Royal Oak Star Grill Charcoal
It is spring, it is hot outside, and I am happily grilling again in the good old fashioned way.
I am continuing my charcoal and charwood experiments this week with a small, relatively inexpensive bag of Royal Oak "Star Grill" charcoal that I bought at a local grocery store.
Good charcoal has a nice description on the bag, usually of the kind of wood and where it came from. Royal Oak has neither. But that's okay because as you know, expensive doesn't always mean better. And to get back into the swing of things, I was starting off on a budget. My 5 lb. bag cost $5.98. Was it a deal?
Upon opening the bag the pieces were all very good sizes. Nothing was too large and almost nothing was too small. It appeared to be a surprisingly good bag of American charcoal.
I also had two nice surprises that I wasn't really expecting at this price point. The first was that there was only one piece of scrap; a golf-ball sized chunk of concrete. Not a big deal at all. The second was the smell, the delicious campfire smell. I was excited.
Over the course of a week I used up the bag making the usual things that I make. Sparking and popping was minimal, and once I poured it into the grill it ceased entirely. Very good. Corn isn't really ripe in Ontario yet, so my grilling didn't go further than hot dogs, hamburgers and veggie dogs.
So what was the verdict? Unfortunately the taste did not mimick the smell. I did not like the flavour it added. Not one bit. This week-long experiment just goes to show that it doesn't matter what charcoal looks or smells like. It all comes down to the flavour in the food. Try it yourself. You may really like it.