Best Lump Charcoal (2023)
Are you looking to use lump charcoal instead of briquettes next time you BBQ? If this is the case, then keep reading to find the best types of lump charcoal!
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If you are having a summer party, one of the best ways to serve the best seasonal food is by having a BBQ in your backyard, and one of the best types of BBQ’s to have is using a charcoal grill.
And of course, to use a charcoal grill you will need charcoal to fuel it. This then leads you to a choice, are you going to use a standard briquette, or are you going to use lump charcoal instead?
You may find briquette charcoal being sold much more often in stores, so if you have no other options this is still fine, however, there is a reason why a lot of grill enthusiasts will always recommend using lump charcoal instead.
The way lump charcoal is made is by burning individual pieces of hardwood in a location which is airtight. This will ensure that all of the sap and the moisture will be removed from the wood.
This makes it so a fire which you burn from this lump charcoal will be much more consistent, and it will be much more simple for the person grilling to have control over.
So, if you have only ever used briquettes, but you want to try something else which may be a little better, then using lump charcoal is a great idea!
But, if you have never used lump charcoal, you probably do not know which type will be best for you.
Because of this, we have gathered all the best options for lump charcoal so you know which will be best for you.
On top of this, after the list there is a buyer’s guide which will help you with choosing which lump charcoal will be best for you.
So, if you want to buy lump charcoal, but do not know where to start, this guide is what you need to be reading!
Our Favorite Lump Charcoal
This list includes plenty of different options which cover different situations and different grills better, so just because something is our favorite choice, does not mean it will automatically be the same for you.
Because of this make sure to carefully consider each option so you know what you are looking out for!
Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
Why We Chose Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal We chose this because it is overall one of the best balanced brands of lump charcoal you are going to find!
What We Love About Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
- Has a nice mild and smooth flavor
- Packaging is great for keeping the lump charcoal dry
- The charcoal lights quickly and has a consistent heat
What We Do Not Love About Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
- One of the more expensive options
Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal Product Overview
This is one of the best selling brands of lump charcoal for a reason, and its packaging has been redesigned recently to make sure that when the lump charcoal gets shipped to you, it will be protected.
This means the pieces will be larger, and there will not be as much residue or dust left once it arrives.
This shows thought which has been put into this specific brand of lump charcoal which has not been recognized elsewhere.
This charcoal is made from hardwood sourced in South America. If you want a flavor comparison, it is most commonly compared to oak, however it does not have the same bitterness you can sometimes get from oak.
This mild and smoother flavor is perfect if you want something which will not overpower your food. This means that even if you are doing a long and slow cook, you will not get a flavor which is too intense.
Unlike other brands of coal, this lump charcoal has had its wood selected specifically for being used for lump charcoal.
This is then hand cut, and then hand fired in kilns designed for this purpose. You will find only the largest, and the most intact lumps being sold in these bags.
You will not have to deal with as much sparking either making it easier to light.
Royal Oak All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
Why We Chose Royal Oak All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
We chose this as our favorite budget option.
What We Love About Royal Oak All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
- Very easy to light
- Burns at a good temperature
- Affordable to get
What We Do Not Love About Royal Oak All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
- You sometimes have to deal with some inconsistent quality
Royal Oak All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal Product Overview
This hardwood charcoal is perfect if you are looking for something which is affordable, and you know this is good because it is just as popular with experienced grill enthusiasts as well as beginners who want something cheap.
Compared to the previous option, this also has a much more noticeable smoky flavor which is why a lot of people enjoy it.
This brand of lump charcoal is made from hickory hardwood, as well as American oak.
It is worth noting that this brand burns faster than some other brands, and it is also easy to light, and also offers a lot more smoke.
However, some people who get through a lot of this lump charcoal have reported that its quality can occasionally be inconsistent, and sometimes small pieces of metal or rock are in the bottom of the bag.
In spite of this, this is a great choice if you want something affordable.
Rockwood All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
Why We Chose Rockwood All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
This is our best value option for lump charcoal.
What We Love About Rockwood All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
- Lights very easily and burns for a good amount of time
- The flavor is pleasant
- Eco friendly design
What We Do Not Love About Rockwood All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
- Quality can be inconsistent
Rockwood All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal Product Overview
As you can tell from our previous option, this is not the cheapest option for lump charcoal, this is well liked for how much value you get when buying this lump charcoal.
This charcoal is usually sold multiple bags at a time and this means you end up saving quite a lot of money when buying in bulk.
This is why it is so popular with people who grill often. This is actually a favorite of some different competitive barbecue teams.
This specific type of lump charcoal uses hardwood sourced in Missouri, and the main wood types which are used are hickory and oak, however you also get some cherry, maple, and pecan wood, and this means the wood is incredibly aromatic.
This gives the smoke a lovely flavor, and this flavor is passed onto the food which is cooked with it.
The reason why this is such an affordable product is that the wood was not originally intended for charcoal, so the wood is off cuts.
This makes it environmentally friendly, but also means you occasionally deal with some inconsistent quality.
Cowboy All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
Why We Chose Cowboy All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
This is our favorite lump charcoal to be used by beginners.
What We Love About Cowboy All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
- Has a long and hot burn
- Nice smoky flavor which does not have any off notes
- Charcoal made using renewable resources
What We Do Not Love About Cowboy All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
- Some bags have a few too many chips
Cowboy All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal Product Overview
This is made from a variety of different hardwoods with mesquite, hickory, and oak being used.
This is part of what makes it a great choice if you are trying lump charcoal for the first time, and you do not want to have to invest in a premium brand.
The hot and long heat makes it perfect for searing and gives all your food a delicious smoky flavor!
