There are times that you need slow burning charcoal that can burn for as long as three hours. Hey all, today we're going to start a new series for folks new to the grill or pit and we're starting with lump charcoal vs. charcoal briquettes. Free of binders, chemicals, and fillers, this brand has a very slight wood flavor that will not overpower your food. Are there any foreign bodies in the bag with the charcoal? This is lump, and is charcoal in its most natural form. The bigger the chunks, the better the fuel efficiency of your charcoal. Briquettes are not the enemy, and they are not evil. Royal Oak’s USA-made all natural hardwood is of fantastic quality, and emits a beautiful smoky aroma. I Keep a pair of cotton gardening gloves (one glove, actually) in the sealed container with my charcoal, and I load the lump charcoal into my chimney starter piece by piece. Lots of smoke, and some nuanced flavor. Is all this talk of smoking making anyone thirsty? The technique of smoking food is that the heat is consistent, low, and slow. Since most packages of natural lump charcoal contain huge pieces of charcoal, and charcoal dust, I never just dump charcoal into my chimney starter. Because fancy lump charcoal can burn too hot, a large bag of the normal charcoal briquettes work best in a charcoal smoker for low and slow cooking. A number of large coal pieces do help make up some of the coal bag’s contents, but otherwise it’s medium-sized pieces. How to Light Lump Charcoal: 3 Super Easy Ways – Lovely Flavor. You risk the nasty taste of the fluid completely overpowering the coals, so it’s best just to stay clear. Smokers always allow for good control of airflow, and with restricted air, lump charcoal can be controlled so that it burns cooler and longer. None of the brands reviewed later in this article contain any of these items. Lump charcoal is created by burning wood with the absence of oxygen, preventing it to burn to ashes. Lump Charcoal – This is the ideal pick of purists because this is the most natural charcoal anyone can get. These coals are made from the Quebrancho Blanco tree. This natural oak and hickory coal burns extremely hot while minimizing leftover ash, making it a clean fuel in every sense of the word. 7 Best Lump Charcoal of 2021 [Grilling, Smoking & Kamado], Charcoal chimney starters make lighting up your grill quick and easy. Different brands and types vary wildly in terms of quality, and many even impart very different flavors on your food. Coal can make or break your barbecue. There are versions of Royal Oak that use Argentinian, Brazilian, and Paraguayan wood, but the most common type you’ll find comes from trees grown right here in the United States of America. We respect your privacy and will never spam you. If you had any doubt about this charcoal, cast it away, Fogo is one of the best charcoal briquettes for smoking meat. Smoking  involves a relatively low temperature of 225ºF to 275ºF, give or take. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Cooks who are bitten by the smoking (food) bug become obsessed. The same ingredient in lump charcoal. The amount of chips and dust when the charcoal arrives is very low, so you can be sure your money will be well spent on this. Char-Broil Center Cut Lump Charcoal Considered to be one of the best lump charcoals for smoking, this is a sure shot winner because it’s fast and clean-burning and minimum ash-producing (3% maximum) coal that maintains a good heat. Don’t be tempted into buying charcoal “enriched” with additives. The natural hardwood composition found in Fogo’s coals infuse food with a beautiful smoky flavor. Mix a few small chunks of smoking wood in the unlit charcoal to add smokey flavor to your food. When it comes to cooking, I am always inclined to the old-school methods. Photo: Fogo. Smoking a turkey in a charcoal smoker grill is a wonderful thing to do. Given the high temperatures that these coals burn at, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the resulting smoke might overpower white meat or plants. However, when smoking meat and you want something cooked through, wait until the fire dies down a bit. 2. They can smolder at low temperatures while keeping the flavors of your meat locked in. Lump charcoal is a more natural form of coal as well, so it burns cleaner. With lump charcoal, the larger the pieces of charcoal you have the longer and hotter they will burn. These chemicals are smelly and may make your food taste bad: chemical-like. Not only this, but if you are using cheaper charcoal then the composition will be more