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Here's the new Sam's Club Lump Charcoal
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10 15 12:52 am    Post subject: Here's the new Sam's Club Lump Charcoal Reply with quote

I was at Sam's Club this morning and noticed this new brand of lump charcoal. Anybody ever use it? Good or bad experience?


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necron 99
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10 15 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't seen that stuff before, but it makes sense as Sam's has other Visions products available. Thanks for the recon info & pic Mike. My nearest Sam's had zero lump charcoal of any brand when I last went there a few weeks ago.

Did you happen to look at country of origin / made in info on the bags? I can't see that info in your pic.

It's definitely more attractively priced than this stuff at HD, which the Q&A says comes from Arizona.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Vision-Grills-100-Natural-Oak-Lump-Charcoal-20-lb-Bag-VGK-OAKLMP20/205757152

There is a review of that pricier oak lump here.

http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=57712&sid=0f2747e33062d34ea9400b2fa154eaa7
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10 15 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't look at the label very closely. I had a full cart and had to get out of there but plans are to head back sometime this week and get some. I'll see what I can find out.
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13 15 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went and picked up 4 bags. It's made in Mexico. I guess I'll be finding out how well it does in a week or two.

Found this thread on it; http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=57712
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necron 99
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14 15 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lookin' forward to your review Mike.

That link to the $20+ a bag Vision Oak Lump review looks oddly familiar . . . Very Happy

FWIW, I've noticed tha bags of the new Cowboy "Southern Style" lump I looked at in Meijer no longer say product of Mexico. What's up with that? Mexico is definitely south of the USA. what makes their newest lump "Southern Style"?

Cowboy still seems confused. Surprised
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14 15 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

necron 99 wrote:
That link to the $20+ a bag Vision Oak Lump review looks oddly familiar . . . Very Happy


I guess I just got awarded the dumb ass of the day trophy. Embarassed Laughing

In my haste to post the update I failed to recognize that was the same link you posted. I think I got 'Ol timers disease. Rolling Eyes

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I don't know much about Cowboy. I ditched those guys long ago when they were packaging the kiln dried moldings and lumber parts.
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necron 99
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14 15 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL no worries . . . I call these "pre-Senior Momemnts" when they happen to me Laughing

I'm just hoping that Vision didn't pick up Cowboy's prior source of Made in Mexico lump. That was some of the worst stuff I've tried from Mexico. It was a step up from their prior scrap stuff, but not by much.

I have used some good lump (above average) that's come out of Mexico but it's been about 50/50 for my track record there.
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Glenn
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21 15 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried a couple bags and wasn't very impressed. I had about 3 lbs of dust and the items that weren't dust were either 1 inch size or logs.

I also tried Carbon del Sur from RD and was VERY impressed. Good sized chunks and consistent in size. I'll go back to that, but not the Vision.
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Last edited by Glenn on Tue Aug 25 15 9:18 am; edited 2 times in total
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21 15 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the update Glenn. I was hoping to dump out a bag this weekend to see what it looks like. I'll post up some pics when I do that. One thing I forgot to mention is the bags were dusty at the store. My hands had fine charcoal all over them and were quite nasty. I've never had that happen in all the years I've been buying lump with anybody else's product.
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necron 99
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22 15 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was in the closest Sam's Club to me yesterday. They had some of the Vision lump in stock but not prominently displayed.

A few bags were torn and there was some dust but it didn't coat my hands. I read through all the printing on the bag (I was alone - no wife along on this trip, so I could take my time with this task). I found this is manufactured by Best of the West for Vision printed on the bag. The BOTW mesquite lump Sam's carried at one time was notably less carbonized and lots of dust when I used it.

BOTW had an oak lump in addition to the mesquite lump at one time but I never tried it. Walmart carried it but it had boutique pricing.

http://www.twotreesproducts.com/charcoal/

I agree with Glenn about being impressed with Carbon del Sur lump from Restaurant Depot. I used a bag of that last summer to test it out. When I use up my stash of Frontier lump I'll switch to Carbon del Sur.
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23 15 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OMG!!! I have never seen a nastier bag of crap in my life.

Here's what I saw when I first opened the bag. It didn't look good. I have no way of weighing this but note how much room is left in the bag.



Dumped on the table




Some foreign debris




Half charred limbs and sticks




The medium sized stuff




What was left.



