40/lb bags. Chicago Firewood has limited supply of Royal Oak produced restaurant/service industry bags of lump charcoal $32 for 40/lb bags. A1 Country Firewood hours listed up-thread, Chicago Firewood is open every day with shorter hours on Sunday.

    I'd guess the price disparity is due to the fact Chicago Firewood only has a dozen or so bags left and when out they're out. The owner Matt said its a hassle getting lump, Royal Oak in particular, and his main business is wood.

    A1 Country Firewood
    1635 S Canal St
    Chicago, IL 60616
    312-421-9663

    Chicago Firewood (New Address)
    5600 N Northwest Hwy
    Chicago, IL 60631
    312-335-9696
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #105 - June 20th, 2020, 7:43 pm
    Post #105 - June 20th, 2020, 7:43 pm Post #105 - June 20th, 2020, 7:43 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Royal Oak natural lump charcoal has replaced toilet paper, yeast, flour, hand sanitizer, and fresh ground burger meat as the disappearing, actually disappeared, pink rabbit of shopping. Notice I say natural lump, as the Royal Oak brand briquets, quick light etc are mostly available. I rather cut off a toe than use match-lite, quick-lite charcoal.
    I've got a neighborhood source. I wouldn't tell just anyone this except a barbecue lifecoach type. I occasionally visit the liquor store at Milwaukee and Central to pin a church choir practice announcement on their bulletin board ;) They reliably have bags of lump near the entrance, before you reach the registers. It's usually Royal Oak blue bag (20 lb) but tonight (posting a choir practice canceled notice), it was Nature Glo foodservice. They had a few other types, one was mesquite briquettes but I didn't recognize the other.
  • Post #106 - June 20th, 2020, 10:59 pm
    Post #106 - June 20th, 2020, 10:59 pm Post #106 - June 20th, 2020, 10:59 pm
    BrendanR wrote:I've got a neighborhood source. I wouldn't tell just anyone this except a barbecue lifecoach type. I occasionally visit the liquor store at Milwaukee and Central

    BrendanR, Thank you, much appreciated.

    I will probably head to Paterno's Pizza/Foremost Liquor (two separate businesses) in the next couple of days. I pass by or near often and I've been to both the liquor store and bar/pizza joint a number of times, though not for ages.

    Probably not open at the moment, but if in the mood for a old school horseshoe bar, talkative mildly in their cups patrons and thin greasy hit-the-spot slices Paterno's pizza/bar is your place. :)

    Paterno's Pizza/Foremost Liquor
    5301 N Milwaukee Ave
    Chicago, IL 60630
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #107 - June 21st, 2020, 5:40 am
    Post #107 - June 21st, 2020, 5:40 am Post #107 - June 21st, 2020, 5:40 am
    BTW, the reason for on-line with the BBQGuys is that there is a Pandemic going on.
    Not very keen on driving around and going into stores at this time.
    I’m well aware of the cost differential during normal times but these are not normal times.
    My source usually was a trip to Burger Bros and load up the wagon with Nature-Glo.
    But after using the Rockwood, we like it better than the Nature-Glo and so do the users as rated on the Naked Whiz!
    http://www.nakedwhiz.com/lumprankpoll.htm
    -Richard
  • Post #108 - June 21st, 2020, 6:37 am
    Post #108 - June 21st, 2020, 6:37 am Post #108 - June 21st, 2020, 6:37 am
    Hi,

    Is Burger Brothers now off limits to small non-restaurant purchases? I don't see them mentioned like they once were.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #109 - June 21st, 2020, 9:44 am
    Post #109 - June 21st, 2020, 9:44 am Post #109 - June 21st, 2020, 9:44 am
    Cathy2 wrote:Hi,

    Is Burger Brothers now off limits to small non-restaurant purchases? I don't see them mentioned like they once were.