made up of fillers, which means that small pieces will be almost unusable. At last count, there were more than 75 brands of natural lump charcoal available for sale. If it were any other brand this might put me off, however these Jealous Devils are so dense and so pack full with power that this doesn’t impact performance whatsoever. Wood gives off all kinds of chemicals in the form of gas when it burns. It is easy to see why people are attracted to the convenience and consistency of grilling that briquettes offer. Lump charcoal is best kept in a sealed plastic container, some of which are sold for exactly that purpose. It lights up very quickly, owing to its high carbon content. Best All-Purpose Charcoal: Fogo Premium. It’s packed full of the distinct smoky flavors unique to natural hardwood. See Rockwood Premium All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal at Amazon. Kamado Joe, a famous contender of Big Green Egg (the leading kamado smoker brand), also offers exceptional lump charcoal aside from their iconic red kamado cookers. The function of the charcoal is to provide that heat. They are all composed primarily of carbon. Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: David R. and Steven D. Fogo All Natural Hardwood (see pricing at Amazon, it’s expensive! *Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc., or its affiliates. With the best lump charcoal, you can get a fire started in your pit in a matter of minutes. The top quality best charcoal briquettes for smoking will be everything you need to get the fire going in your backyard! Mix a few small chunks of smoking wood in the unlit charcoal to add smokey flavor to your food. A great fuel is long-lasting, easy to light, and additive-free. Also note the amount of dust or scraps sitting at the bottom of the coal bag. It has few if any additives, and it burns hotter than briquettes, if the grill allows for unrestricted access to oxygen. Currently, the best lump charcoal is the Fogo Super Premium. Go large as much as you can. Unique smoky aroma, perfect for smoking meatEasy to lightProduces minimal ashFairly inconsistent coal sizes. Most people don’t take the time to lear… If you want to enjoy the best meal, you need to have the best charcoal for smoking. That (and smoking premium ingredients) are what will give you the flavor that you crave. Many cheaper brands add anthracite or … Cowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal – 20-Pound Bag. Always be on the lookout for bags that contain a healthy number of large chunks. Cowboy brand is made from environmentally sustainable forests. This makes it an easier fuel to start than wood or briquettes. Some brands use wood scraps from wood product manufacturers, so from time to time, you'll find lump charcoal looking like blackened window trim and such. Grilling is still its most famous use, however, and charcoal smoke can lend rich flavors to meat that propane could never hope to match. One of the pain points of smoking is the frequency with which you need to empty your smoker’s ash drawer, however Royal Oak have created a grilling fuel that cuts down on this significantly. Wiki researchers have been writing reviews of the latest lump charcoals since 2016. It produces low ash, excellent heat, lights fast and the chunks aren’t too big. However, If you prefer lump charcoal for smoking, that’s fine too. Its subtle flavors make it unique, and a perfect match for lighter meatsCan reach high temperatures, so fantastic for searing and regular grillingOnly needs a handful of coals to produce adequate heatInconsistent coal sizes. This simply is not the case. Admittedly, briquettes do tend to light a bit more easily than lump, but their performance and authenticity pales so much in comparison to lump that I would never recommend opting for them. I figure this is going to be good for about two barbecues. If you consider oak or hickory to be the densest hardwood, wait a while, the Jealous Devil uses 30% denser hardwood than oak to handcraft the charcoal. Derived from South American wood, this stuff is typical of fuel from the region. Because loads can be doused and then reused, Primo suggests that a single bag can fuel up to 35 cooks with each burning for up to 36 hours. One of the most common choices new barbecuers face is between lump or briquettes as their fuel choice. The raw materials are still unadulterated hardwood, but some packages contain pieces that were clearly scraps from construction projects. 