Which is the best lump charcoal?
Lump charcoal delivers a distinct, smoky flavor that propane gas can never match. The type of fuel you use greatly impacts the taste of the food and each brand also has a taste profile. Let’s explore the top 10 lump charcoal on the market.
When choosing lump charcoal, you should consider factors such as:
- Hardwood type: Look for lump charcoal made from high-quality hardwoods such as oak, hickory, and maple as they produce a clean and consistent burn.
- Size and shape: Choose lump charcoal that is uniform in size and shape as it will ensure a consistent burn and temperature control.
- Ash production: Avoid lump charcoal that produces excessive ash as it can affect the flavor of your food and make it harder to control the temperature.
- Source: Choose lump charcoal that is sustainably sourced and does not contain any additives or chemicals.
- Price: Lump charcoal can vary in price, so choose a brand that fits within your budget and offers good value for money.
Some popular brands of lump charcoal include Cowboy Charcoal, Royal Oak, Fogo, and Jealous Devil.
Let’s explore the top 10 lump charcoal to find the perfect one for your next cook out!
WHY WE LIKE IT: This highly recommended lump charcoal does not over power the food, allowing you to control the smoke flavor yourself with chips or chunks. It lights quickly and is a charcoal that burns for a long time, burns hot, but produces little ash, delivering good value for money.
- The chunks burn quickly and last long
- Great value for the money
- 100% natural
Rockwood premium all-natural lump charcoal is made of pure lump charcoal from premium Missouri oak, hickory, and maple. It’s free from chemicals, fillers, binders, and other impurities.
WHY WE LIKE IT:
This charcoal, made from dense Central American hardwood, delivers consistently high heat and burns longer than many other lump charcoals on the market, allowing for better temperature control when grilling. It also lends a mild smoky flavor whether you’re grilling steaks, smoking a whole brisket or slow-cooking ribs.
- Hand-picked wood
- Long burning coals
- Inga wood signature slavor
It is crafted from an evergreen Oak species found in Central America, specifically in El Salvador where the charcoal is also produced. For more details on the manufacturing process and forestry methods implemented for this charcoal, you can refer to the Fogo Charcoal website.
WHY WE LIKE IT: B&B Oak Lump Charcoal is known to be consistent with its size, burns clean, and has a great price.
100% natural premium oak and hardwood blend lump charcoal
No harsh chemicals, additives, or fillers
Low Smoke Profile – High BTU
Burns hotter and longer, searing quickly, locking in flavor
Since 1961, B&B has been based in Texas, producing grilling products from the best possible woods. B&B produces 100% all natural grilling and barbecue fuels that consistently burn hotter and cleaner.
B&B Oak charcoal is above average compared to others. This lump has a pretty good size distribution, burns pretty hot for an average time (compared to other lump), but is pretty hard to light and produces a lot of ash.
For the price, and quality, we recommend this lump for your kamados.
WHY WE LIKE IT: Jealous Devil is a great charcoal. All of our key performance indicators get either 4 or 5 stars: very low chips and dust, easy to light, hot burning, long burning and low ash. In addition, there is no sparking or popping to worry about.
- Ideal for grilling
- Lights up quickly and burns super-hot
- Creates low ash, does not pop
- Even heat distribution
Jealous Devil is made in Paraguay from a South American wood called Quebracho Blanco. If you are wondering about the word “quebracho,” it is derived from quiebrahacha, or quebrar hacha, meaning “axe-breaker”. The smell of the smoke is the typical South American hardwoods smell with a perfumed characteristic to it.
WHY WE LIKE IT: We like the mild nature of the charcoal and not a blend, so there is no surprise by how it smells or burns. The maple charcoal seems to burn a bit hotter in our grill than some other types of wood.
- Made from 100% Canadian hardwood logs
- It offers a unique sweet sugar maple flavor given by the sugar maple tree
- Lights up quickly and gives a higher intense heat
There is an important distinction between Basques Charcoal and many American Lump manufacturers, Basques only uses logs to make their charcoal and no slab wood so you are getting the heart of the tree compared to the outer section of wood and some bark. Basques is also now Rainforest Alliance and FSC Certified.
WHY WE LIKE IT: We like the Kamado Joe Big Block Lump Charcoal because of the size of the charcoal, burns clean, and has a good price.
- Made from a blend of hardwood – Guayacan, Guayaibi, Mistal, and White Quebracho
- Can burn up to 18 hours and is reusable up to three times.
- Includes the right mix of fast-starting small pieces and long-burning large pieces that will allow you to cook low and slow for extended periods of time
Kamado Joe Big Block lump is made from a blend of three different South American woods, according to one of their ads on Amazon, the three species are Guayacan, Guayaibi, and White Quebracho. White Quebracho or, more correctly, Quebracho Blanco is widely used as charcoal, since it does not produce sparks or large amounts of ash and burns strong and slowly. It is a very hard wood, evidenced by its name “Quebracho” which translates to “axe breaker.”
Although the bag says XL, we are happy with the selection of charcoal with a few large chunks, a lot of medium-sized chunks, and a minimal amount of small pieces, chips and dust.
The amount of sparking and popping with this lump was relatively low, but be sure to use caution if you use a torch for lighting your lump charcoal.
And finally, the amount of ash produced by this charcoal was only average compared to all other brands.
All in all, we really like this charcoal. Although the ash production and difficulty in lighting were nothing to write home about, the burn time, maximum temperature and size distribution were all quite good. In fact, as far as we are concerned, the size distribution was about as good as we have ever seen.
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