I've been buying cowboy Lump charchoal for years now without an issue. The last two bags I got were 1/2 filled with HUGE pieces of fricking fence post or logs. The pieces are pretty much useless and it cuts my yeild waaaay down.
I just did that.
Man, I wish there was something else LOCAL I could find. The last few briquettes I've tried I didn't like. Kingsford Mesquite smells like a chemical factory (threw that out), Trader Joes wasn't too bad, but it did have a little weird smell to it. Besides making my own fire, I'm stuck with this stuff. lol
Cuz you can't spread them out and you wind up with a hot spot, or the big piece isn't ready yet and all the regular pieces have been burning already.
The offered to refund the bag, which was nice. Also, gave me some info:
"As you may have noticed, our product is now made in Mexico. Previously, the
charcoal was made in Kentucky from kiln dried hardwood off-cuts from the
lumber industry. Due to forever rising manufacturing costs, our raw material
is now Mexican oak hardwoods. While this is different than what we have done
in the past, this product is denser and usually longer lasting."