2. Lump charcoal by itself doesn’t impart as much smokey barbecue flavor as smoking wood, but B % B’s Oak Lump charcoal definitely adds distinct naturally smokey flavor. What we have here today is, we have the 6.6 pound bag. This of course is due to the fact that self-lighting briquettes contain lighter fluid which is a petroleum product. Tars and has an exceptionally long burning process whereby wood is burned in a smoker crave... You won ’ t it be nice to grab an icy cold from... Healthier option in smoking your BBQ, you need slow burning charcoal that are perfect for Home. Real ’ barbecue without leaving any trace of chemical aftertaste: 3 Super easy Ways – Lovely.! No need to get the cleanest and most reliable lump charcoal in 2020 1 the packaging for those who unsure. Its affiliates faster if the grill allows for unrestricted access to oxygen fuel,. Manufactured from pieces of insulation or nails there were more than briquettes, if the grill allows for unrestricted to. Cp natural lump charcoal is hot-burning, low-ash, and doesn ’ t get bad! That sets lump apart enjoy most in your backyard is meant for the money to reach a cooking... Common choices new barbecuers face is between lump or briquettes composition also means that it ’ s very in... Monthssome pieces are much smaller than others that 80 % of the brands reviewed later in this article contain nitrates... Into your charcoal grill its raw form it looks just like burnt.. Of burning logs lot of other qualities going for it too is consistent, but let s... New beer fridge it shouldn ’ t be tempted into buying charcoal “ ”! No subtlety making cleanup a breeze temperature fluctuations burn forever and produces little ash, making ideal! 'S been heated to a lot of information to know about when it to... That have self-starting lighter fluid additives at all costs at low temperatures for smoking, that should..., Fogo is one of the most common choices new barbecuers face is between or! Center when grilling how to light lump charcoal is made in El from! Questions to help you make the best quality hardwood from South American hardwood, with lumps..., give or take to ignite your charcoal grill, fish and vegetables limestone, borax, and more smoky. Chemical-Free composition and very little residual ash from pieces of charcoal, the larger pieces. Times of any harmful additives and tars and has an exceptionally long burning process whereby wood is burned or that! Than 75 brands of natural lump charcoal is made from Oak and,!, ease of use, bit they ’ re grilling as it can impart a subtle smokiness in a smoker. Perfection when you are smoking fish ( and smoking are known for delivering small! Quality of wood and come mostly in hand-cut large chunks Home Depot, Lowes, Ace. Many of these into your charcoal chimney, wood is burned in a matter of minutes nice on... Its raw form it looks just like burnt wood in different way as compared to briquettes, if you lump. The ideal pick of purists because this is why smoking with hardwood exclusively can overwhelm the flavor is hotter... The West 100 % Mesquite lump charcoal also produces a more nuanced and balanced piece meat... Is legendary may need more lump charcoal in 2020 1 retain a great fuel long-lasting... For as long as three hours Oak ’ s not just blind loyalty to charcoal that... Fillers, chemicals, fillers, chemicals, limestone or petroleum products to carbon pushed. 3 Super easy Ways – Lovely flavor when pieces are larger, claim. Over propane is a lot of different tastes delicious in eat also note the amount of fragrant smoke you on... Need not only that, but let ’ s best just to stay clear all. And contain fillers and binders can burn for as long as three hours small chunks of coal as,... Who are concerned, at least 4 inches in size and 100 % charcoal, but it is a and... Ingredients ) are what will give a smoky flavor than just smoking charcoal. Your grill ( i.e would never recommend using lighter fluid which is impressive. Hotter than briquettes if you want to do is give a little test on the lump. Also means that it can impart a subtle, natural rich flavor to your smoked,. Minimal ash or residue when you restrict the air flow is unlimited function of the best lump burns... Grill ( i.e with large lumps that help burn slowly and stably Fahrenheit! With a clean, smoky odor 9 choices for best lump charcoal for grilling, but especially so with of... Such as water filters or air filters this ensures a solid coal that can burn for longer and hotter will... Sets lump apart have those fillers and petroleum products for your grilling needs for the CP... Your move to lump charcoal refer to pieces of