    Regards,
    Cathy2


    I bought from them last summer.
  • Post #110 - June 21st, 2020, 9:57 am
    Post #110 - June 21st, 2020, 9:57 am Post #110 - June 21st, 2020, 9:57 am
    Cathy2 wrote:Is Burger Brothers now off limits to small non-restaurant purchases? I don't see them mentioned like they once were.

    Burger Brothers is still open to the public, I mention them upthread on 6.19.20. Berger Brothers is out, no stock, hasn't seen Royal Oak lump in weeks.

    When I spoke to BB yesterday they had Mexican origin mesquite lump in stock, I did not ask price as that is not something I use except in the most pinchy of pinches.

    I spoke to a few people in the know yesterday and the rumblings I heard were that Royal Oak was acquired and is going through a few acquisition pains exacerbated by the pandemic.
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #111 - June 21st, 2020, 12:01 pm
    Post #111 - June 21st, 2020, 12:01 pm Post #111 - June 21st, 2020, 12:01 pm
    G Wiv wrote:When I spoke to BB yesterday they had Mexican origin mesquite lump in stock, I did not ask price as that is not something I use except in the most pinchy of pinches.


    I’m a fan of this stuff. It’s probably Lazzari brand (or the food service version). I originally found BB when I was looking for a local source for Lazzari and the company directed me to BB.
  • Post #112 - June 21st, 2020, 1:43 pm
    Post #112 - June 21st, 2020, 1:43 pm Post #112 - June 21st, 2020, 1:43 pm
    Darren72 wrote:I’m a fan of this stuff. It’s probably Lazzari brand (or the food service version).

    I find Mexican lump charcoal, mesquite in particular, to be poppy. By which I mean there are intermittent popping explosions while burning ranging from semi-dud firecracker to M80+.

    In smaller cookers like Weber kettle, WSM or BGE, with attendant less vibrant air flow, the slight bitter/creosote notes of mesquite are pronounced.

    Admittedly, I have a slight negative bias toward Mexican lump. Please don't hate on me, call me names or picket my front yard.

    YMMV
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #113 - June 22nd, 2020, 1:09 pm
    Post #113 - June 22nd, 2020, 1:09 pm Post #113 - June 22nd, 2020, 1:09 pm
    budrichard wrote:BTW, the reason for on-line with the BBQGuys is that there is a Pandemic going on.
    Not very keen on driving around and going into stores at this time.

    Thanks for taking the time to explain, makes perfect sense. Rockwood seems very high quality lump charcoal. And I do love me some NakedWhiz! :)
    Last edited by G Wiv on June 22nd, 2020, 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #114 - June 22nd, 2020, 1:16 pm
    Post #114 - June 22nd, 2020, 1:16 pm Post #114 - June 22nd, 2020, 1:16 pm
    BrendanR wrote:I've got a neighborhood source. I wouldn't tell just anyone this except a barbecue lifecoach type. I occasionally visit the liquor store at Milwaukee and Central

    G Wiv wrote:I will probably head to Paterno's Pizza/Foremost Liquor (two separate businesses) in the next couple of days.

    Score! I picked up bags of Nature-Glow lump 20/lbs for $15.99. Paterno's had 40/lb bags of lump for $25.99 but it was mesquite, which is low on my lump list. Paterno's also had a few types of briquets, including Royal Oak natural briquets. If I was to use a briquette that is the type/brand I would use.

    Thanks again for posting the Paterno's charcoal tip.

    Paterno's Pizza/Foremost Liquor
    5301 N Milwaukee Ave
    Chicago, IL 60630
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #115 - June 22nd, 2020, 8:20 pm
    Post #115 - June 22nd, 2020, 8:20 pm Post #115 - June 22nd, 2020, 8:20 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Score! I picked up bags of Nature-Glow lump 20/lbs for $15.99. Paterno's had 40/lb bags of lump for $25.99 but it was mesquite, which is low on my lump list.
    Glad to help.

