Royal Oak Brazilian Lump Charcoal       Home       Lump Review Index      

Quick Stats
Date Of Review: August, 2005
Purchased From: Wegmans in Sterling, VA
Date Purchased: August, 2005
Price: $4.49
Weight: 10 pounds
Burn Time:
Ash Production:
Type of Wood: Unknown
Strange Material?: 1 rock
Scrap Lumber Pieces?: None
Smell: Mild Smoke
Country of Origin: Brazil

Quick Links
Photos of Contents: Click Here
Other Photos, Including UPC Code: Click Here
Lighting Instructions: Click Here
Statements From The Bag: Click Here
Unusual Or Unique Statements: Click Here
Contact Information: Click Here
Other Information: Click Here
Photo of UPC Code: Click Here

Rate And Comment On This Charcoal: Click Here


This charcoal was brought to our attention recently by a keen-eyed reader who noticed that this charcoal comes from Brazil. Samples were sent overnight to the Lump Charcoal Database for immediate analysis. It is not immediately evident to the casual viewer that this charcoal is anything different from the normal Royal Oak made from American hardwoods, but the signs are all over the bag if you look carefully. We have outlined the changes to the bag in the photos to the right-hand side of this commentary.

One difference which we can't show in a photo (although we have tried!) is the absence of the Royal Oak satisfaction guarantee. We don't know if this was an oversight or if they just won't guarantee your satisfaction with a product they are only importing and not manufacturing themselves.

The charcoal contains no funny stuff, nothing that really shouldn't show up in a bag of charcoal. We found a single rock about the size of a large golfball, which is common in lump charcoals. There were several pieces of uncarbonized wood (see photo below), but nothing to be concerned about. What we found immediately evident was that the bag contained no pieces of charcoal you can really call large. As you can see from the following table and the photo of the sorted contents below, the contents of the bag were decidedly skewed to the small end of the scale. However, you can also see that the percentage of chips and dust was very low, well below average at 7.6% by weight.

Large 0.0 pounds 0.0%
Medium 2.4 pounds 22.9%
Small 7.3 pounds 69.5%
Chips/Dust 0.8 pounds 7.6%

Total 10.5 pounds
The charcoal was pretty easy to light, taking 3 sheets of newspaper in our chimney starter test. During lighting the charcoal didn't spark or pop much at all. When lighting with a MAPP torch, there was only a small amount of sparking, but of course, always exercise caution when using a MAPP torch to light charcoal.

As we said, the charcoal was pretty easy to light and once lit, the fire spreads fairly quickly. Once the fire spread, it burned at a maximum temperature of 850 degrees.

The smoke from this charcoal is fairly mild and pleasant, and different from other charcoals we have tested. It isn't perfumey, like many charcoals from South America but it also isn't that smokiness you get from American hardwoods. We decided to do a side by side taste test of chicken tenders grilled over this charcoal and a lump composed of a mix of American hardwoods. Frankly, we could taste no difference between the two samples of chicken.

So, speaking of burn time, this charcoal burned a very long time, and the ash production was very low. All in all, this is pretty good lump charcoal. The only real improvement that we would like to see is for the overall distribution of sizes to include some larger pieces and fewer small pieces. We give this charcoal our Recommended rating.

How To Spot The New
Royal Oak Charcoal
From Brazil:

Brazil's State Institute of Forests
Export Sticker Showing
Forest of Origin

Just Above The UPC Barcode

Side Of The Bag

Back of the Bag
Bags Containing American
Hardwoods say "Only 100% wood
is used. Made from oak, hickory,
maple and other hardwoods."

Side Of The Bag
No guarantee of satisfaction
from the owner of Royal Oak.

To the left is the rating that our readers have given this charcoal. If you have used this charcoal and would like to rate it and leave your comments, Click Here

To view reader ratings of all brands, Click Here.

Other Information


Unusual or Unique Statements


Statements From The Bag

"No chemicals added", "Quick starting", "Hotter fire", "100% Natural Wood"

"All Natural Charcoal

Royal Oak 100% Natural Wood Charcoal is changing the flavor of the backyard barbecue. 100% Natural Wood Charcoal is real charcoal. This naturally shaped charcoal lights quicker and burns faster and hotter than regular charcoal briquettes. There are no fillers added. In fact, this is the charcoal our ancestors used."

"Manufactured for: Royal Oak Sales, Inc. Roswell, GA 30076", "Made in Brazil", "Product of Brazil"

"What is 100% Natural Wood Charcoal?

100% Natural Wood CharcoalCharcoal Briquettes

Appearance   Looks like wood burned after a campfire. No two are alike. Pressed pillows of charcoal. Uniform in shape.
Content 100% hardwoods. A blend of woods and fillers. Only 100% wood if stated on bag.
Heat Value Cooks hotter than regular briquettes. Great for searing in food flavor. Lasts longer for extended cooking.
Time Takes 15 minutes to get to cooking temperature. Takes about 30 minutes.

Lighting Instructions

"For best results, start your fire 15 mintues before cooking."

"1. Ligher Fluid Method. Arrange Royal Oak Natural Wood Charcoal in a pile. Sprinkle with Royal Oak Lighter Fluid.
2. Wait one minute for the fluid to soak in. Light the pile in several places.
3. Wait 10-15 minutes or until nautral wood is ashed over. Spread charcoal before barbecuing."

"1. Optional Light Method. Open air vents on grill. Tightly crumble or twist 3-4 newspaper sheets and place on bottom of grill below bottom grate.
2. Place natural wood charcoal on top of grate. Leave at least 1 to 2 inches of air space between paper and charcoal.
3. Ignite paper. When coals are ashed over, begin cooking (10 to 15 minutes)l Add more Royal Oak 100% Natural Wood Charcoal as needed."

"Do not pour lighter fluid on burning wood charcoal. Never use gasoline to light fire. For best results, store this bag in a dry place."

Photos Of Contents

This is the contents of the bag. Those are 1 inch squares on the measuring bar.

Here is a closer view.

Here are the largest pieces we found in the bag.

Here are the contents of the bag sorted into medium, small, and too small/chips/dust.

Other Photos

This is how the bags arrived.

This is the Brazilian environmental sticker close up.

After a 17-hour low and slow cook at 225 degrees. We started with
the cooker filled up to the top of the fire ring! Still quite
a bit of charcoal left.

Photo of UPC Code

Here is a photo of the UPC code on the bag:

Contact Information

Royal Oak Enterprises, Inc.
One Royal Oak Avenue,
Roswell, Georgia   30076

About This Review

If you are unfamiliar with our testing procedures, you may wish to read How We Review Lump Charcoal before reading this review. Also, you can read How We Score Lump Charcoal to learn about our scoring system.

Prices listed in our reviews are current as of the date of the review. We do not attempt to keep these prices current.

The conclusions and final rating given any charcoal are based upon the opinion of the author. We recommend that you use our rating only as a guide. You should read the entire review and decide what is important to you in making any buying decision.

Performance ratings are designated with stars, 1 star being the worst and 5 stars being the best:

= Performance is Far Below Average
= Performance is Below Average
= Performance is Average
= Performance is Above Average
= Performance is Far Above Average

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon at the bottom right corner. Click on the icon to display the image in a new larger window. If you wish to ensure that you are seeing photographs the same way that we are seeing them, we recommend that you calibrate your monitor to a PC-normal gamma of 2.2. You should be able to see the difference between blocks A, B and C below, as well as the difference between blocks 3, 4 and 5.


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