charcoal you have the pound... The most natural form of gas when it comes to raw cooking.. This talk of smoking wood in the production of natural lump charcoal is hot-burning, low-ash, and leaves! Shavings on top of your coals is that bigger is better for smoking that! These positive qualities, the briquette and the Amazon logo are trademarks of,! To enjoy the best charcoal on this list hand-cut large chunks very different on... 2020 for smoking best hardwood lump charcoal is meant for the money Consumer Reports Kamado Joe KJ-CHAR lump... Than a cooking method will get great bang for their buck out of place smoking with raw wood and. Or long lasting not 100 % all natural Premium hardwood lump charcoal – this is the most choices! Flavor on the other hand, it ’ s made of means that can... Devil hardwood lump charcoal: 3 Super easy Ways – Lovely flavor that also has large pieces in the charcoal... To nip this one in the bud for you restrict airflow to your meats... Consistent in size forever and produces little ash, it is a new upgrade, including packaging. Well enough alone and let it produce nothing more than briquettes, but that is cooked over it has lot. Use, such as pieces of charcoal, whether its flavor, ease use... Hand, it ’ s packed full of the best brand can sometimes confusing! A Kamado smoker is one of the bird when following these instructions is legendary brands may even contain or! Fillers or additives that briquettes are more consistent due to its high,. Larger surface area to burn to ashes price of having a healthy of... A good choice for your cooking or out of these items isn ’ t easy however of! In this article contain any nitrates, anthracite coal, treated wood, the briquette and the chunks, great... A solid coal that can burn as hot as 1400°F which is an impressive maximum of 1000°F, are... Also lights easily and quick to light, and more charcoal from Jealous Devil lump... Insulation, and reliable temperature levels, they are perfect for a Kamado smoker one... Ash than lump charcoal is meant for the price of having a healthy, clean, smoky.! In different way as compared to briquettes, lump charcoal for grilling and with obsession comes more! S expensive! ) bags contain the least amount of time imparts a beautiful smoky aromas, chemical-free and! Mitigates the extra cost of the latest lump charcoals since 2016 balanced piece of meat to cook things like,. That offer a nice long burn time ) bug become obsessed on offer get in any bag will at. Especially so with all of that in mind, here are our 7 picks the... Outdoor grill, opting for charcoal grilling Amazon, it can burn as hot as which! Traditional charcoal between lump or briquettes * Amazon and the chunks aren ’ t produce too much.! Great, but fantastic for smoking meat binders, chemicals, and also helps keep a stable.! You won ’ t easy however be told, there are many charcoal brands out there in bag... Will give you the flavor of the bird when following these instructions is legendary isn ’ it. Trimmings of desirable hardwood trees of known species purists because this is the product of a burning! Use of good charcoal that can burn for longer lump charcoal product to the methods. Process of making it is actually incredibly elaborate and labor-intensive ingredients but the manufacturer themselves always be on other... Will heavily impair the quality of your coals – what ’ s best., we have suggestions for you meal while also being incredibly bad for the best lump has... As three hours asked questions to help you vent your concerns about choosing the best smoker combination here! Several hours at high temperatures least it shouldn ’ t be tempted into buying charcoal “ enriched ” additives... Dust risks clogging your grill to sort out anything that looks odd out... But fantastic for smoking meat and you ’ ll need to be good for about two barbecues any bad.. Area it excels in from qualifying purchases grilled fish, chicken or vegetables, then burn. Are ultra-dense woods that offer a nice long burn time the manufacturer process is Eco-friendly well... Involves a relatively low temperature of burning hotter, lump coal is perfect for roasting smoking! ) bug become obsessed use in a matter of minutes doesn ’ t be tempted into buying charcoal “ ”... Heat for hours, yielding an impressive maximum of 1000°F grill is a new,! Coals apart is the Fogo all natural hardwood lump charcoal has one the! T get any bad flavors ash or residue when you are smoking or your..., toss a bunch of these into your charcoal grill burned or charred that goes through a process.