    The Foremost Liquors is unrelated to Paterno's. You can see some of their disagreements from the past in the signs in the parking lot. My understanding is that the Greek owners of Foremost sold the business to South Asian owners about a year ago. One of the previous owner/operators (Nick) still comes in for a shift or two, often seen on Saturdays.

    I've had some good times at Paterno's. It's a great place to watch a Bears or Hawks game, even for a mildly interested, fair weather fan like me. The outwardly grumpy proprietor with a big heart (I don't recall his name, sorry) is usually there. I think his wife is a daughter of the original Paterno, she works there, too.
  • Post #116 - June 24th, 2020, 4:33 am
    Post #116 - June 24th, 2020, 4:33 am Post #116 - June 24th, 2020, 4:33 am
    G Wiv wrote:Score! I picked up bags of Nature-Glow lump 20/lbs for $15.99.

    Went back to Paterno's Pizza/Foremost Liquor yesterday and picked up a few more bags of Nature-Glow. Decent price, quality lump charcoal and I have a feeling the supply of Nature-Glow/Royal Oak is getting nothing but slimmer.

    Foremost Liquor currently has a decent supply, there were only two out more in back. I may buy additional as I have room in my garage. (Suggestions of lump charcoal 12-Step not necessary. I realize I have an issue with which I happily coexist)

    BrendanR, thanks again for the tip.

    Paterno's Pizza/Foremost Liquor
    5301 N Milwaukee Ave
    Chicago, IL 60630
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #117 - June 24th, 2020, 7:15 am
    Post #117 - June 24th, 2020, 7:15 am Post #117 - June 24th, 2020, 7:15 am
    Costco's had a steady supply of Cowboy brand lump hardwood.
  • Post #118 - June 24th, 2020, 3:22 pm
    Post #118 - June 24th, 2020, 3:22 pm Post #118 - June 24th, 2020, 3:22 pm
    spinynorman99 wrote:Costco's had a steady supply of Cowboy brand lump hardwood.


    Which location? I haven't necessarily been looking but I haven't noticed it lately (since pandemic) at Lincoln Park. I am now starting to run low and was in the Kalamazoo Costco the other day (Father's day grill trip) and they definitely didn't have any lump.
  • Post #119 - June 24th, 2020, 3:31 pm
    Post #119 - June 24th, 2020, 3:31 pm Post #119 - June 24th, 2020, 3:31 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:Is Burger Brothers now off limits to small non-restaurant purchases? I don't see them mentioned like they once were.

    Burger Brothers is still open to the public, I mention them upthread on 6.19.20. Berger Brothers is out, no stock, hasn't seen Royal Oak lump in weeks.

    When I spoke to BB yesterday they had Mexican origin mesquite lump in stock, I did not ask price as that is not something I use except in the most pinchy of pinches.

    I spoke to a few people in the know yesterday and the rumblings I heard were that Royal Oak was acquired and is going through a few acquisition pains exacerbated by the pandemic.

    Walmart has it online = Royal Oak Lump Charcoal, All Natural Hardwood Charcoal, 30 Lbs

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Royal-Oak-Lum ... /896217027
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #120 - June 24th, 2020, 6:12 pm
    Post #120 - June 24th, 2020, 6:12 pm Post #120 - June 24th, 2020, 6:12 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Foremost Liquor currently has a decent supply, there were only two out more in back. I may buy additional as I have room in my garage.
    Whoa, whoa..save some for the rest of us. This was only supposed to get you through between pallet-load deliveries.

    I'm currently working through a 30 lb bag of Western lump and it's been really good. The timing and Tyvek bag has me pretty sure I'd bought the same thing pictured here. No rocks, no brown wood, no unreasonable sparking, 30lbs for $10. Wish I'd bought a trunkful.

    Inserting images isn't working for me right now but here's the picture that was supposed to be here:
    https://imgur.com/a/YtxYq67
    I've been keeping a box of chunks that are too big for my typical quick cooks on the kettle to save for lengthy low & slow on the WSM. These are all from this one bag.

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