It took almost an hour to fire up, was crumbly, and threw off tons of sparks when I emptied the chimney. Bad batch or not as good as my old Kingsford standby?
Not as good. Stick with the King. Everything at trader joes isn't always better (see Siracha).
I bet they would refund your bag price.
Last time my husband used TJ's charcoal, so many sparks flew that one of the seat cushions on our outdoor chairs caught on fire.
I assuming you were using briquettes. Not a very good idea unless you like petroleum flavored food. I always use lump charcoal beginning with a chimney starter. It will still spark but not like Vesuvius. I prefer oak or hickory but mesquite is satisfactory. Sometimes this is sold as "cowboy charcoal". No chemical accelerants, just wood.
TJ's use to sell lump charcoal, but then stop and sold briquets. Which was a shame because the lump charcoal was pretty good and a reasonable price. I have tried the briquets but then I haven't used briquets of any brand in a long time.
Sorry that should be "have not tried".