I'm digging through my paperwork to see if I can find my receipt. This stuff is going back and I'm going to be sure Sam's Club hears about this.
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necron 99
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23 15 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep brings back memories . . . definitely typical BOTW stuff
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23 15 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took all 4 bags back and grabbed the manager and showed him. He said he would make sure the buyers are aware of this. I'm thinking about sending an email to Vision so they know what's going on. It's got their name on it. I would think they would be concerned as well.

I don't have an RD within 80 miles or so from my home base but I do have an IFH Chef Smart here in town and they have Nature Glo lump and briquettes, that is made by Royal Oak and thank God in the USA. After the Sam's return I went straight there and picked up a few bags of that. It's a little pricier but at least I won't have 10 pounds of dust in the bag. Rolling Eyes

Nature-Glo 20lb briquettes $11.05
Nature-Glo lump 20 lb $14.49
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necron 99
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24 15 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RD is a 90+ mile one way trip for me no matter which one I choose. But it's still well worth the trip for me considering what's locally available for meats and charcoal.

Columbus (where I usually go) - 98 miles

Cleveland (been there once) - 115 miles

Dearborn, MI (never been) - 103 miles

Cincinnati (never been) - 158 miles

Akron (new location never been) - 129 miles

Indianapolis - (never been) 208 miles

FWIW, Ace Hardware is now listing multiple brands of lump charcoal besides Cowboy with free site-to-store shipping.

Remaining Frontier stock

http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3393980

http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3393978

Kamado Joe (I like this brand, I've burned 6 bags)

http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=21529906

Wicked Good Weekend Warrior

http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12791311

Black Diamond (haven't seen any reviews)

http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=63643886

http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=63643896

DoitBest Hardware is my source for 100% hardwood RO briquettes with free site-to-store shipping

RO Chef's Select Link
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25 15 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update: I had sent Vision a note via their web site about this and I got a response from a couple of their folks this morning, one of them a VP. It sounds like they're taking this seriously and pursuing an investigation. Hopefully they'll be able to get it worked out and get the product back on track. If/when that happens I'll take another look at it. I do like that Sam's club pricing.

EDIT:

7:05PM 8/24/15

Here's an update to the update;

Vision contacted me again and offered to replace and ship direct to me the 4 bags of charcoal. I thought that was a very nice gesture. I responded back and told them that I had already taken the product back to Sam's and received a refund. I did ask that they pursue the quality issue so hopefully we can get our hands on some decent product. I guess time will tell if things get squared away.

Anyway, a shout out to Vision for excellent customer service.
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Glenn
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25 15 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also contacted them and received the same offer. I took them up on it to see if what they send is any better. I suspect it will be. The question is, will the stuff at Sam's be any better in the future. Will they pull existing stock? Not likely so it may be a while before any good stuff comes in.

I'll update if/when I receive the replacement charcoal.
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25 15 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenn wrote:
The question is, will the stuff at Sam's be any better in the future. Will they pull existing stock? Not likely so it may be a while before any good stuff comes in.

Yeah, I'm not holding my hopes very high for a speedy remediation from Sam's. When I returned my 4 bags, the one I had opened they labeled as a defect. The other three, unopened, were going right back into stock. Unless a bunch of people complain about it I doubt it will get pulled.

I hope the replacements you get at least let us know they (distribution) are capable of delivering a good product but despite that I / we have to wait for the retail folks to cycle in the good stuff. The only reason why I'm so engaged with all this is because of the pricing at Sam's. Ten buck$ for 20 lbs. is pretty good and considering how much charcoal we use around here it does make a difference.

Thanks for the update and looking forward to your report.
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necron 99
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26 15 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smokin Mike wrote:
I do like that Sam's club pricing.


Me too but finding good quality charcoal at a bargain price has become extremely difficult. Not too long ago most of us would have viewed $0.50 / lb. a boutique price rather than a bargain price.

RO lump is $0.57 / lb. every day here at Menard's, I only buy it when they have their spring sale & rebate at $0.34 / lb. - limit four 8.8 lb. bags. At Walmart it's $0.75 / lb. Crying or Very sad
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Glenn
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25 15 9:25 am    Post subject: UPDATE! Reply with quote

A quick update...one month to the day after I got the email regarding the replacement, I got shipping notification.

So hopefully we will see if it is any better.
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Double-Stacked ECB's << DOA
Original ECB << DOA

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BigOrson
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25 15 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I regularly use RO lump and the Kroger and Publix brands of lump in a pinch. I have no argument with any of them. I just have to remember not to wear sandals when I light them up with the weed burner or I get a hot foot from the sparks.
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