Harder Charcoal 100 Percent Natural XL Restaurant Style Barbecue Grilling Lump Charcoal
Why We Chose Harder Charcoal 100 Percent Natural XL Restaurant Style Barbecue Grilling Lump Charcoal
This is the best lump charcoal to be used in a kamado style grill, for example the Big Green Egg.
What We Love About Harder Charcoal 100 Percent Natural XL Restaurant Style Barbecue Grilling Lump Charcoal
- Has a great long burning time
- You get very little sparking from this brand
- The temperature is super simple to control
What We Do Not Love About Harder Charcoal 100 Percent Natural XL Restaurant Style Barbecue Grilling Lump Charcoal
- Pieces can be too small
Kamado Joe Big Block XL Lump Charcoal
Why We Chose Kamado Joe Big Block XL Lump Charcoal
This is our favorite choice for different sized chunks of lump charcoal.
What We Love About Kamado Joe Big Block XL Lump Charcoal
- Gives you a clean and flavorful smoke
- Box is easy to store
What We Do Not Love About Kamado Joe Big Block XL Lump Charcoal
- Some lumps need to be broken down
Fogo FB17 Charcoal, Black
Why We Chose Fogo FB17 Charcoal, Black
This lump charcoal has our favorite flavor.
What We Love About Fogo FB17 Charcoal, Black
- The best flavor we tried
- Easy to light
What We Do Not Love About Fogo FB17 Charcoal, Black
- Not the best for a long smoke
If you have gone through our product list and you are still unsure which brand of lump charcoal will suit you best, then this is what you need to be reading.
This buyer’s guide will give you all the information you need to make an informed decision when it comes to buying your lump charcoal.
This section will cover all the factors which should be considered when buying lump charcoal, so make sure to read closely!
Source And Quality
If you do not know, a brand of lump charcoal can be made using any kind of hardwood which is available, and most of this hardwood is actually a byproduct of sawmills.
You will want to look to see if your lump charcoal has been sourced sustainably, this will ensure it does not contain any chemicals you do not want to be burning near food, or any leftover varnish.
You will also want to check out the quality of your lump charcoal. This means you want to avoid lump charcoal which contains any additives, binders, or fillers.
You will also want to avoid charcoal which creates too many sparks. You will also want to avoid any smaller pieces or dust which will just fill up your ash trap too quickly.
A standard bag of any lump charcoal will contain a variety of different hardwoods, with the most common being oak, ash, or beech, this is instead of just using one specific type of hardwood.
However, it is worth noting that different types of hardwood will actually have different flavor profiles.
For example, a lighter wood like a maple will give a much sweeter flavor which is well suited for when you are cooking a white meat.
However, a darker wood like hickory or oak will give a much stronger flavor which most people like using on red meats.
If you are instead wanting to find a single species fuel for your grill, you will probably have better luck when looking for briquettes instead.
Temperature For Burning
You will find that different types of lump charcoal will actually have different burning temperatures, and this will affect how you cook with them.
For example, an apple charcoal will burn at 1190 degrees, however maple burns at 1200 instead.
By having different burning temperatures you will need to be venting your fire differently, this is something you will definitely want to be taking into account when cooking.
You will find that with a more expensive bag of lump charcoal you will find that the lumps of charcoal will mostly be uniform, and will also be larger pieces too.
The larger these pieces of charcoal are, the longer they will burn, and they will also burn hotter as well.
These are of course going to be preferable when buying lump charcoal, but you will pay a premium for them, so keep this in mind when buying.
You also want to avoid lump charcoal which has too much dust at the bottom of the bag. These types of charcoal will be useless for using when grilling and they will instead cause too much sparking.
Finally, you of course want to keep in mind the price which you are paying for your lump charcoal and the value you are getting from this. To get a better quality product, you will likely need to pay a premium.
However, you can find deals and end up getting great quality products for a good price. Keep an eye out for deals so you can get the best lump charcoal for a good price!
Frequently Asked Questions
Weber and Char-Broil make our favorite charcoal grills, but your grilling experience won't be that great without the right charcoal and technique. You have questions, and we have answers.
How To Light Lump Charcoal?
When it comes to lighting your lump charcoal, there are a few different options when you are grilling. Our favorite and probably the easiest option is using a charcoal chimney.
These will use crumpled up pieces of newspaper, and these will get your charcoal started. There are other options which are available, however.
You could stack your charcoal into a pyramid and light this, you can also use lighter fluid, or you could even invest in an electric charcoal starter.
Learning how to light a charcoal grill can be tricky, but the reward is undeniable. Charcoal grills provide significantly more flavor than gas grills.
How Long Will Lump Charcoal Burn For?
As we have mentioned a few times, grill enthusiasts love using lump charcoal because it will burn faster and hotter than briquettes, and it will also last longer generally speaking.
However, this all depends on what you are cooking. You will hopefully be able to get between 45 minutes and an hour of cooking time using lump charcoal, however, if you are using a closed off smoker you can make this last a lot longer.
Can You Use A Chimney Starter When Using Lump Charcoal?
You can use a chimney starter to light your lump charcoal, and this will be a great tool to use. These are also quite easy to use too which makes them convenient as well.
To use one, all you have to do is put some crumpled up newspaper, or lighter cubes under your chimney, and then put the lump charcoal into the chimney. Then light the newspaper or cubes, and then let the chimney do its job!
It should take about 10 minutes for your lump charcoal to be lit, and then you can transfer it into your grill and begin cooking with it1
Hopefully this guide has given you all the information you need to make an informed decision when buying lump charcoal for your next BBQ grill.
If you are still unsure about which type of lump charcoal will work best for you, then go back through the list after referring to the buyer’s guide.
This will ensure that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision on which brand of lump charcoal will suit you and your needs the best!
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